With training camp just around the corner, the Philadelphia Eagles hope to get back to their winning ways. After obtaining the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl in 2017, the Eagles followed that up with a disappointing 9-7 record in 2018. While team captain Carson Wentz did not play up to par prior to injuring his back late in the season, most of the team’s struggles last season were caused by injuries. As we all know, its tough to win with some of your key players are either out or questionable throughout the season.
However, how do we explain the success Nick Foles had after taking over for Wentz prior to the playoffs? This has raised the question of, can the Eagles win a Super Bowl with Carson Wentz? Does he have the “X” factor to get it done?
After missing the first two games, due to his ACL recovery, Wentz did not seem like himself. He looked indecisive and did not seem to feel comfortable scrambling. Both are skills he typically excelled at in the past. Because of Wentz’s poor play, the Eagles offense would struggle most of the season. That was, however, until Wentz went down with a back injury. This gave some hope to Eagle fans who prayed for another “Foles miracle”. Unfortunately, that ended with a loss to the Saints in the NFC divisional round.
Let’s not forget though, it just two years ago, before suffering a season-ending ACL injury, Carson Wentz put up the best numbers of his career, throwing 33 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions, while completing 62% of his passes. The Eagles would finish that season 13-3 and go on to win the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl under backup quarterback Nick Foles.
With Foles now in Jacksonville, Wentz hopes to prove his naysayers wrong and get this Philadelphia team back to the promised land. As long as injuries don’t hold them back, talent should not be an issue for the fourth-year quarterback from North Dakota State. Bringing back former Eagles star Desean Jackson is a huge asset to their already talented receiving core. With the likes of Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, as well as Zac Ertz, this offense should have no issues spreading the ball and keeping opposing defenses on their toes.
On top of the team’s offensive core, Head Coach Doug Pederson and the rest of the staff are looking to get good production from 2019 draft picks, wide receiver J.J. Arecega-Whiteside and running back Miles Sanders. Sanders, who played running back at Penn State, is quick and elusive. If Wentz and that receiving core are able to dominate the way they should, look for Sanders to use to speed and quickness to run through and outside the tackles.
While Wentz is the core piece to the Eagles’ success, the Eagles’ defense, which ranked second in the league just two years ago, is stacked with a great amount of skill, too. If the Eagles plan on ever getting back to the Super Bowl, this defense needs to stay healthy and get back to dominating. With Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett manning the Eagles’ front, getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stuffing the run game should not a problem. As far as the secondary goes, this is where the Eagles have suffered some inconsistency in the past. Again, this is mostly due to injuries. However, while they are a little weaker as far as backups, they still have Malcolm Jenkins, Ronald Darby and Jared Mills manning the secondary. If these three guys can stay healthy in 2019, I expect the Eagles to get back to their defensive dominance.
There is no doubt, that on paper the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the most gifted teams going into the 2019-2020 season. And with that being said, I would expect them to be one of the favorites to win it all. Unfortunately, like most teams, it all depends on injuries and production from core players on how far a team will go. With injuries and poor play last season, the team still managed to make the playoffs and almost made it back to the NFC title game. This shows the tremendous talent, determination, and grit this team possesses. When you combine that along with a great coaching staff, the sky is the limit.
The sky is the limit for this Philadelphia Eagles team.