The many naysayers who believe the Eagles have no chance to win the Super Bowl this season are not thinking logically. These so-called experts prefer to believe the defense isn’t good enough, or the quarterback is a one-year wonder, or the coach is due for a major comeuppance.
But here’s what the skeptics are not considering. After a remarkable 10-6 season, the 2014 Eagles are returning with:The smartest coach in the NFL,the most efficient quarterback,the best running back, an improved defense and of course, no Patrick Chung.
There are really only two major concerns entering the season thatbegins Sunday against Jacksonville at Lincoln Financial Field – injuries and the kicker.
These Eagles are not deep enough to lose their biggest weapon, running back LeSean McCoy – or Jeremy Maclin, Jason Peters, DeMeco Ryans or Malcolm Jenkins, for that matter. The drop-off at any of those positions would dip the Birds below championship-caliber.
Above all, concerns about the kicking game are going to haunt the team all season.
Please note that the starting quarterback, Nick Foles, is not listed among those indispensible players. If Mark Sanchez proved anything in this endless preseason, it is that coach Chip Kelly can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. In Kelly’s offense, even a recent NFL bust like Sanchez can complete 25 of 31 passes and look like Joe Montana.
That’s really where all conversation about the prospects of these Eagles must begin, with the maestro of the most exciting offense in the NFL as he enters his second season in Philadelphia. Chip Kelly managed to overcome the mess left behind by Andy Reid and won the NFC East last year. Who really is dumb enough to bet against Kelly in 2014?
In fact, because of Kelly, the injury issue might not be the fatal blow so many skeptics expect it to be. Remember, the Birds had their healthiest season in memory last year, due at least in part to Kelly’s healthy-eating, heavy-sleeping initiative. There’s genius behind those smoothies.
The biggest disappointment so far has been Kelly’s recklessness at a position – placekicker – that helped to foil the Eagles in the playoffs last season. After Alex Henery’s short kickoff led to the New Orleans’ game-winning field goal, the kicker ultimately lost his job to Cody Parkey, a big-footed, erratic rookie who was 14 for 19 last year at Auburn – including misses from 33 and 36 yards. Every field-goal attempt promises to be an adventure in 2014.
Otherwise, there is little to fear in the season that awaits our favorite football team, which has the look right now of a 12-win juggernaut. The offense seems unstoppable. The defense appears to be much better, especially with the worst player of 2013, safety Patrick Chung, 250 miles away in New England.
Ah, why not? Naysayers be damned, it says here that the Eagles are going to win it all this season.