The Philadelphia Eagles finished last season with a 9-7 record and found themselves in the playoffs yet again, this time as a wild card. The (then) defending Super Bowl Champs ended their season in heartbreaking fashion. After defeating the Chicago Bears in Soldier Field, the Eagles lost to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints because of an odd decision to run a play instead of allowing the clock to run to the two-minute warning. Alshon Jeffery dropped Nick Foles’ pass and it was picked off and the season was over.
The moves the team made this offseason should give fans hope that the Eagles are in position to make another run in the playoffs this season – this time with Carson Wentz at the helm. Adding players like Desean Jackson, Malik Jackson, and Andrew Sendejo while retaining players like Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce, Ronald Darby, Nelson Agholor, and Jason Peters, the Eagles are set for another NFC East championship.
Not only is the Eagles roster stacked, the rest of the division is almost laughable. The Giants have potential to be the worst team in football after losing Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, and Landon Collins, but sticking with Eli Manning who is clearly on his last legs. If the Giants do not start and draft a QB they could have the worst record in the NFL this season. (Sorry Saquon.)
The Redskins are nothing to worry about either. Though they signed Landon Collins, they had to severely overpay to get him and it hurt them elsewhere. The Skins signed Case Keenum, which is not horrible given the circumstances, but we all know what their ceiling will be. They will have their typical 6-8 wins, and never really come close to sniffing the playoffs.
The Eagles biggest competition this season is the Cowboys. The Cowboys though have barely made any moves this offseason. They swapped out Cole Beasley for Randall Cobb, missed out on Earl Thomas, and re-signed their fullback. Their biggest move this offseason was bringing back a 36-year-old tight end from the broadcast booth. The Cowboys were talented last season, but not talented enough to just sit around and do nothing this offseason. They could contend for a wild card spot, but this team will not win more than 9 or 10 games max, but if I had to bet 8-8 sounds about right.
The main reason the Philadelphia Eagles are going to win the NFC East this season though is Carson Wentz. Wentz, who was clearly still banged up last season from his ACL injury, is expected to be fully healthy this season. When healthy, this guy is a bona fide MVP candidate. If the Eagles can get him a legitimate running back so teams need to respect the run, this team could go far in the playoffs.
One thing that worries me about Wentz is his experience in the playoffs. Due to his injuries, we have never seen Carson in a big “win or go home” game. The playoffs are a different animal and I hope, when the time comes, No. 11 can stand up to the challenge.
In a division that is so frequently characterized as being inconsistent, the Eagles will look to win their second division title in three years. While no team has won back-to-back division titles in over fifteen years, this division will be the Eagles for years to come. Carson Wentz is just that good. I think the Eagles win finish this season 12-4 and grab a first-round bye in the playoffs. Wentz will be starting in his first playoff game this season and it will be at Lincoln Financial Field.