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To Win The Super Bowl, The Eagles Must ...

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This feature is a weekly piece on titled From The Eagles, featuring Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. The intention is to provide a perspective directly from the Philadelphia Eagles in this forum for the great fans who visit BGN.

I'm in that awkward period of the year when there are four teams still in the playoffs and the Eagles aren't one of them and I'm jealous and frustrated and wondering just what it requires for this team to go from, in the words of Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie "good to great."

The Eagles aren't far away. But those few steps are extremely difficult to cover in a single offseason in the NFL because, well, every team is pretty much looking for the same upgrades: Better cover cornerbacks. A more consistent pass rush. Safeties to dominate. Touchdowns in the red zone. Fewer turnovers.

What team isn't saying that "we're just a play here or there away" from winning more games and reaching the postseason? In the case of the Eagles, my perspective is direct. The list, then, of what the Eagles need to go from 10-6 to a chance to play for the Lombardi Trophy ...

  • The turnover ratio must be in the plus in 2015. The Eagles went from 19 giveaways and a plus-12 in 2013 to 36 giveaways (most in the league) and minus-8 in 2014. From winning the NFC East to missing the playoffs. They increased their giveaways more than one per game. Astonishing. How? Why? Quarterbacks Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez threw too many interceptions (21 combined) and the offensive line's instability didn't help a bit. We all know the story. We talked about it all season. THE FIX: Establish the running game more in the early downs, improve the offensive line and add another weapon - is Josh Huff ready to step up, for example? - to create bigger windows in the passing game?

  • And yeah, the offensive line was not nearly as dominating in 2014 as it was in 2013 and that's got to change in 2015. Win the line of scrimmage and you win the game. Ask the Dallas Cowboys. It's going to be very interesting to see how the Eagles view and potentially address the offensive line in the months ahead.

  • Foles is the quarterback, as I see it. That can change, of course, and I don't claim to have a direct pipeline into the mind of head coach Chip Kelly. If the Eagles go with Foles, understand what his strengths are and help him with his weaknesses. Build around his skills. He's got a big arm, intelligence, toughness, a great work ethic and generally (until 2014 at times) good ball location. Make his passing windows a little bit bigger with more time in the pocket, receivers who have time and the ability to get open and a great variety of routes. The scheme works. We see that. The offense just needs to make the next half-step forward.

  • That said, the efficiency in the red zone much improve substantially. I don't have the answer. Run better inside the 10-yard line? Maybe. Be more physical? Sure. Overhaul the scheme? The coaches look at it every offseason and make tweaks. Whatever the answer, Kelly needs to find it. Touchdowns, not field goals, win in the playoffs. The winning teams last weekend were a combined 9 of 13 in touchdown efficiency in the red zone.

  • OK, let's talk defense. The Eagles need to be a ton better on this side of the ball. Too many "X" plays. Too many missed tackles. Too many opposing touchdowns in the red zone. I like the defensive line and the depth and the youth. Good talent. Good place to start. And Mychal Kendricks and Connor Barwin are terrific linebackers. Trent Cole is an all-time Eagle, but he's not the dominating player he once was. DeMeco Ryans? Can you count on him to come back and play at his pre-injury level?

  • Other than Malcolm Jenkins, there isn't a player who is close to being a "sure thing" to return in 2015. Cornerback Bradley Fletcher and safety Nate Allen are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in March. Cary Williams had his moments in 2014 and he also had his struggles. What do the Eagles do in the secondary? They look under every rock for an upgrade. They do what they can to add playmakers to a secondary that needs to play the ball better and needs to take the ball away more and needs to tackle more effectively.

  • Speaking of the secondary, the scheme is going to get picked apart by defensive coordinator Bill Davis. It wouldn't surprise me if the Eagles mix in some Cover 2 (a safety on each half of the field over top of the wide receivers) with that single-high safety look they use so often. Davis lamented the big plays, but they kept happening and you can be sure that opposing quarterbacks are going right after the Eagles' secondary in 2015.

  • Special teams? I love this group and I love coordinator Dave Fipp and the selflessness with which he units play. Great performance in the season behind us and even more to come in 2015.

  • When it comes time for December and the playoffs, the teams that win are the teams that play their "A" game. They don't turn the ball over. They minimize their penalties. They gain even the tiniest advantage with advance scouting and great coaching. This is the overall, encompassing intangible the Eagles lacked in December. They didn't play "A" games in losses to Seattle, Dallas and Washington. They committed turnovers, were whistled for penalties and missed tackles. They weren't ready to win when it truly counted. That has to change.

And it can. The Eagles aren't far way. The truth is, most of the NFL is saying the same thing, and that makes the stakes high in free agency and in the draft. Every team wants the same thing. How do the Eagles get what they need and what they want and go from "good" to "great" in the next six months?