The unfortunate reality is that many Eagles fans are looking at this upcoming season as almost a “gap” year for the Eagles with having to wait a year or two to see their future franchise QB start. It’s a sad reality, but as covered in a previous article, sitting Wentz year one is the right move to make by Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman. The expectations are low for the Eagles this year, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to be excited about, here are 5 reasons to be excited for this upcoming season!
1) Chip Kelly is gone
This is something that Eagles fans should especially be excited about; it is going to be the most exciting part about this season. The three-year experiment that Kelly conducted on the Eagles organization turned out be a colossal failure. The uptempo offense he brought to the league from his Oregon Ducks in college did not translate to the NFL in the slightest of ways. Aside from his short-term success in year one, he wore down the Eagles defense with consecutive three and outs. He also stripped the Eagles of their key players on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Especially two of the most beloved players by Eagles fans; Jeremy Maclin and Lesean McCoy. His “scheme over team” philosophy failed and ultimately crippled the Eagles playmaking ability during his reign over the Eagles organization.
2) The NFC East is wide open
Many analysts have the Cowboys as a lock to waltz their way to the NFC East division crown. They are considered, because of their “big 3” in Romo, Bryant, and Elliott. There seems to always be tons of hype surrounding Dallas at the beginning of every season by the media. Do remember that their defense ranked 17th in the league last season while allowing 23.4 Pts/G. In addition, lots of players in their front seven got suspended in the offseason, which will obviously affect there already weak pass rush. Looking around the rest of the division, the Giants moved laterally this offseason, as they usually do. They had some good FA defensive acquisitions, except yet again, they neglected their formidable O-Line weakness. If Eli isn’t protected and their defense acquired through FA doesn’t gel, it will be hard for them to even reach 8-8 this season. The team everyone should be scared of in the division are the Redskins. They actually have stability at QB for once in a long, long time. They are the most balanced team in the East right now, but there are no guarantees how much production they will get out of their playmakers on offense. It’s a wide open division this year, meaning the Eagles have a fair shot at winning it.
3) Eagles O-Line is much improved from last season
In FA this year, the Eagles added Brandon Brooks from the Texans who will patch up one guard position on the line. He is only 26, with some injuries, but still a good talent and can be a solid starter on the line. The Eagles also drafted Isaac Seumalo from Oregon State in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft who can also become a starter. If the Eagles want a more experienced player, then it looks like its Allen Barbe’s job to lose. Overall, the line will be better this season (barring injuries) and that will supplement both the running and passing game while keeping Bradford healthy.
4) The Defense has the potential to be a Top 10 Defense in the NFL
The Eagles defense is shaping to be a formidable force that will haunt Quarterbacks for years to come. The Front Seven that Roseman and the Eagles Front Office has put together the past few years is one of the best in the entire league. Headed by Pro-Bowl DE Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, and Bennie Logan, and also supplemental players like Taylor Hart will surely get to the QB and help stuff the run. The LB core is going to be very exciting this season. Kendricks will have a bounce-back year and Hicks will continue right where he left off when he get injured last season. Along with other FA signings, it’s looking very impressive. For once in a long while, the Eagles have a fighting chance with their secondary. They’re young, talented, and hungry to be playmakers. This is especially so for the Safety duo of Jenkins and McLeod, who have the potential to be one of the top duos in the league.
5) The Franchise is coming out of its depression
With Chip Kelly out and the drafting of future QB Carson Wentz, it’s safe to say that the Eagles are starting their slow ascent back into playoff contention. Sure, there will be many growing pains over the next few years with Wentz, but it’s going to be exciting. It should be a peace of mind for Eagles fans that the Eagles are getting better as a young team with lots of talent. Anything can happen with young players, and I believe that the same goes for the Eagles this season.
For the first time in years, the Eagles have a future, talent, and a young franchise QB. Enjoy the ride for this upcoming season and the next few years to come, it’s going to be a crazy, exciting ride.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison’s “Sam Bradford” on Flickr