ESPN analysts pick three potential surprise teams that could challenge the Eagles in NFC

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers / Kayla Wolf/GettyImages
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The Eagles' toughest challenge in the NFC may be a team that we currently aren't discussing.

When the 2023 NFL season begins, every team in the NFC will look to knock the Philadelphia Eagles off the mountaintop and try to bring the George Halas Trophy back to their city. As the offseason rolls on, the usual contenders dominate discussions, the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys for instance. Both will be factors as we endure the journey.

The 49ers have been a mainstay in the playoffs during recent years. They own the pieces needed to build a championship contender. They are home to a top-five defense, a proven rushing attack, and skilled receivers who could do damage after catching the ball. There are two questions that need to be answered though. Who will be their quarterback? Can they limit the injuries they seem to rack up every year?

Speaking of annual occurrences, every offseason we are told that this is the year for the Dallas Cowboys, but the championship run never happens. They have the pieces. Dak Prescott is good enough at quarterback. Tony Pollard leads their running game, but despite solid pieces on the defensive side of the ball, Mike McCarthy and the Boys will find a way to mess things up. Again, we have seen this movie before.

ESPN's highly popular First Take crew discussed a little football on Wednesday. Stephen A. Smith, Keyshawn Johnson, and Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo were all asked to pick a surprise team to challenge the Birds this season. The answers were interesting. Two picked teams from the NFC North, and one picked a challenger from the NFC South. Watch the full clip below.

Let's dig a little deeper. Here is a look at the three teams mentioned and theories on how realistic each of those predictions are.