The purpose of these previews is to provide a quick and dirty look at what the outlook is for each NFL team in 2019 according to my own philosophies and hot takes when it comes to pro football. That said, let’s take a quick report card look at where we came from, what’s expected, and the logic that drives my principles when evaluating NFL teams.
|Division Odds (Moneyline)||:||-110|
|2018 Rank Rushing Yds/Gm||:||28|
|2018 Rank Against the Run||:||7|
|2018 Rank Against the Pass||:||30|
|Returning Starters Offense||:||10|
|Returning Starters Defense||:||7|
You may notice passing rankings are not included in my cute little NFL team report card. The reason for that is without at least one of, a top-10 ranked running game or top-10 defense, it generally does not matter how good your quarterback is. If you don’t believe me, read this genius’s irrefutable thorough analysis of elite quarterbacks, and how these two attributes correlates to their ability to win anything of note.
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Now that you’re fully indoctrinated into my non-quarterback driven league cult, let’s do a quick run down of Philadelphia’s significant roster takeaways for this season.
Impact Additions – Acquisitions that are projected to start or have major rotational roles in 2019
|4: LB Zach Brown, RB Jordan Howard, RB Miles Sanders, DT Malik Jackson|
Impact Losses – Departures that had started or had major rotational roles last season
|2: LB Jordan Hicks, DE Michael Bennett|
Difference Makers – Players who are widely considered among the best at their position heading into 2019
|9: QB Carson Wentz, WR Alshon Jeffery, TE Zach Ertz, C Jason Kelce, RG Brandon Brooks, DT Fletcher Cox, RT Lane Johnson, DE Brandon Graham, S Malcolm Jenkins|
Potential Breakout Candidates – Second or third year players that are logical selections to make “the leap” in the upcoming season based on past performance
|1: DE Derek Barnett|
How it could work
It’s impossible for it not to. Last year, the Eagles Super Bowl hangover season started slow and became decimated by insurmountable injuries. Then, all of the the sudden, it ended with a large appendage Nicholas lead march to the Divisional round. If Alshon Jeffery catches that ball, who knows how far their run would have lasted.
Regardless, there was a premium silver lining to all the bad injury luck in 2018. It forced Philly to fast track the development of younger defensive backs like Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, and Rasul Douglas. And, guess what?
Turns out, they’re all pretty fucking good! Good enough that starters Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby aren’t necessarily guaranteed their jobs back.
Now healthy, what was an area of exploitation, the secondary will be loaded in quality depth heading into 2019. And, they should all benefit from the pass rush of expected breakout star defensive end, Derek Barnett, in his third season.
Why it wouldn’t work
Beyond all the injures the defense sustained, it cannot be overstated what really caused the most issues on offense. Was Carson Wentz the same MVP caliber player in his return from injury? No. Did some missed time from Alshon Jeffery help? No.
But, as always, he missed most what is every quarterbacks best friend–2017’s 3rd ranked running game in the NFL. Jay Ajayi’s plastic knees, LeGarrette Blount’s departure, and more injuries to their backups had people like us considering starting Josh Adams in DFS last year, and clamoring fantasy waiver wires for the services of Wendell Smallwood….
The Eagles wisely addressed this by acquiring Jordan Howard via trade from the Bears, and drafting Miles Sanders in the 2nd round of April’s draft. But, they still need to prove on the field that they can once again beat teams with the run.
Or, at least improving on the 28th ranking from last year would be nice for Wentz. Speaking of him, the only other thing I can fathom for the Eagles unraveling in 2019 is that there is real truth to the Carson Wentz-being-a-giant-richard rumors. And, this whole run has really been because of Nick Fole’s large penis the entire time.
Favorite GIF to Represent Fan Base
I know. Using that GIF is a little evil. But, I’m a Lions fan. So, to hell with all of you!
Philly has the right combo of players in their primes/ascending players on the rise, and the contractual flexibility that comes along with it, that it’s Super or bust the next 2-3 seasons. Dallas isn’t far from the Eagles in talent. But, the quarterback/head coach combo gives Philly the edge for the division.
At 14/1 odds to win the Super Bowl, I’d rather have the Eagles at that payout, than the four teams Vegas has ahead of them. Put me down for over 9.5 wins, as well.
Next, we go to my neck of the woods to cover the NFC North.