The Philadelphia Eagles had one of their worst seasons in recent memory since winning the Super Bowl in 2018, which led to them parting ways with head coach Doug Pederson and trading away quarterback Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts.
The Eagles will now usher in a new era of football under the direction of first-year head coach Nick Sirianni and second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts. There isn’t a lot expected from this Eagles’ team, who has a good mixture of veteran and young players. Philadelphia will hope to improve from last year’s record of 4-11-1 and be competitive in the NFC East in 2021.
4-11-1, 4th in NFC East
Points: 26.1 points per game, rank 20th
Yards: 5.5 yards per play, rank 14th (tie with 6 teams)
Football Outsiders Ranking: 15th
Points: 20.9 points per game, rank 26th
Yards: 5.0 yards per play, rank 28th (tie)
Football Outsiders Ranking: 28th
Super Bowl: +7000
AFC/NFC Champion: +3000
Win Total: 6.5 (Over -150, Under +123)
The biggest offseason move outside of hiring a new head coach was the trade of Carson Wentz. Wentz’s production last season completely fell by the wayside and played a large role in the team’s struggles. The Eagles will now see if Jalen Hurts is the guy, who showed flashes of brilliance last season in four games.
Now granted, his completion percentage was not the greatest at 52% last season and he had nine fumbles. However, those mistakes can be corrected with a full-offseason and pre-season, we should see growth. Hurts’ life under center should be easier this season with a healthy offensive line and the addition of Devonta Smith in the first round. The Eagles and their fans hope that Smith’s rookie season will not be like Jalen Reagor’s first season. And at the same time, they hope that Reagor can emerge as the team’s second best wide receiver.
Defensively, there will be a few new faces on that side of the ball as the Eagles did not bring back Jalen Mills. They instead signed Anthony Harris to a one-year deal, who be able to hold down the safety position with Rodney McLeod.
At linebacker, Philadelphia also signed Eric Wilson from the Minnesota Vikings, who could end up as their starting middle linebacker. New defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon will have a task in front of him as he tries to improve this defense, which finished 20th in the NFL with 26.1 points per game.
Biggest question entering training camp
The biggest question entering camp will be Jalen Hurts and if he can solidify his spot as the Eagles’ new franchise quarterback. Many mock drafts have the Eagles taking a quarterback in the 2022 draft, which would be less than ideal. A couple other questions will be who will make squad at wide receiver, specifically former second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who will be entering his third season. There’s also questions surrounding the future of All-Pro tight end Zach Ertz and if he’ll still be around. And lastly, what will the Eagles do at the second outside cornerback spot? They have Darius Slay but did not address the position in free agency, but instead drafted rookie Zech McPherson out of Texas Tech.
What needs to happen for the Eagles to win the Super Bowl?
It will take a miracle for the Eagles to win a Super Bowl in 2021 just because they are really young at QB and WR and there are still questions at cornerback. Also, no one knows exactly how Nick Sirianni will do as a first-time head coach. It will take massive collapse in the NFC East, which is certainly possible for the Eagles to make any noise in 2021.
This isn’t so much of a rebuilding year, its more so a retool year to see where the team is at and the holes they still need to address. With Hurts at QB, Miles Sanders at RB, and Smith at WR, we could see a ton of exciting plays from this offseason. If the Eagles can at least finish the season with 8 wins that would be a success and something to build on towards 2022.