One of the biggest surprises of 2013 was the emergence of Nick Foles for the Philadelphia Eagles. It wasn't a clean start, but this team closed the season like a freight train, winning seven of their final eight games to win the NFC East and earn a playoff berth.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (2013 Record: 10-6)
Things seemed fairly hopeless for Chip Kelly, especially after a 52-20 drubbing by the Denver Broncos in Week 4, but those early defeats were necessary for the growth of Foles as a starting quarterback. By Week 9, the Eagles began clicking, showing the NFL that they had one of the most dangerous offenses in the league. The weak link was the defense, however, and in the end it cost them a shot at advancing in the playoffs.
Key Losses: DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick, Clifton Geathers, Jason Avant, Patrick Chung, Colt Anderson, Kurt Coleman
Key Acquisitions: Andrew Gardner, Mark Sanchez (lol), Bryan Braman, Nolan Carroll, Malcom Jenkins, Chris Maragos
How did they respond to that weakness on defense? By using all but two draft picks on the defense and mixing up the roster through free agency. Even so, they still have a slew of holes on defense from where I sit and it could be another feast or famine kind of season for this team. Their offensive line is elite, though, so it will ultimately come down to the offense outscoring the opposing teams.
It is going to be a rough go at it as the 2014 Eagles schedule has some of the NFL's best defenses for this offense to face. From facing the NFC West to the Carolina Panthers, the Eagles are going to have dominate their division to get back to ten wins, however, history has shown that no matter how good or bad the NFC East is, they tend to split their games within the division. I think the Eagles are a good football team, but nine wins is their ceiling given the tough schedule in front of them.
Projected Record: 9-7
Kyle: I don’t have a lot of confidence in Nick Foles, but this team has enough talent to take the good with the bad.
Jon: Hello, Darren Sproles, meet LeSean McCoy. Together, you two will humiliate defenses all season long. Have fun, fellas!
Mike: This team has a lot of talent and potential, and Chip Kelly has everyone on the same page. They should win the woeful NFC East going away and look to provide some real headaches for some of those talented NFC defenses come playoff time.
Jacob: The Eagles are the most talented team in the NFC East (which really isn’t saying much), and should win the division. The addition of Marcus Smith in the first round of the draft was somewhat questionable, but the Eagles made some solid choices in the following rounds, and were smart with their free agent acquisitions. There’s no way that Nick Foles can replicate his 2013 season, but I think that he’ll be just fine to help the talented team around him reach the playoffs again. 10-12 wins.
Laurie: Looks like I have pulled the average down on this one. Too many unknowns with this Eagles’ team. Darren Sproles? Nick Foles? Can the secondary actually defend the pass this season? I don’t know, but obviously with a No. 18 rank, I didn’t think too highly of any of it.