With two of the NFL’s best squaring off at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey in a couple weeks, it got me thinking… What separates the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks from the Philadelphia Eagles? The more I searched for an answer I was mainly left in awe about high stacked both of these rosters truly are. There is not a man on Seattle’s defense that any team wouldn’t die to have and Denver’s offense has too many weapons to count. But I truly believe that Philadelphia is not that far off from having one of the more talented rosters, especially with some key touch ups.
This week, I’ll take the time to list what I think the Philadelphia Eagles need no improvement on.
Right Tackle Lane Johnson was a great first round pick by the Birds last season. He meshed well with this already talented group and did a fantastic job blocking this season. As for returning offensive linemen Jason Peters, Todd Herremans, Jason Kelce, and Evan Mathis, their performance was nothing short of spectacular. The five started ALL seventeen of the Eagles’ games and created a very solid unit upfront which allowed quarterback Nick Foles to develop the way he did.
The tandem of running backs LeSean McCoy, Chris Polk, and Bryce Brown is one of the best groups in the NFL. McCoy had a huge breakout year leading the league in rushing yards and helped carry this number four ranked offense. Brown and Polk were very powerful backs which proved to be key contributors in different situations. It’s no wonder the Eagles led the league in rushing.
The progression of rookie tight end Zach Ertz was crucial to this team’s success later down the stretch. Alongside the seasoned tight end Brent Celek, the two were two huge safety cushions Foles could hit at any time.
Defensive ends Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, and Cedric Thornton were outstanding at getting to the quarterback for the majority of the season. Their play was a huge reason the Eagles’ defense ended up playing much better ball the latter half of the season. Nose tackle Bennie Logan ended up beating out veteran Isaac Sopoaga for the job and did a great job for the men up front in his starting role. Other than against the Dallas Cowboys in Week Seventeen, this defensive line was terrorizing opposing quarterbacks with pressure and forcing big plays.
Outside linebackers Trent Cole and Connor Barwin were outstanding at helping bring the heat with different blitz packages and did a great job hustling to help cover when necessary. Inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks is a fast, play making defensive stud. Although he still has room for improvement, he will continue to thrive in defensive coordinator Billy Davis’ system. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans did an excellent job throughout his probowl-worthy season. He led the defense in tackles with 127 and constantly made the proper adjustments to put the Birds in a proper position to play some solid defense.
A forgotten position on a lot of rosters, the Eagles have an incredible punter in Donnie Jones. An offense can have incredible confidence in taking shots if they know that their punter can pin the opposing team deep in their territory if they fail and that’s just what this Eagles team had. Jones constantly bailed the offense out with his monster kicks including a very crucial punt in the game against the Cowboys which helped the Birds push themselves into the playoffs.
All in all, I think given the talent the Eagles have, they’re in very good shape for the future. Tune in next week for improvements!