Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) leaves the field after the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints at Lincoln Financial Field. The New Orleans Saints won the game 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

NFC East Will Be Hard To Retain For Philadelphia Eagles


The Philadelphia Eagles exceeded many expectations last year, by winning the NFC East Championship in new Eagles’ Head Coach Chip Kelly’s rookie season. The Philadelphia Eagles head into the 2014 season as many pundits’ favourites for the Divisional title once again. However, the Eagles may not have things all their own way in the coming season.

Last season, the Philadelphia Eagles benefitted from career years from the likes of Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, running back LeSean McCoy, Eagles center Jason Kelce and ex-Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, yet only won the division in the final week. Will all of these players be able to play at the same level in 2014?

The team also remained remarkably healthy. Philadelphia Eagles Safety Earl Wolff missed a few games with a niggling hamstring injury, starting quarterbacks Michael Vick and Nick Foles missed a couple of games each, whilst wide receiver Jeremy Maclin missed the season with a torn ACL. These were the only key injuries that the team faced. Very few other teams in the NFL boasted similar injury records. Again, is that likely to continue next season?

The Philadelphia Eagles were also fortunate enough to be competing against three unusually poor teams last season. The Washington Redskins had injury concerns all season, particularly over their star quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Redskins also struggled with locker room harmony, leading to the firing of Head Coach Mike Shanahan at the end of the season.

The Dallas Cowboys were the Eagles’ strongest rivals last season, heading into the final game of the season as their only title rivals. The Cowboys entered that divisional title game without their star quarterback, Tony Romo, who was missing with a back injury. They entered the game with back up quarterback Kyle Orton, who had only played a few minutes throughout the season leading up to the key match up. The Cowboys defense also struggled under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who has since been demoted following a disastrous season.

The New York Giants also had a difficult season. Quarterback Eli Manning reverted to an interception machine and the roster struggled again with injuries and inconsistencies. A lack of depth throughout the roster highlighted the deficiencies on the Giants roster.

All three rivals have been active over the offseason, with the Redskins and Giants in particular getting much stronger. The Giants signed twenty-three players in three agency, greatly adding to the depth of their roster. Much rests on quarterback Eli Manning returning to form, hence the signing of Green Bay Packers’ quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo to be the Giants new offensive coordinator. I can’t see the Giants being as bad in 2014 as they were in 2013.
The Redskins have added firepower to their team, signing ex-Eagles star wide receiver DeSean Jackson. If new Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden can manage the locker room, the Redskins could have a very scary offense next year with wide receivers Jackson and Pierre Garcon alongside running back Alfred Morris.

Finally, the Eagles will also face a first-placed schedule next season. This includes games against the likes of champions Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers.

At this stage in the offseason, making predictions is almost worthless. After the draft we will have a much clearer idea about where the teams are headed. However, the NFC East will be amongst the hardest divisions to predict in football next season. Hopefully things will fall into place and the Eagles will continue to grow under Head Coach Chip Kelly.
However, imagine if the Eagles offense struggles in the early games whilst DeSean Jackson scores multiple touchdowns for the Redskins. The pressure would well and truly be on.

I can’t wait to see how this season unfolds.

 

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  • Ryan

    you make it sound like the rest of the division doesn’t have to play the 49ers and seahawks as well.

  • Owen Lloyd

    Fair point. Still think it will be difficult for the Eagles next season. A much harder challenge than 2013, when it seemed that the whole NFC East was on a down.

  • David

    The NFC will be average to terrible until they prove otherwise. Its not like the iggles dominated anything last year. They were 1-4 against playoff teams with the lone win against GB without Rodgers. Id like to see how Foles does his 2nd year before anointing the iggles the king of the East again. I mean look what happened to rgme when teams had a year of film on him and adapted to the read. He sucked and got benched. With the iggles losing Djax and counting on an oft injured Maclin and a potential another 1 year wonder in Cooper, that could be an issue as well. This division should be average again until proven otherwise.

  • joe

    There’s much more to the eagles offense than the option and read including the zone read run game, zone read option run, option, read option, spread etc… Defenses and their coordinators especially rob ryan looked baffled lol. If our defense steps up and our offense is still lethal as it should be with sproles and whoever we draft, we’re competing period. Good luck.

  • joe

    Also if Foles played from the start I bet we could’ve beaten the chargers and chiefs, maybe even Denver.

  • David

    Rob Ryan looked baffled??? Foles had 195 yards passing with an average of 5.9 yards per attempt. McCoy had 77 yards and averaged 3.7 yards a carry. Yeah he was baffled…LOL..The iggles lost at home to one of the worst road teams in the league thats a playoff calibur team.

  • MIKE MACAULAY

    you mean you don’t expect for Foles to go for 27-2 again with a 119 passer rating?

  • Ryan

    You relies that the zone read covers everything you just wrote you just did it with different word combos the only other “zone” thing is zone blocking in the running game. If you disagree please explain what the differences between all those words you wrote were

  • Ryan

    And it’s the read option not the option and read

  • Ryan

    What are you doing stealing my name

  • Scott.

    Cowboy fan here hating the moves you’ll have made. Definetly you’ll are the team to beat. Only question I have is with tape to review will foles repeat .