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8 fearless predictions for the 2019 Eagles season

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To be bold?

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Ahead of the Eagles’ 2019 campaign, we here at Bleeding Green Nation have some fearless predictions for the upcoming season. While these predictions have a lot working against them (Carson Wentz’s injury history, a plethora of weapons, depth chart placement, etc.), they're still within the realm of possibility. In five months we’ll look back and look like geniuses, or be laughed at, so lets have fun with it.

Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton)

Carson Wentz won’t miss a single game in 2019.

All the consternation about Wentz being injury prone will be for naught. Wentz is 21 months removed from his ACL injury and he’s had a full offseason to heal from the back issues that plagued him in 2018. He’s looking leaner and he’s put more effort than ever into maintaining his health.

Wentz won’t be the first NFL quarterback to overcome early career injury issues. Matthew Stafford missed 19 games in his first two seasons, which is actually 11 more than Wentz has missed in his three-year career. Stafford then became an ironman by not missing a single game since 2010.

Wentz is going to stay healthy and prove his doubters wrong once again in 2019.

(Note: this prediction excludes Wentz resting in Week 17 when the Eagles already have their first-round bye locked up.)

Shamus Clancy (@shamus_clancy)

Dallas Goedert will lead the 2019 Eagles in touchdowns

Carson Wentz will generously spread the ball around on offense this season, but someone has to lead the team in touchdowns. Enter Dallas Goedert.

Goedert had four touchdowns on just 44 targets last year, which was tied with Nelson Agholor (4 on 97 targets) on the team and behind only Alshon Jeffery (6 on 92 targets) and Zach Ertz (8 on 156 targets). Behind a healthy Wentz in 2017, Jeffery led the team with nine touchdowns, while the backup tight end duo of Trey Burton and Brent Celek has six between them.

He should at least be able to match that Burton/Celek number from 2017 with an increase in snaps and more red zone opportunities in 12 personnel. The presence of DeSean Jackson and JJ Arcega-Whiteside on the outside should cut into Jeffery’s total too. I’ll say he grabs his team-leading 10th touchdown in overtime in Week 16 against Dallas. The win clinches a first-round bye for the Eagles.

Ben Solak (@BenjaminSolak)

Malik Jackson leads the Eagles in sacks

Here’s the thing about Brandon Graham: he doesn’t get a ton of sacks. The thing about Derek Barnett is we don’t know if he’s healthy, and even when he’s healthy, we don’t know if he gets a ton of sacks yet. And the thing about Fletcher Cox is that we don’t know if he’s healthy, and when he’s healthy...okay, well he’s pretty good at getting sacks.

But even then! Fletch had his most productive year in the sack column (10.5) last year when he had no complementary rusher on the interior besides him: Timmy Jernigan wasn’t healthy and Haloti Ngata didn’t have the juice. Cox is still going to see frequent double teams, which opens up one-on-one interior opportunities for players like Jackson, as Michael Bennett showed with a nine-sack season last year.

So Jackson has huge opportunity, the talent to capitalize on it, and not a ton of competition when it comes to gaudy sack numbers. All it takes is a few lucky breaks, and he could be pushing double-digit sacks before anyone else on the roster.

John Stolnis (@JohnStolnis)

This is one of the 1predictions I posted in my 10 bold predictions piece a few weeks ago, and I still like it:

The Eagles will be a top five rushing team

Did you realize that, in 2017, the Eagles finished 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards (2,115), trailing only the Jaguars and Cowboys? They didn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher, but Jay Ajayi, LeGarrett Blount and Corey Clement were extremely effective runners, and Carson Wentz added a few yards here and there running for the occasional first down, too. Last year, with Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood and their merry men standing behind Wentz/Foles, the Eagles were 28th in rushing (1,570 yards). Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Clement and Darren Sproles will certainly be a better combination than last year, and should make this team a top-five rushing unit with a healthy and mobile Wentz once again.

Dave Mangels (@southern_philly)

Josh McCown wins a playoff game, and Doug Pederson is immediately enshrined in Canton as the greatest coach ever for winning 5 playoff games, including a Super Bowl, with back up quarterbacks.

Seriously though.... the Eagles win the Super Bowl.

Being a recent Super Bowl winner retaining most of the same core is reason enough, but the Eagles are set up well beyond that.

-The skill positions are even better than when they won the Super Bowl. DeSean Jackson and Dallas Goedert are huge upgrades over Torrey Smith and Brent Celek, respectively. If Miles Sanders is legit, the running backs are even better.

-The offensive line is top tier, and deep.

-Doug Pederson is a great motivator, game planner, play caller, and gives his team an advantage in every game with his aggressive game management.

-And finally, there’s Carson Wentz. He’s an MVP caliber QB who might be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Wentz had an, uh, interesting offseason, any competitor is going to use that as extra motivation.

Hmm. Maybe it’s not that bold of a prediction.

Matt Harkenreader (@Harks119)

Rasul Douglas leads the team with 8 interceptions.

I was mildly surprised to hear that Sidney Jones had won the starting job outright coming out of camp. I’ve always been a big believer in ‘Sul - he might not be the fastest player, and he might get burned sometimes, but he sure knows how to pick off a pass. Jones might get the nod early on, but it will be difficult to keep Rasul off the field as he is team’s most reliable ballhawk. Starting out with playing time in red zone situations where his lack of speed is not a factor, his impact will eventually lead to him supplanting Jones as the full-time starter by midseason. I suppose a secondary bold prediction wrapped up with this is that Mills finds himself relegated to a backup role coming back from injury - the starting cornerback group of Douglas, Darby, and Maddox will be performing too well to justify a switch, allowing Rasul to pick up five of his eight interceptions in the back half of the season. This will help the team claim an NFC East title for the second time in three years.

Lee Sifford (@LeeSifford)

Nelson Agholor leads Eagles WRs in receptions and receiving yards

While Zach Ertz will almost certainly lead the team in all meaningful receiving categories, Nelson Agholor has found himself in a position to succeed entering his fifth NFL season. Last season, Agholor, who ultimately lost a good deal of targets to Golden Tate, managed to rack up 97 targets, good for second-most on the team behind Ertz. While Nick Foles and Alshon Jeffery seemed to have great chemistry, the same is simply not true between Carson Wentz and Jeffery. With the addition of a legitimate deep threat in DeSean Jackson, the middle of the field will be wide open for Carson Wentz to throw to both Ertz and Agholor at will. Just in time for a new contract, 2019 is the season Agholor will finally break the mark of 75 catches and 1000 receiving yards, indicating he is capable of being a true WR1.

Tyler Jackson (@TjackRH)

Fletcher Cox wins Defensive Player of the Year

I believe this is the year Cox finally gets the consideration he deserves, and nabs that DPOY award. The Eagles are realistically a team that can win 13 or 14 games, and with that comes a lot of notoriety. Carson Wentz already tops a lot of MVP lists, but the defensive side of the ball should get some love too provided they pull their weight. Add in the fact that from a pass rushing standpoint, the Eagles have arguably the deepest and most talented group they've had in the trenches with the ability to go two deep anywhere on the line. I believe Malik Jackson and a healthy Tim Jernigan as well as the plethora of edge rushers frees up more one-on-one opportunities. The offseason foot surgery could lead to a slow start, but I do feel like there's an opportunity for 15 sacks, which would vault Cox to the top of the discussion with Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack. Plus Washington plans to start Ereck Flowers at guard.....

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What are YOUR fearless predictions for the upcoming season?