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Are the Eagles likely to go "worst to first" in 2013?

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Rich Schultz

The Eagles enter 2013 with a lot to overcome. The team is coming off its worst season in 15 years and has undergone a serious transformation, in both philosophy and talent, over the last several months. New coaches and players will fill the Eagles locker room this year and while there is optimism about the changes, the potential growing pain are hard to overlook. Still, with everything going against the team, it is hard not to notice the deficiencies of their NFC East rivals, as well.

The Redskins enter the season with their quarterback, Robert Griffin III, recovering from ACL surgery and their best pass rusher, Brian Orakpo, is recovering from a torn pectoral. The Cowboys still seem to be a team influx with a conversion to the Tampa 2 from a 3-4 defense and the fact that their offensive line seems more like a carousel than a wall. Last but not least, the Giants, who seemingly have less wrong on the surface than the rest of the division, are dealing with two top-tier wide receivers who want new contracts and both their offensive and defensive lines feature aging impact players.

While the Eagles are not going to blow anyone's socks off on paper, for the most part, they are healthy, young and have nothing but upside (and some would say nothing to lose). Chip Kelly is widely-considered an offensive guru and a team-builder, so is far-fetched to predict a Colts-like turnaround for Philly? Is it possible that the Eagles could face a perfect storm of an early-season schedule against the Redskins (will RG3 play?), the Chargers (new staff and Rivers possibly on the hot seat), and the Chiefs (Andy's new team), and be able to start fast and mount a lead on the division? Sure it is. However, it is on the Eagles to take advantage of their situation and win the division.