2017 NFL Preseason Outlooks: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (NFC East)
2016 record: 7-9 (2-4 in division)
KEY ADDITIONS: WR Alshon Jeffery, WR Torrey Smith, (R) DE Derek Barnett, DE Chris Long, RB LeGarrette Blount, OG Chance Warmack
KEY DEPARTURES: CB Leodis McKelvin, CB Nolan Carroll, DE Connor Barwin, DT Bennie Logan
2016 SEASON RECAP
Prior to the 2016 season QB Carson Wentz was set up for a redshirt season where he would learn from QBs Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel. Then Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater tore up his knee and before you knew it Bradford was headed to Minneapolis while Daniel remained #2 and Wentz leap frogged him to the #1 QB spot. Wentz showed signs of greatness at times but also showed that he was a rookie at times. The 2016 Eagles wasn’t stock piled with talent but the was obviously behind Wentz 100%.
TE Zach Ertz led the team in receiving with 816 yards and 4 TDs while WR Jordan Matthews was a close 2nd with 804 yards and 3 TDs. A suspended RT in Lane Johnson and banged up LT in Jason Peters really hurt Wentz in his first year. The lack of a running game and WRs inability to haul in on target passes also hurt him. The team did have one of the top safety tandems in the league with Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. There just wasn’t enough positives for Philly last year as they ended the year at 7-9 and last in the division.
2017 SEASON PREVIEW
The Eagles come into 2017 with hopes of making the playoffs. The addition of veteran skill positions coupled with a full off season of preparation for Carson Wentz could spell an up tick in wins for the Birds of brotherly love. The NFC East has again became one of the tougher divisions in football after a few down years. Head Coach Doug Pederson and his Variation of the west coast offense should be able to produce better results with better talent but it still remains to be seen.
Starting the season with 4 of their first 6 games on the road could be troublesome for the Eagles but they have to start fast because after their tough road stretch early they end the season with 5 of their last 7 games against 2016 playoff teams. Newly signed RB LeGarrette Blount will be a huge piece for them this season, a consistent running game takea the pressure off a young QB and it shortens a game. They will need to control the ball in 2017 to get wins.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Carson Wentz, RB LeGarrette Blount, TE Zach Ertz, WR Alshon Jeffery, (R) DE Derek Barnett, DT Fletcher Cox, (R) CB Rasul Douglas
2017 RECORD PREDICTION
7 – 9