The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t lose much from last season, and coming out of the offseason, they actually appear stronger than they did before. Provided, letdowns happen all the time in the NFL, and the largest falls come with the greatest expectations. But if Carson Wentz comes back at full health, then there’s no reason to put the Eagles back where they were last year: At the top of the NFC.
Perhaps the biggest loss for the Eagles after the 2017 season wasn’t even a player departure; It was Carson Wentz. The Eagles did lose key contributors such as Trey Burton (although they replaced him with Dallas Goedert) and Patrick Robinson to free agency. Robinson, in particular, had a breakout year in the Eagles’ secondary, althgouh everyone behind the defensive line, in that defense, is a beneficiary of Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Brandon Graham, and Derek Barnett.
The Eagles’ front seven returns in full force this year, and with new additions such as Michael Bennett and Josh Sweat, who should only add to the unit’s ferocity and depth, keeping players fresh and ready to impose their will on the pocket. The Eagles’ offense returns much of the same firepower from last year, all devolved into a masterful offensive scheme concocted by Doug Pederson.
Of all the teams in the NFL, after the offseason, the Eagles are still most deserving of a No. 1 ranking in the NFL. There are concerns surrounding the team’s secondary; their cornerback group features young and unproven players such as Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, and 2018 rookie Avonte Maddox. But any concerns in that area should be nullified by the team’s dominant front seven. The Super Bowl roster from a year ago is still very much in tact. The biggest question facing the Eagles, by far, is Carson Wentz’s health.
Wentz tore his ACL against the Rams last season, ending his hopes at personally leading the Eagles to a title in 2017. Nick Foles finished the job for him, highlighting not just how dominant the team’s defense was, but also how quarterback-friendly their scheme was as well.
That said, the Eagles can’t start with Nick Foles and expect to win thirteen games again. Carson Wentz showed, in an NFL MVP-worthy 2017 campaign, that he is one of only a few quarterbacks in the NFL who possesses proven franchise-driving talent. If Wentz is on track to return early in the 2018 season (reports say he is), then there’s no reason not to believe that the Eagles will be the team to beat for seventeen weeks this coming fall.