The Philadelphia Eagles franchise has a long and storied past. The team’s history is full of despair and heartache. Eagles fans have endured through more pain than any other fan base. While there has been bad moments in the team’s history, there has also been bright spots that have given the fans hope. Since 2001 the Eagles have won 7 NFC East titles and 1 NFC Championship. The team enjoyed a lot of success during the Andy Reid- Donovan McNabb era, but they never achieved the ultimate goal of a Super Bowl Championship. The NFL Championships of 1948, 1949, and 1960 do not cut it. The Philadelphia fans have suffered long enough, it is time for this franchise to win a Super Bowl.
These 6 players will be instrumental in bringing Philadelphia it’s first Super Bowl Championship.
Sidney Jones– The corner back position is a huge question mark for the Eagles entering the 2017 season. The team has gotten terrible play from the position in recent years. A main reason for the Eagles’ lack of success has been the absence of a shut down corner. Philadelphia fans hope that Sidney Jones can become the lock down corner that they have been searching for. Jones, out of Washington, was selected in the second round (43 overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft. Jones was projected as a top 10 pick and rated by some as the best corner in the draft, before he tore his achilles tendon during Washington’s Pro Day. Jones will likely sit out most of the 2017 season, but he will be looking to make a major impact once he returns to the field. Once he is fully healthy, Jones will likely be expected to cover other team’s top receivers, as the Eagles’ top corner. Sidney Jones is a revolutionary talent with loads of potential and the ability to become a lock down corner for many years in the NFL. The only question mark that exists is his health. If Jones can get healthy and return to his elite form, he can be the solution to the Eagles’ long time problem in the secondary.
Jordan Hicks– Entering his third season in the NFL, Jordan Hicks has cemented himself as a leader on this Eagles team. Hicks was unexpectedly thrown into heavy playing time during his rookie season, which helped him adjust quickly to the NFL. Hicks was embraced by the Philadelphia fans in his second career game, as he sacked and injured Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo, ultimately leading to his departure from the league. He saw success right away, intercepting two passes and returning one for a touchdown in five games started, before an injury cut his rookie season short. Hicks gives teammate Demeco Ryans credit for his easy transition into the NFL. He says that Ryans took him under his wing and taught him what it takes to have success in the NFL. Hicks took that advice and turned in a fabulous sophomore season. He intercepted five passes and was a leading tackler on the team. It was evident that Hicks had become the leader of the defense and he had emerged as a key play maker. Jordan Hicks, the quarterback of the defense, will look to continue to lead this defense for many years to come.
Fletcher Cox– Fletcher Cox is the perfect model of consistency for this Eagles team. The defensive tackle from Mississippi State has started every game in the past four seasons for the Eagles. He was named second- team All Pro for two consecutive seasons and he was selected to the Pro Bowl two years in a row. Cox is a regular member on the NFL’s top 100 list, coming in at 38th entering the 2017 season. Cox has become one of the best defensive players in the NFL and he is still young. Cox is a ferocious pass rusher and a fierce run stopper. He gives opposing offensive lineman nightmares. Entering his sixth season, Cox still has room to improve, this is a scary thought. Although he produces on the field, Fletcher Cox needs to become a better team leader. It is unacceptable for a player of his caliber and pay class to miss any organized team activities. Hopefully this is a one time occurrence, as Cox is now back with the team for OTA’s. Moving forward, Cox is the centerpiece of the Eagles defense. Our defense’s success starts with Fletcher Cox.
Lane Johnson– The importance of Lane Johnson to the Eagles team came to the forefront during the 2016 season. Johnson was suspended 10 games for his second PED violation. The Eagles were 5–1 in the six games that Johnson started. They were 2–8 in the games that Johnson missed. This is a ginormous difference and it shows how big of a difference that one player can make. The Eagles offense missed Johnson’s steady protection from the right side. They could not run the ball successfully to that side and most of the quarterback pressure came from this side. It is important that the Eagles are able to protect their young quarterback in order to have success. Lane Johnson is the key in that protection scheme. He is one of the best offensive lineman in the NFL when able to play. He is the rock of the offense and main contributor on the line. If Lane Johnson can stay on the field and continue to dominate the Eagles will be a much better team in 2017.
Alshon Jeffery– The Eagles have lacked the presence of a true number one receiver for years. The offense had no reliable threats on the outside in 2016, possessing one of the worst receiving cores in football. Alshon Jeffery will change all of that. Jeffery is the missing piece to the Eagles offense. Jeffery is the number one receiver that Carson Wentz needs. He is an explosive game changer that can dominate defenses. He can run every route and beat defenders out on contested jump balls. Jeffery is the ultimate package at receiver, but he comes in with a few question marks. He missed eleven games in the past two seasons, due to either injury or suspension. He has been healthy so far into OTA’s and as of now, there are no suspensions seen coming his way. Jeffery is on a one year deal and will need to prove himself. If everything works out as planned, Alshon Jeffery will be torturing defenses in Philadelphia for a long time.
Carson Wentz– The obvious choice here is the franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz. The Eagles moved up to take Wentz second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. They are happy with this decision, as Wentz impressed during his rookie campaign. He has shown promise that he can become an elite quarterback. Wentz led the team to a hot start going 3–0 in his first three games. Wentz won NFL Rookie of the Week twice, NFC Offensive Player of the Week, and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month in September. After an electric start to the season, Wentz cooled down and suffered through his rookie growing pains. Some of his struggles can be blamed on bad receiver play and inconsistent protection, but they were not the entire issue. Wentz struggled with his mechanics, often overthrowing receivers or sailing balls high. He showed much promise during his rookie season, working hard to correct flaws and getting better as the season progressed. He became the unquestioned leader of the team. After the successful first season, the Eagles have gotten behind Wentz recognizing him as the team’s centerpiece. After a long off-season of perfecting his throwing mechanics, Wentz is aiming for the playoffs in his second season. He will look to build off of a strong rookie season and cement himself as an elite quarterback. The Eagles fate rests in the hands of Carson Wentz. He is the quarterback that will lead Philadelphia to glory.
Along with other key pieces such as Zach Ertz, Malcolm Jenkins, Derek Barnett, and Jordan Matthews, this young Eagles core will deliver the city of Philadelphia it’s first Super Bowl.