Thursday, August 6, 2009

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Philadelphia Eagles

NOTE: I'd like to send my condolences to the family of Jim Johnson during this rough time. He will be missed.

It was certainly surprising to see the Eagles run the gauntlet in the NFC playoffs. It was even more surprising to see them play in a strong effort in the NFC Title game. The Eagles should be good to go for the 2009 season...right?

If you buy into the belief that Jeremy Maclin is the missing puzzle piece for Donovan McNabb and the Eagles offense, then you believe the Eagles can make it to the Super Bowl. Maclin on one side and DeSean Jackson on the other should make the Eagles offense an explosive one...right?

It's possible. Last year, Jackson led the Eagles in receiving, just missing out on a 1,000 yard season. Jackson does need to grow a bit, as will Maclin. Outside of Kevin Curtis, there aren't many strong receivers on this team. Hank Baskett has 71 career receptions in three seasons and Jason Avant has five touchdown receptions in three as well.

That's not to say either Baskett or Avant couldn't have a breakout year, though. However, unless Harold Carmichael or Cris Carter walk through the doors at the Linc, don't be surprised if there's no 1,000 yard Eagles receivers for the 2009 season.

The big question will be, will Brian Westbrook stay healthy for the season? With the offseason surgery, who knows. However, if Westbrook is still hurt going into the season, rookie LeSean McCoy will indeed be picking up the class. The pressure will be on McCoy if it arrives to that scenario. FUN FACT: Westbrook needs only 818 yards to become the Eagles all-time rushing leader.

The Eagles of the Andy Reid era are known for their defense, engineered by their late defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson. In 2008, the Eagles finished in the top 10 for defense. This was for a second straight season. Without Jim Johnson at the helm, who knows how this defense will be in 2009. They won't have Brian Dawkins in the safety spot, that's for sure.

This team indeed does have the potential to make a Super Bowl run. But potential doesn't bring a Lombardi Trophy to the City of Brotherly Love.

Now time for those yearbook style questions you've all been hankering for.

Most Offensive Player (Offense MVP): DeSean Jackson
Most Defensive Player (Defense MVP): Asante Samuel
Coolest Twitter Page: Macho Harris
Best New Guy (Team Rookie of the Year): LeSean McCoy
The Linc or the Vet: The Linc by 200,000 miles
Coolest Names (Top 3 and not including Macho Harris): Chris Gocong, Jack Ikegwuono, Leonard Weaver
Most Likely To Succeed (Team MVP): Donovan McNabb
In 2009, the Eagles will go: 10-6

We'll close out the week on Friday by previewing the Baltimore Ravens. Next week will be a bit more random in terms of team previews.

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