With the Eagles about to enter into a rebuilding phase, and marking the beginning of the Nick Sirianni era in Philadelphia, the Eagles are expected to finish dead last in the NFC East for a second consecutive season.
While it is a fair acquisition, there are reasons for hope on why the Eagles could possibly win the division this upcoming season.
The return of Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson
Last season, the Eagles gave up the most sacks in the NFL. A large part of that was because of the absences of their two All-Pro offensive lineman in Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson.
Brooks missed the whole season because of a torn achilles that he suffered during offseason workouts, and Johnson missed nine games due to a nagging ankle injury that would eventually require season ending surgery.
As a result, the Eagles offensive line was in complete dysfunction. They used a NFL record fourteen different line combinations in sixteen games. The only starter to remain healthy throughout the whole season was Jason Kelce.
The team’s offense has played exceptionally well with Johnson and Brooks healthy and playing. In 2017, they had one of the more lethal offenses in the league because the two managed to stay healthy throughout the season. The Eagles don’t win the Super Bowl without them.
With the return of both, expect the Eagles to have one of the best offensive lines in all of football, which will ultimately result in much better offensive play compared to last season and more wins.
The Dreaded NFC East
While the three other teams in the division made solid improvements to improve their rosters, there is still so much uncertainty hovering over each squad.
The Giants made some big additions this offseason with the acquisitions of Kenny Golladay, Adoree’ Jackson, and the draft selection of wide receiver Kadarius Toney from Florida.
Their offense is loaded with weapons featuring Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, and the return of Saqoun Barkley. They had one of the better defenses last season, and now with the addition of Jackson expect the defensive unit to be even better.
One slight problem, Daniel Jones declined in his second season. He did have an entirely new coaching staff in a shortened offseason due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the question still remains on whether or not he can become the team’s next franchise quarterback, and in his first two seasons under the helm he has not shown that.
Ultimately, the Giants season will be dictated on the growth and development of Daniel Jones.
After winning the division last season with a 7–9 record, the Washington Football Team looks to win back-to-back division titles. The last time a team repeated in the division was back in 2004 when the Eagles won the division four years in a row.
Their defensive unit will be one of the best if not the best in the league this season with head coach Ron Rivera leading the unit.
The offense is loaded with talented playmakers in Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas, Antonio Gibson, and the additions of Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries. The offensive line features two pro bowlers in Brandon Sherff and the newly acquired Charles Leno jr. from the Bears.
Ultimately, the reason why I don’t see this team repeating is because of the quarterback position. They added longtime veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick who has bounced around from team to team over his sixteen year career.
While he is an incredible leader who earns everyone’s respect, he is a mediocre quarterback at best and always has been.
On paper, the Cowboys are the most talented team in the division. Their offense will be lethal with the return of Dak Prescott.
They posses elite playmakers in Amari Cooper, Micheal Gallup, Ceedee Lamb, and they have one of the best running backs in the league in Ezekiel Elliot.
They have a stout offensive line that features Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and La’el Collins.
They made upgrades to the defense with the additions of Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee, and they selected linebacker Micah Parsons out of Penn State.
While these additions are promising, questions remain on whether or not the secondary can hold up, especially when going up against the elite playmakers that this division has to offer.
The defensive line remains a major concern for this squad. Their best pass rusher in Demarcus Lawrence has not lived up to that hefty contract that he was given two years ago.
Every other player on that line doesn’t pose a real threat to an opposing team’s offensive line. The front office made no additions to a defensive line that was only tied for 20th in sacks last season.
NFL’s Easiest Schedule
The Eagles have the league’s easiest schedule. Their opponents have a combined .430 win percentage which is ranked dead last in the league.
Outside of their own division which we all know was absolutely horrific last season, they start out the season playing the Falcons in Atlanta, who finished dead last in the NFC South with a 4–12 record.
Staying in the NFC South, they’ll go up against a rebuilding Panthers squad that finished 5–11 last season.
Throughout the season, they will play multiple teams who finished as division basement dwellers last season in the Lions, Broncos, Falcons, 49ers, and Jets.