2018 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES FOOTBALL PREVIEW

HEAD COACH: Doug Pederson

RECORD WITH PHILADELPHIA: 20 – 12

CAREER RECORD: 20 – 12

2017 RECORD: 13 – 3

2017 DIVISIONAL RECORD: 5 – 1

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Mike Groh

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Jim Schwartz

STADIUM: Lincoln Financial Field (69,176)

 

2018 SCHEDULE

September 6 Atlanta

September 16 that Tampa Bay

September 23 Indianapolis

September 30 at Tennessee

October 7 Minnesota

October 11 at New York Giants

October 21 Carolina

October 28 Jacksonville at London

BYE

November 11 Dallas

November 18 at New Orleans

November 25 New York Giants

December 3 Washington

December 9 at Dallas

December 16 at LA Rams

December 23 Houston

December 30 at Washington

 

2017 RESULTS

Washington 30 – 17

Kansas City 20 – 27

NY Giants 27 – 24

LA Chargers 26 – 24

Arizona 34 – 7

Carolina 20 – 23

Washington 34 – 24

San Francisco 33 – 10

Denver 51 – 23

Dallas 37 – 9

Chicago 31 – 3

Seattle 10 – 24

LA Rams 43 – 35

NY Giants 34 – 29

Oakland 19 – 10

Dallas 0 – 6

POST-SEASON

Atlanta 15 – 10

Minnesota 38 – 7

New England 41 – 33

 

FIVE – YEAR WINNING TREND

2013: 10

2014: 10

2015: 7

2016: 7

2017: 13

 

STARTERS RETURNING OFFENSE: 8

STARTERS RETURNING DEFENSE: 9

 

2017 TEAM STATS

OFFENSE

TOTAL: 365.8

PASSING: 233.6

RUSHING: 132.2

POINTS: 28.6

THIRD DOWN%: 42

PUNT RETURNS: 8.9

KICK RETURNS: 19.7

 

DEFENSE

TOTAL: 306.5

RUSHING: 79.2

PASSING: 227.3

SCORING: 18.4

INTERCEPTIONS: 19 SACKS: 38

TURNOVER MARGIN: +11

 

2017 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

PASSING: Carson Wentz, 265 – 440 –3,296 – 33TD – 7INT

RUSHING: LeGarrette Blount, 173 – 766 – 4.4 – 2TD

RECEIVING: Zach Ertz, 74 – 824 – 11.1 – 8TD

TACKLES: Nigel Bradham, 88

SACKS: Brandon Graham, 9.5

INTERCEPTIONS: Patrick Robinson, 4

KICKING: Jake Elliott, 26 – 31FG, 39 – 42PAT, 117 points

 

2018 PHILADELPHIA DRAFT: GRADE C

Dallas Goedert, TE South Dakota State

Avonte Maddox, CB Pittsburgh

Josh Sweat, DE Florida State

Matt Pryor, OL TCU

Jordan Mailata, OL Sydney, Australia

 

KEY PLAYER MOVEMENT

ADDITIONS

DE Michael Bennett, Seattle

LB Corey Nelson, Denver

DT Haloti Ngata, Detroit

TE Richard Rodgers, Green Bay

WR Mike Wallace, Baltimore

LB Paul Worrilow, Detroit

 

LOSSES

DT Beau Allen, Tampa Bay

RB LeGarrette Blount, Detroit

TE Trey Burton, Chicago

TE Brent Celek, free agent

DE Vinny Curry, Tampa Bay

WR Marcus Johnson, Seattle

P Donnie Jones, retired

 

OFFENSE PREVIEW

December 10 will go down in Eagles history as the date many Eagles fans thought their season was over. Starting quarterback Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL. When back-up Nick Foles struggled in the final two regular season games, fans knew their opportunity was definitely over. Foles recovered just in time and led the Eagles to a Super Bowl title.

There are many questions concerning Wentz (health) as he prepares for the 2018 season. Many feel he won’t be ready by September 6 because of the injury.  If and when he is ready Wentz has shown great arm strength, mobility and is considered a great leader. But, he is injury prone and after two seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles can’t count on him to play a full season. Because of the uncertainty, the Eagles decided NOT to trade Foles. When he is put in the right situation, Foles has shown he can run this offense.

The Eagles have plenty of weapons in the running game and the receiving corps. RB LeGarrett Blout left via free-agency to Detroit. His role will be filled by former Miami RB Jay Ajayi. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry on just 70 attempts when acquired last season. Corey Clement was a surprise after going undrafted in 2016. Clement is a short-yardage back who can catch out of the backfield. Veteran Darren Sproles re-signed for another season and 2018 fourth-round selection Donnel Pumphrey will added depth. Coach Pederson likes to rotate backs to keep them fresh.

The receivers are led by TE Zach Ertz. He led the Eagles in receptions with 74 and scored 8 touchdowns. Losing TE Trey Burton (Chicago) via free agency and cutting veteran Brent Celek forced the Eagles to look to the draft for another quality tight end. Philadelphia found Dallas Goedert in the second round out of South Dakota State. Goedert is a clone of Ertz…athletic and can block. Richard Rogers was signed in the off-season to provide more depth.

WR Alshon Jeffery was solid in 2017 with 57 receptions and 9 touchdowns. Nelson Agholor became a productive receiver with 62 catches and 8 scores. Philadelphia signed free-agent Mike Wallace (Baltimore) and Markus Wheaton after in the draft.

The Eagles had one of the top offensive lines in the NFL despite losing All-Pro LT Jason Peters for the final nine games. Peters is expected to be back following ACL surgery. He will be joined by RT Lane Johnson, C Jason Kelce and RG Brandon Brooks. All three were named to the Pro Bowl in 2017. LG Stefan Wisniewski had an excellent season and could have been named to the Pro Bowl. Halapoulivaati Vaitai did an excellent job filling in for Peters. This unit is experienced and has exceptional depth.

 

DEFENSE PREVIEW

The defensive line was the bread and butter of DC Jim Schwartz’s defense. They ranked 4th in the NFL in overall defense and first against the run. It all starts with three-time Pro Bowl DT Fletcher Cox. Cox has 21.5 sacks over the last three seasons. The Eagles lost two key players to free-agency including DE Vinny Curry (Tampa Bay) and DT Beau Allen (Tampa Bay). To fill the gap up front, the Eagles traded for DE Michael Bennett (Seattle) and signed FA DT Haloti Ngata. Bennett registered 8.5 sacks for the Seahawks last season and can play inside or outside in this system. Also in the mix will be Brandon Graham (9.5 sacks), Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Tim Jernigan, Destiny Vaeao and draft choice Josh Sweat (4th round Florida State). There may not be a better defensive line in the NFL.

MLB Jordan Hicks missed much of 2017 with an injury. He is a team leader and is a ball hawk. Hicks provides excellent pass coverage as well. If Hicks is healthy, he will be joined by Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks. Bradham had his best season in the NFL last year and received a five-year contract worth $40 dollars. Kendricks is one of the most athletics LB’s in the league. The Eagles signed free-agents Paul Worrilow and Corey Nelson in the off-season. Nelson is expected to play “weakside” in the wide-nine defense.

The secondary is as talented as anyone in the NFL. Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are perhaps the best safety tandem in the league. The corners will be manned by Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas. Darby, a second – round pick who came to Philadelphia in a trade last summer, has excellent speed but is vulnerable against bigger receivers. Mills may be playing out of position, but grew as the season went along. Douglas, who started his college career at safety, is expected to replace Corey Graham as the dime safety and in the nickel package. Douglas can also cover tight ends and patrol center field.

Philadelphia is excited about corner Sidney Jones, a projected top – 15 draft choice who fell into the second round after rupturing an Achilles on his pro day. He is expected to make a huge contribution in 2018.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker Jake Elliott converted 26-31 field-goal attempts during the regular season and was a huge weapon during the playoffs when he went to 7 – 7. Elliott kicked a 61 – yard field goal early in the season to beat the Giants. The punting situation is a little bit different. Long – time standout Donnie Jones decided to hang it up so the Eagles will turn to Cameron Johnston. Johnston (Australia) showed he had a big leg at Ohio State but has never punted in the NFL. The return game will be left up to Darren Sproles (if healthy), Wendell Smallwood, Avonte Maddox and Clement.

 

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING

Philadelphia isn’t satisfied with winning one championship. They added several key pieces and more speed to their defense in the off-season. They also continue to build around quarterback Carson Wentz. On paper, this team could be better than last year. Getting Peters back will be huge for the offensive line. If a Wentz is healthy, he will have several weapons to choose from. Getting running back Jay Ajayi was a steal last season. Signing Michael Bennett will be big if his personality fits in Philadelphia’s locker room. On defense, Philadelphia has plenty of past rushers and excellent cover people. This system is set up for multiple Super Bowls in Philadelphia.

 

PREDICTION

Philadelphia is ready to defend their championship, thanks to the return of several significant contributors from the 2017 squad. The Eagles return 19 of 22 starters. The biggest losses may have come in the coaching staff after OC Frank Reich took the head job at Indianapolis and QB’s coach John DeFilippo became the new Minnesota OC.

When healthy, Wentz is a top – 10 NFL quarterback. He is surrounded by a deep collection of skilled players who make it very difficult for opposing defenses to focus on any one player. If Wentz is a ready to go by September 6th against Atlanta, it’s nice to know you have the Super Bowl MVP waiting in the wings. Don’t be surprised if Philadelphia becomes the first repeat champions since the 2004 New England Patriots.

 

PROJECTED FINISH: First NFC East

 

2018 ROSTER

33           Adams, Josh       RB          ACT        6’2″        213        10/29/1996         0             Notre Dame

13           Agholor, Nelson WR         ACT        6’0″        198        5/24/1993           4             USC

26           Ajayi, Jay             RB          ACT        6’0″        223        6/15/1993           4             Boise State

96           Barnett, Derek   DE          ACT        6’3″        259        6/25/1996           2             Tennessee

33           Bausby, DeVante              CB          ACT        6’2″        190        1/15/1993           2               Pittsburg State

77           Bennett, Michael             DE          ACT        6’4″        274        11/13/1985         10           Texas A&M

38           Bouka, Elie          DB          RES        6’1″        205        8/15/1992           2             Calgary

53           Bradham, Nigel LB           ACT        6’2″        241        9/4/1989             7             Florida State

79           Brooks, Brandon               OG         ACT        6’5″        335        8/19/1989           7             Miami (Ohio)

57           Brown, Asantay LB           ACT        6’0″        215        2/3/1995             0             Western Michigan

85           Brown, Billy        TE           ACT        6’4″        255        3/20/1993           1             Shepherd

3             Callahan, Joe      QB          ACT        6’1″        216        6/4/1993             3             Wesley

30           Clement, Corey RB          ACT        5’10”      220        11/2/1994           2             Wisconsin

91           Cox, Fletcher      DE          ACT        6’4″        310        12/13/1990         7             Mississippi State

74           Craig, Winston   DT          ACT        6’4″        290        7/25/1995           1             Richmond

21           Darby, Ronald    CB          ACT        5’11”      193        1/2/1994             4             Florida State

19           Davis, Rashard   WR         ACT        5’9″        175        9/14/1995           1             James Madison

32           Douglas, Rasul   CB          ACT        6’2″        209        8/29/1994           2             West Virginia

4             Elliott, Jake         K             ACT        5’9″        167        1/21/1995           2             Memphis

86           Ertz, Zach            TE           ACT        6’5″        250        11/10/1990         6             Stanford

63           Evans, Aaron      OT          ACT        6’4″        325        1/7/1995             0             Central Florida

63           Ezechukwu, Danny           DE          ACT        6’2″        250        12/7/1994           0               Purdue

9             Foles, Nick          QB          ACT        6’6″        243        1/20/1989           7             Arizona

47           Gerry, Nate        LB           ACT        6’2″        218        2/23/1995           2             Nebraska

18           Gibson, Shelton WR         ACT        5’11”      191        3/20/1994           2             West Virginia

88           Goedert, Dallas TE           ACT        6’4″        260        1/3/1995             0             South Dakota State

36           Goforth, Randall               DB          ACT        5’10”      190        1/27/1994           2             UCLA

55           Graham, Brandon            DE          ACT        6’2″        265        4/3/1988             9               Michigan

78           Greene, Darrell  OG         ACT        6’3″        321        10/29/1992         1             San Diego State

54           Grugier-Hill, Kamu           LB           ACT        6’2″        220        5/16/1994           3               Eastern Illinois

76           Hart, Taylor        OT          ACT        6’6″        305        2/22/1991           4             Oregon

66           Hector, Bruce     DT          ACT        6’2″        296        10/7/1994           0             South Florida

58           Hicks, Jordan      LB           ACT        6’1″        236        6/27/1992           4             Texas

10           Hollins, Mack     WR         ACT        6’4″        221        9/16/1993           2             North Carolina

17           Jeffery, Alshon   WR         ACT        6’3″        218        2/14/1990           7             South Carolina

27           Jenkins, Malcolm             DB          ACT        6’0″        204        12/20/1987         10           Ohio State

93           Jernigan, Timmy               DT          ACT        6’2″        295        9/24/1992           5               Florida State

65           Johnson, Lane    OT          ACT        6’6″        317        5/8/1990             6             Oklahoma

1             Johnston, Cameron         P             ACT        5’11”      194        2/24/1992           0             Ohio State

38           Jones, Matt         RB          ACT        6’2″        239        3/7/1993             4             Florida

22           Jones, Sidney      CB          ACT        6’0″        181        5/21/1996           1             Washington

62           Kelce, Jason        C             ACT        6’3″        295        11/5/1987           8             Cincinnati

35           Killings, D.J.        DB          ACT        6’0″        185        8/9/1995             1             Central Florida

56           Long, Chris          DE          ACT        6’3″        270        3/28/1985           11           Virginia

45           Lovato, Rick        LS           ACT        6’2″        249        9/9/1992             2             Old Dominion

29           Maddox, Avonte               CB          ACT        5’9″        180        3/31/1996           0               Pittsburgh

6             Mahoungou, Anthony     WR         ACT        6’3″        210        2/12/1994           0               Purdue

68           Mailata, Jordan  OT          ACT        6’8″        346        //            0             Unknown

42           Maragos, Chris   DB          ACT        5’10”      200        1/6/1987             9             Wisconsin

23           McLeod, Rodney              DB          ACT        5’10”      195        6/23/1990           7               Virginia

51           Means, Steven   DE          ACT        6’3″        263        9/16/1990           4             Buffalo

31           Mills, Jalen          DB          ACT        6’0″        191        4/6/1994             3             LSU

34           Neal, Ryan          DB          ACT        6’2″        192        12/24/1995         0             Southern Illinois

52           Nelson, Corey    LB           ACT        6’1″        226        4/22/1992           5             Oklahoma

94           Ngata, Haloti      DT          ACT        6’4″        340        1/21/1984           13           Oregon

76           Ostman, Joe       DE          ACT        6’3″        255        7/12/1995           0             Central Michigan

66           Park, Ian              OG         ACT        6’4″        305        12/6/1993           0             Slippery Rock

83           Perkins, Josh      TE           ACT        6’3″        223        8/5/1993             2             Washington

71           Peters, Jason      OT          ACT        6’4″        328        1/22/1982           15           Arkansas

69           Pryor, Matt         OT          ACT        6’7″        338        12/16/1994         0             Texas Christian

34           Pumphrey, DJ    RB          ACT        5’9″        176        12/6/1994           2             San Diego State

98           Qualls, Elijah       DT          ACT        6’1″        321        2/11/1995           2             Washington

41           Reaves, Jeremy  DB          ACT        5’11”      190        8/29/1996           0             South Alabama

48           Reynolds, LaRoy               LB           ACT        6’1″        240        11/3/1990           6               Virginia

38           Roberts, Stephen              DB          ACT        5’11”      186        1/21/1996           0               Auburn

82           Rodgers, Richard              TE           ACT        6’4″        257        1/22/1992           5               California

73           Seumalo, Isaac  OG         ACT        6’4″        303        10/29/1993         3             Oregon State

90           Shittu, Aziz          DE          ACT        6’2″        288        7/27/1994           2             Stanford

28           Smallwood, Wendell       RB          ACT        5’10”      208        1/20/1994           3             West Virginia

43           Sproles, Darren  RB          ACT        5’6″        190        6/20/1983           14           Kansas State

7             Sudfeld, Nate     QB          ACT        6’6″        227        10/7/1993           3             Indiana

39           Sullivan, Chandon            DB          ACT        5’11”      194        8/7/1996             0               Georgia State

37           Sullivan, Tre        DB          ACT        6’0″        200        12/21/1994         1             Shepherd

75           Sweat, Josh         DE          ACT        6’5″        250        3/29/1997           0             Florida State

64           Toth, Jon             C             ACT        6’5″        310        2/11/1994           1             Kentucky

16           Treggs, Bryce     WR         ACT        6’0″        185        4/30/1994           3             California

97           Vaeao, Destiny   DT          ACT        6’4″        299        1/15/1994           3             Washington State

72           Vaitai, Halapoulivaati      OT          ACT        6’6″        320        6/16/1993           3             Texas Christian

59           Walker, Joe        LB           ACT        6’2″        236        12/11/1992         3             Oregon

14           Wallace, Mike    WR         ACT        6’0″        200        8/1/1986             10           Mississippi

89           Ward, Greg         WR         ACT        5’11”      186        7/12/1995           1             Houston

67           Warmack, Chance            OG         ACT        6’2″        323        9/14/1991           6               Alabama

74           Weathersby, Toby           OT          ACT        6’4″        317        9/19/1996           0             LSU

11           Wentz, Carson   QB          ACT        6’5″        237        12/30/1992         3             North Dakota State

80           Wheaton, Markus            WR         ACT        5’11”      185        2/7/1991             6               Oregon State

Wilson, Kyle        LB           ACT        6’0″        231        11/2/1995           0             Arkansas State

81           Wilson, Marquess            WR         ACT        6’4″        206        9/14/1992           5               Washington State

84           Wilson, Tim        WR         ACT        5’9″        170        2/16/1994           0             East Stroudsburg

61           Wisniewski, Stefen          C             ACT        6’3″        305        3/22/1989           8             Penn State

50           Worrilow, Paul   LB           ACT        6’0″        230        5/1/1990             6             Delaware

49           Zaruba, Adam    TE           ACT        6’5″        265        3/3/1991             0             Simon Fraser (Canada)