Whatever number you’d predicted for Eagles 2016 wins changed with Saturday’s bombshell. Time to recalculate. So grab a No. 2 pencil. For each of these 16 questions, tally a “yes” answer as a win, a “no” as a loss. Ready?
1.Suddenly, the Carson Wentz Era begins. As the season progresses, will the rookie learn to protect the football – and himself – so that games aren’t tossed away?
2.Wentz’s effectiveness relies on him staying upright. My over-under on combined starts by first-string tackles Jason Peters and Lane Johnson is 16-1/2. Are you willing to bet the over?
3.This is also the head coach’s rookie season. Will Doug Pederson more resemble the good Andy Reid (solid game prep, strong player loyalty) than the bad Andy (bumbling clock management, inability to think on his feet)?
4.Howie Roseman’s scuttling of his starting QB eight days before the opener was a Hinkie-like trade sacrificing short-term success for the long-term goal. Will veteran players – here to win now – be able to ignore the sudden psychological pivot?
5.Speaking of psychological, the moment will come when Caleb Sturgis must nail a last-second 45-yard field goal to win a game. Do you have confidence in the kid?
6.Why, of course DT Fletcher Cox is worth that $63 million guaranteed contract. No doubts. Right?
7.The Eagles fielded 13 different starters at cornerback in the past five seasons – most of whom, frankly, stunk. From the quartet of Leodis McKelvin, Ron Brooks, Nolan Carroll and Jalen Mills will an effective starting pair emerge?
8.Eli Manning threw a career-high 35 TD passes in 2015. Kirk Cousins finished last season like a guy who’d made a Faustian bargain. Dak Prescott was a star this summer against vanilla defenses. Still, can we agree the NFC East is the NFL’s weakest division?
9.We all loathed the 4-3 Wide-9 defense in 2012 under Jim Washburn. So, wait, now we’re going to love it under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz?
10.Speaking of which, Schwartz’s scheme should help some players (Vinny Curry), perhaps hinder others (Connor Barwin). As a unit, will the four primary defensive ends (adding Brandon Graham and, yes, Marcus Smith) combine for 30 sacks?
11.Is this the season that Zach Ertz finally earns his way into the Pro Bowl?
12.Linebacker was supposed to be a strength in 2015. It was anything but that. Now, with a healthy Jordan Hicks, a revitalized Mychal Kendrick, and newcomers Nigel Bradham and Stephen Tulloch . . . well, we can’t wait for the havoc and destruction to begin, yes?
13.The last season Ryan Mathews was healthy, he rushed for 1,255 yards. Of course, that was three years ago. So, can he stay on the field enough in 2016 to rush for 1,000?
14.Let’s see . . . Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham. How about 180 catches and 2,200 yards combined from those three lots-to-prove youngsters?
15.Now that the interior offensive line has been strengthened by Brandon Brooks, Stefen Wisniewski and Isaac Seumalo, are we done seeing Eagles plays destroyed by the jail-break rush up the middle?
16.Just once in the past dozen seasons has one Eagles quarterback started every game (Donovan McNabb in 2008). So Chase Daniel, inevitably, will get in. Will he prove anything better than wretched?
OK, do the math. I got “yes” on 1, 3, 6, 9, 11 and 13, which means I forecast a 6-10 season. What’s your number?