After what seemed like an eternity this offseason, the NFL is set to kickoff this weekend starting tonight with a rematch of the infamous “Replacement Ref” scandal as the Green Bay Packers visit the Superbowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.
The Philadelphia Eagles kickoff their season hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. After an offseason full of countless highs and lows in entertainment, the Eagles can now prepare to defend as NFC East Champions.
Lets take a look at five bold predictions on what may happen when the Eagles take the field this Sunday.
Darren Sproles Leads Eagles in Total Yards
One of head coach Chip Kelly’s newest toys, running back Darren Sproles will explode out of the gates as Kelly channels his inner Sean Payton and allows Sproles to prove that age is just a number. We have yet to see what kind of plays and schemes that Kelly has in mind for Sproles as the Eagles’ preseason gameplans were far from complex. Expect Kelly’s up-tempo offense to find ways to create mismatches with Sproles against the Jaguars linebackers for quarterback Nick Foles to exploit.
It’s important to keep in mind the Eagles’ no-huddle offense prevents substitutions on both sides of the ball. That means with LeSean McCoy as the undisputed starter, Sproles will have to make the most of his opportunities when they are presented. He may only get in a few plays on each series, but if he finds early success on some of these drives, Sproles could be the lucky beneficiary of the lack of substitutions.
The Eagles have already anointed Nolan Carroll the starting kickoff returner as rookie Josh Huff returns from injury, but Sproles could likely see some time returning punts. Sproles experienced moderate success averaging over 8.3 yards per return with a long of 72 yards during his time with the New Orleans Saints. After combining Sproles’ versatility rushing, receiving, and returning the football, he stands to have a great chance to lead the Eagles in total yards this week.