I am so ecstatic! Every time I rewatch one of the Eagles preseason games I think to myself all the possibilities of this team could create. So far this preseason-
- Vinny Curry is actually becoming a bright spot. His dominance on the line is felt.
- Fletcher Cox is playing well.
- Trent Cole and Connor Barwin seem adequate in coverage.
- Overall Brandon Graham has slightly disappointed me. While I did not think his transition would be clean, he has not played well. He looks slow in coverage AND in the backfield. However, I don't think his play is going to kill us.
- Patrick Chung could be the best tackler in the secondary. He seems like player you could put in the box often, as he actively sniffs out the ball.
- Mychal Kendricks has found his niche. He seems more comfortable blitzing. And because of his 4.45 speed, he is easily a very fast linebacker coming through the line, as he held Cam Newton in check.
- Nate Allen is invisible, which is nice for once.
- Brandon Boykin and Bradley Fletcher is a really good combo in the secondary. Brandon Boykin had two opportunities for picks, however he just came up with deflections. Fletcher looks solid at the least.
- Cary Williams needs to e"sconce" himself to the bench, because I'm tired of him giving up 10 and 15 yard chunks at a time.
- Cedric Thornton is slowing forcing Antonio Dixon out of the rotation.
- Bennie Logan and Sopoaga are looking solid.
- McCoy and Knott are on the team.
- Shady is releasing gamma rays from his feet.
- The offensive line is playing like they are top ten in the league.
- Jason Avant has the best hands in the NFC East.
- Mike Vick can run this offense to its full potential. He is throwing bombs and is sporting a passer rating in the 110's. He has this competition almost locked up.
- DeSean is playing lights out.
- Riley Cooper is the No. 2 reciever.
- Greg Salas has stickum.
- Damaris is on the squad.
- Foles is playing well, but Vick has this almost locked.
- Matt Barkley is a project.
- Momah is No Mo'.
- Brandon Boykin and Damaris Johnson are the kick returners.
- We have the best in the division.
- The Eagles practice special teams a lot.
- Alex Henery is having problems. He seems to be getting worse and worse. We need someone else quickly as an insurance policy.
What You Can Take From All Of This- Our defense can still be a good unit. Vinny Curry needs to start for this to happen and Cary Williams needs to play closer. Our offense needs to score. It looks like they can pull blowouts if they play mistake free football. Overall the offensive line is key no matter what. Given time Michael Vick can be the most deadly player on the field. Add in LeSean McCoy and we are set.
Schedule Break Down:
Week 1: Eagles at Redskins
With RG3's status up in the air, you have to wonder how they will play without us. So much of their offense revolves around RG3, that Alfred Morris will get a lot of runs. Expect their run game to test us either way. Our offense should be able to topple their defense because of their mediocre DBs. We should have the win.
Week 2: Eagles vs. Chargers
Our first home game is coming against a struggling Phillip Rivers and the Chargers. This is misleading however because they look like a mirror image of us mid-season of 2012. Their quarterbacks are behind a O-line of crap and their wide recievers are dropping like flies. One thing that is great for us is their horrible special teams play. Expect us to return something to get good field position. Their defense will be the test to Shady and co. However this is one we should win.
Week 3: Eagles vs. Chiefs
Andy Reid's homecoming will be fun to watch. We are again up against a team with a bad o-line but this ones quarterback is pretty mediocre. Their defense is just as bad against the run. Jamal Charles is the X-factor however the Chiefs are not going beat us at all. Shady should be breaking ankles. Eagles win.
Week 4: Eagles at Broncos
Our defense's first big test should be a fail. Going against Peyton and the revamped receiving core should be terrible to watch. Our offense should not be able to put up enough points. We are screwed.
Week 5: Eagles at Giants
We are yet again up against another Manning. I have a feeling we have a shoot out on our hands. Both of our defenses are solid not spectacular. Their is no doubt in my mind that we can beat them. The question is will we. I think we have this one. The reason is that their D-line has lost their dominance and they are coming fresh off of injuries. Our offensive line has gotten it together. You can never predict games against them.
Week 6: Eagles at Buccaneers
With question marks at the O-line and Josh Freeman's struggles our defense could hold them under double digits. They sport a solid run defense however little is known about their revamped secondary that was last in the league in 2012. No one on their team eclipsed double digit sacks. Put it this way, if we don't get the win we are not in good shape. At this time if we have at least three or four wins on our belt, we should be fine.
Week 7: Eagles vs. Cowboys
First divisional games against the opponents are hard to predict. Comment this one.
Week 8: Eagles vs. Giants
This is our second look at them. Chip Kelly has been given more than enough time to game plan. I believe we win this one because we are at home and because Chip Kelly should have a plan for this one.
Week 9: Eagles at Raiders
Matt Flynn is not their QB and now they are gonna pay for giving up Carson Palmer. They have lost almost everyone in free agency. Our defense should be given an easy day. Our offense should be given the same. Just like the Bucs game, if we lose it should really tell the state of our season.
Week 10: Eagles at Green Bay
Teams usually do not come out of Green Bay alive. Look for A-Rod to carve up our defense like Brady did and hope our offense responds. This should be our first "cold weather" game of the year so keep that in mind. I do not think we will win. Hope for a shoot out.
Week 10: Eagles vs. Redskins
This should be our first look at a healthy RG3. Comment your thoughts.
Week 11: Bye- I think we can win four out of the last five games with our only loss to the Bears at home. The rest of the teams (vs. Lions, vs. Cardinals, at Cowboys, at Vikings) are teams that have one or two good offensive players and are a mess at everything else ie., Fitzgerald, Peterson and Patterson, Megatron, and Murray.
Season: I think we split with the skins and the Giants, sweep the Cowboys, and only lose to the Broncos, Packers, and Bears. Teams like the Cardinals and the Lions can get close but I do not think they have it altogether to beat us. With that in mind we will go 10-6 or 11-5 at the best. However we could just as easily go 9-7 or 8-8 if the Cards or the Lions pull out wins.
Reasons Why We Can Win 10 or 11 Games-
The offensive line is back together and if Vick is the Quarterback, teams may have trouble blitzing from the left with Peters and Mathis on the same side. Peters is arguably the best left tackle in football and Evan Mathis is top three in his position as well. A healthy line means Shady can finally revert back to his 2011 self in which he scored 20 TDs with a Pass-Happy coach. Imagine what he can do with a coach that likes to run. Vick can make simpler reads without having to deal with developing routes, Kelly made the play book with easy reads to play on Vick's strengths. Other than that, we are loaded at TE so we can go heavy at many times. Our defense now has two above average corners, and tackling safeties. Patrick Chung can easily become a playmaker when needed and Bradley Fletcher and Boykin can make plays as well. We still have DeMeco Ryans shoring up the middle along with Kendricks. Our defense can just be solid and we can still win at least 9 games. Add in special teams play and we can easily score 30 a game just with good field position. Finally we have Chip Kelly who could actually be our greatest weapon. Not only is he a brilliant football mind but he can easily catch opposing teams quickly by using the no-huddle and keeping them tired out. One stat to take away this preseason is that we are top 5 in TYPG, passing YPG, and rushing YPG. No other team can say the same thing. And while it is just the preseason, looking at our company it does seem to translate into the regular season.
Reasons Why We Cannot Win Alot of Games-
Our defense can easily be overwhelmed, especially with our transition to the 3-4 defense. In addition, we have an extremely injury prone secondary. Brandon Graham and Trent Cole are still some what liabilities in the passing game. Michael Vick is 33 years old and at this point won't slide, so he may not play all 16 games. Our wide recievers are a pretty average unit behind DeSean, Avant, and Cooper. Finally our offensive line is still fresh off of injuries. Jason Peters may not be the same coming off of a torn achilles twice and with Jason Kelce coming off of a torn ACL. Add in a declining Herremans and it can easily go down hill.
Final Point: I know we will win more games than last year, the question is how much? Will we go from nearly first to worst like the Niners or will last years problems still linger? What do you guys think? Thanks for reading and please comment on the match ups and your thoughts on this upcoming season.