Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles were not expected to do a huge amount in the NFC East.
Their great rivals the Dallas Cowboys looked far and away the best team in the division, while the Eagles, Washington and Giants all looked to be relatively poor teams on paper, making the East a weak division.
The Cowboys duly won the East with a 12-5 record, earning the third seed spot in the NFC, but they went out in the playoffs early against the San Francisco 49ers.
However, Philadelphia surprised more than a few pundits. Head coach Nick Sirianni lead his team to an impressive 9-8 record earning a Wild Card spot against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A 15-31 defeat against Tom Brady’s Bucs followed but since then the Eagles have had one of the best off-seasons of any NFL team.
All of which makes the forthcoming season very exciting if you are an Eagles fan.
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Why Have The Eagles Killed It In The Post Season?
So what is it that the Eagles have done that have earmarked them as having a great off
The list is pretty extensive:
- Superb Free Agent Retention – The Eagles had a number of needs coming into Free Agency this year and a number of players that they could have lost. However, Jason Kelce, Anthony Harris and Derek Barnett all signed back with the Eagles.
- Outstanding Trades And FA Signings – The Eagles had a clear need at Edge Rusher and addressed that by snapping up Haason Reddick from the Panthers. They added a solid back up WR in Zach Pascal from the Colts and then made the biggest move in the draft, sending one of their first round draft picks to the Titans for top quality WR A.J.Brown. The Eagles were ranked 20th for pass offense last season, so these signings offer a huge upgrade and likely an immediate improvement in both pass rush and pass catching.
- Top Quality Draft – The Eagles had two first round draft picks this year and they used them so well, picking up one of the best defensive players in the draft at 13 in Jordan Davis (after trading to move up two spots) and then trading their other first round pick for a bona-fide stud WR in A.J.Brown. However, the Eagles wisely used their four remaining picks so well too. Cam Jurgens is a very solid option at Center and can learn behind Jason Kelce for a year. Nakobe Dean was an outstanding value third-round pick at linebacker and Kyron Johnson (LB) and Grant Calcaterra (TE) also addressed depth needs in their sixth round pick.
- The Bradberry Deal – The one criticism of the Eagles during the draft and Free Agency was that they hadn’t addressed a need in the defensive backfield. However, they did that a short time later snapping up the former New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry. Not only did the Eagles get one of the best corners available in Free Agency, to pair alongside Darius Slay giving them one of the best cornerback pairings in the NFL, but in doing so they weakened one of their NFC East rivals and managed to upset a lot of Giants fans in the process.
Solid Net Gain In Postseason
Add all these different factors together and it is evident that Nick Sirianni’s team have
made serious net gains this post-season period.
Positions of weakness have been strengthened a great deal, potential areas of concern have been addressed by good value, solid recruitment and they used their draft capital very wisely to bolster their squad with some exciting young talent, including two players from the most valuable college draft class in history.
Furthermore, this is a roster of young talent and one that can grow and develop ad a team over the next few years,
Last year the Eagles were 3 games behind the Cowboys, they may have done enough to close that gap completely in the coming season.
FanDuel Sportsbook now have the Eagles at +2800 to win the Super Bowl next year and while that may be a stretch, the +210 on them winning the NFC East may well be a much more realistic betting option.