Welcome to “This Is Totally Your Year,” our overly optimistic preview of the 2014-15 NFL season for all 32 teams. We’ve broken down why every team — yes, even your team (and yes, even your team, Rams fans) — will win it all this year. We’ll also give some reasons for pessimism and even estimate an actual season prediction. Next up: The Philadelphia Eagles.
The Philadelphia Eagles are on the precipice of NFL immortality. At the gates of greatness. Ready to seize the title of “Best team in football.” Barring catastrophic injuries, there is absolutely no way this current roster does not make the playoffs in 2014. None. No way.
You just wouldn’t know that from reading anyone else’s 2014 NFL predictions. Here’s why…
PEOPLE AREN’T READY FOR THE EAGLES TO BE GOOD AGAIN.
None of the major sports news outlets’ NFL power rankings have the Eagles in their top five. They all have the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints ahead of them, because we know those teams can win Super Bowls and that’s the only thing that matters to those who want to make as safe a bet as possible.
It’s also wrong and dumb and their children should no longer look them in the eye for they are cowards.
In the present day NFL, you don’t need a good defense to succeed (see: Broncos, Patriots). All you need is a bad division, a high powered offense, and a quality running back who doesn’t get hurt. That’s it. Check, check, and check.
As for the Saints and Packers? They only have two out of three.
No one wants to go out on a limb and formally anoint the 2014 Eagles an elite team before any regular season games are played, but everyone kind of knows they are. If you’re the Giants, Cowboys, or Washington — you’re absolutely terrified of the next 5-8 years having to deal with LeSean McCoy and the surprisingly accurate, composed Nick Foles. They won seven of their last nine games last season, beating Green Bay and nearly beating the Saints in the first round of the playoffs.
But those teams are that much better, right? I’m not so sure.
JEREMY MACLIN IS AN UPGRADE OVER DESEAN JACKSON.
Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson have comparable numbers over the last four seasons (last year excluded). Where Jackson has the advantage in yardage, Maclin makes up for in touchdowns. As similarly undersized wide receivers playing on the outside, the difference on the field between the two is negligible.
Off the field, it’s a different story.
DeSean Jackson was a distraction for most of his tenure in Philadelphia. A star, sure, but undeniably at the cost of his team’s focus. Maclin is anything but a distraction. The veritable WR swap will help, not hurt, the Eagles in 2014, as they develop a more sustainable model for success in the NFL.
THE NFC EAST = 6 AUTOMATIC WINS
The Eagles play the Colts, Packers, 49ers, Seahawks, Carolina, and Cardinals this year. Let’s assume they lose all six of those match-ups (they won’t). And let’s also assume they manage to mail it in against New York, Dallas, and Washington at some point, and don’t run the table against their division rivals. Let’s call them 5-7 at this point. Their remaining four games are against Jacksonville, St. Louis, Tennessee, and Houston. In a worst case scenario, the Eagles finish the season 9-7.
Optimistically, they’ll finish 12-4.
Actual Season Prediction: 11-5, make the playoffs, win Wild Card round only to lose in the next round. Need to continue upgrading secondary next season when they’ll be poised for a Super Bowl run.