The Philadelphia Eagles are not the team you think of when NFC East contenders are mentioned but, to not be mentioned shows a blatant disrespect for the talent they have put together. The Eagles have missed the playoffs the last two seasons as former HC Chip Kelly tore apart what was essentially a championship team, but he’s gone. The Eagles, who have cleaned house are ready to make a run towards the East crown.
Here are the three reason why the Eagles will win the NFC East.
Pederson is not the second coming of Bill Walsh but he will provide the Eagles with the type of offense that will wear defenses down. In Kansas City he had the displeasure of dealing with Alex Smith, while Sam Bradford is not Peyton Manning, if given the right system he can provide solid numbers, should he stay healthy. What Pederson didn’t have with the Chiefs he will have with the Eagles. The Chiefs defense was one of the best in the league, the Eagles, one of the worst.
Pederson is an offensive-mined coach and with WRs Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Dorial Beckham-Green and TEs, Brent Celek and Zach Ertz Pederson will have the receivers he didn’t have in KC to employ a West Coast, Dink, and Dump style that will have the chains moving. If RBs Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles can continue to contribute as they did last season, there may be great things on store for the offense.
The Division Is Not That Good
The NFC East is always a deadly battle, but lately, it’s been a who will be healthy at the end of the season type of debate. Last season the Washington Redskins took the crown as the Eagles were dealing with internal issues, the Giants defense was full of 3rd stringers, and the Cowboys were missing their starting QB and WR. Not saying the Redskins weren’t good, but they took advantage of a weak division.
2016 will be different as the cards are stacked once again. The Giants still have defensive issues, and their ground game is still on shaky ground with not one strong back they can turn to when they need that extra push. The Cowboys are an enigma as they have rested their success on the back of Tony Romo again and with his injury in Thursday’s preseason game they may have made a mistake. The Redskins won the division last season in large part to luck and timing. With the other teams having issues they took advantage but the Skins are notorious for having one good year then falling part the following.
The Eagles will play six playoff teams from the last season in 2016 with one being the Redskins. They have non-divisional away games against the Seahawks, Ravens, Bengals. Lions and Bears. Out of those teams, there are only two that made the postseason. The Seahawks will be a great game, and the Bengals will be a tough out. At home, they will have the Steelers, Vikings, and Packers. Their non-divisional schedule will be tight, but if they can run the ball effectively, the Eagles should win five out of the eight. Of course, the rivalries remains with the East. The Eagles have had the Giants numbers the last few years; the Cowboys will not be a factor this season, and the Redskins have put all their trust in Kirk Cousins who might resemble the 2nd year of RG3.
The Eagles may not be the clear-cut favorite in many eyes, but they do have the talent, and now an HC that has spent years in the NFL and knew how to treat his players. His offense will not average 400 yards per game, but if executed correctly the Eagles will have a great chance of winning the clock control in any game. The defense is still a mystery but so is 80% of every NFL team’s defense.
If Bradford can keep the turnovers to a minimum, Pederson’s scheme will take care of the rest. Their schedule has a few cupcake games, and they could be looking at a 6-2 record by the midway point of the season. The Redskins are picked to win the division, but this is still one of the tightly contested in the league, anything can happen so why not show some love to the Eagles who 1-53 many have a better roster than the others in the division.