The Eagles head into Carson Wentz's second season with a better set of offensive weapons and hoping to get a full season from stud right tackle Lane Johnson. But a difficult schedule and a weakness at cornerback could end up being this team's undoing.
Will the Eagles overcome the stacked schedule and earn a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2013? Let's break it down.
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|Projected wins||In playoffs||Win division||Conference||Super Bowl|
SportsLine projects a slight step up for the Eagles this year after they finished 7-9 in 2016, forecasting the team identically to the Giants, who also have an 8.1-win projection. Keep your eye out for 2/1 odds or longer to make the playoffs, as these projections would consider that a solid value play.
|Win total||Playoffs||Division||Conference||Super Bowl|
|8 (O -140)||+160||+350||20/1||40/1|
All odds via Westgate.
The Eagles upgraded their offensive weapons and will presumably get a full season out of Lane Johnson this time around, and bettors are loving the Over on eight wins with a safety net if the team finishes .500. There isn't any value to be had on taking the Eagles on any of these playoff bets.
Will Brinson defends his prediction of Eagles making the playoffs:
The Eagles defense was quietly was one of the NFL's best units last year, finishing fourth in DVOA. Adding Chris Long, Timmy Jernigan and first-round pick Derek Barnett to the defensive line only makes it a more dangerous group.
Offensively, there is a lot to like about what the Eagles did this offseason. They secured the services of LeGarrette Blount and Donnel Pumphrey, two very different running backs who will complement each other well. Alshon Jeffery isn't being given his due considering how dangerous he is at going down the field and catching contested jump balls. Carson Wentz looked like a future franchise quarterback during stretches of the season and should take a step forward -- if he does, there are an ample group of skill position players around him to reap the benefits.
Lane Johnson's presence is critical here: the Eagles were very much a different team when he was on the field and protecting Wentz. If he's back for the full 16 games, the Eagles can make a run in a division that will be closer than most predict.