Ten Questions About the Eagles


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In a different time, I would’ve told you that any NFL squad with questions going into the season isn’t good enough to win a championship. Reality says i’m wrong there though. In a salary cap sport, every team will have some weak spots, the question is if that team can overcome them and win football games. To be fair to Chip Kelly, so far in his NFL career as a head coach, he’s overcome the weaknesses, for the most part. His teams are 20-12, and have a division title, but haven’t won many “big” games, and no playoff games. As he enters year three, there are questions about how his squad will do.

Chip took a roster that he inherited to that 20-12 record, but came to the determination that the roster he had wouldn’t win a Super Bowl. Chip has a point there, as the team he had, hadn’t won a playoff game since 2008. With a track record like that, he felt it was fair to roll the dice and bring a new group together, and see if he can’t build a contender. I personally haven’t totally bought into the moves he made, but I certainly buy into his sentiment that the team needed change. I just don’t see the need to buy in yet, until I see more from Chip’s new squad.

So, with that uncertain starting point, here are my ten questions that will dictate the outcome of the 2015-2016 season.

  1. Is the Offensive Line Deep Enough?- Without question for me, the most questionable of all the off-season moves was simply cutting Evan Mathis, a pro-bowl caliber lineman. This team will return just three of the opening day 2013 starters, and didn’t make a big splash in the off-season here. Could they be good enough? Yes, if they have perfect health. Championships are won in the trenches for a reason though, and bad health is usually a reason they aren’t won.
  2. Will the quarterbacks be good?- This isn’t just a matter of Sam Bradford, or Mark Sanchez, or who wins the job. I am of the opinion that in the NFL, you have to have a good back-up too, because injuries aren’t uncommon. Maybe the Patriots and Broncos have been able to get away with playing one guy in the past, but that is not normal. Between Bradford and Sanchez, can they stay healthy, and can they put up the kind of numbers a first-division QB puts up? This may decide things.
  3. Safety?- I just leave it at “safety?” because I don’t think we know what they’re going to end up doing here. They made some changes here, but not the kind where you just take it for granted that they’re better. The Eagles desperately need to see improvement here this year, even if this remains a weakness on this team.
  4. How good is the defensive front?- I love the linebacking rotation, if they are healthy. I am excited about what the defensive line can do. If this unit is truly elite, the Eagles could be very good.
  5. Will the special teams repeat 2014?- Last year the Eagles were able to stay in some games they were overmatched in, mostly because of big plays by the special teams. Can they possible repeat that performance?
  6. Are the Receivers Any Good?- In two years, the Eagles have let two Pro-Bowl wideouts walk. Their top two weapons go into the season as a second year player and a rookie. Their third receiver is old, or Riley Cooper. Even if the QB play is good, they need guys to throw to, beyond a tight end.
  7. Is DeMarco Capable of a Repeat?- DeMarco Murray won the NFL rushing title last year, behind an offensive line that is probably the best in football. He ran the ball more than anybody else too. Can he come close to repeating that performance? My sense is that it will be hard. If he does, the Eagles should be good.
  8. Is Maxwell a #1 corner?- Byron Maxwell is a huge pick up for the Eagles, but let’s not kid ourselves- he’s never been the #1 guy. He’ll now be guarding top receiver assignments, which are tough in the NFC East.
  9. What will the play calling look like?- Chip no longer has the same personnel that he did before. Will this change his play calling? We know his pace won’t change, and things like that, but will they run the ball more, or less now? Throw more?
  10. Is the schedule really “easy?”- I know, the AFC East hasn’t stood out past New England in recent years. The NFC South looked terrible last year. There is an assumption that this schedule is pretty easy. Two Dallas games, New England, Detroit, Arizona, and Carolina- that’s the playoff teams the Eagles will face. The presumption is that this is an easy schedule, and on paper it looks it. We all know the NFL isn’t the same two straight years though.
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