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Philadelphia Eagles 2017 NFL Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

Philadelphia Eagles 2017 Preview

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The Philadelphia Eagles have finished 7-9 back-to-back seasons and have missed the playoffs in five of the last six seasons overall. If there’s one thing about Philly, it’s a love hard city that wants the best for its teams, so coach Doug Pederson and others are going to start feeling the pressure in his second season. There were certainly positives out of last year and you feel this franchise is on the upswing, but Eagles fans want results.

Can the Eagles make the playoffs for the first time since 2013?

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Philadelphia Eagles 2017 NFL Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the Philadelphia Eagles 2017 NFL preview.

Key Player Losses: Most believe running back Ryan Mathews is going to be released before the season, which means the Eagles will be without their leading rusher from last year. The rest of the losses came on defense, as Connor Barwin is now in St. Louis, Bennie Logan is in Kansas City and Nolan Carroll II is in Dallas. The Barwin loss probably hurts the most with him being a consistent pass rusher and racking up 49.5 sacks for his career. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin has also been released after one season of 43 tackles and 16 passes defended.

Key Player Additions: The Eagles are helping out Carson Wentz as much as possible, as they added wide receivers Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery, a duo that's combined for over 9,000 receiving yards and 63 touchdowns. Those guys instantly make the Eagles offense better and should help the growth of its young QB. Guard Chance Warmack started 48 games with the Tennessee Titans and instantly improves the offensive line. The Eagles are taking a chance on defensive end Chris Long, who has 58.5 sacks and nine forced fumbles, but he is getting up there in age and hasn't been a great pass rusher in terms of sacks the last three seasons. Quarterback Nick Foles also returns to Philadelphia, of course, this time as a second or third string option.

Draft: Derek Barnett will add depth to an already solid defensive line and was one of the better pass rushers in this draft. Barnett will contribute right away. Cornerback Sidney Jones could miss his rookie season due to injury, but we’re talking about a terrific athlete who is solid in man coverage, so he’s a steal for the second round assuming he fully recovers from his achilles injury. Rasul Douglas is a big, long cornerback at 6’2” with terrific ball skills and could eventually find himself in a starting role. Wide receiver Mack Hollins also has great size at 6’4” and experience playing special teams, so this was a nice value pickup in the fourth round. Running back Donnel Pumphrey is one of the more decorated backs in college football history and brings versatility to the Eagles backfield. The Eagles landed multiple talented defensive players and a RB who could see some time as a backup. I like this draft for the Eagles and the direction they're heading.

Outlook: The Philadelphia Eagles had a slightly above-average defense last season that was 13th in yards allowed per game and 12th in points allowed per game. The issue for the Eagles was an offense that struggled to put points on the board, but that should change with another season of Wentz and his improved receiving corps. Adding Smith and Jeffery will allow Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews to become third and fourth options, making them better players by giving them favorable matchups. The Eagles should be a more balanced team and that will lead to more success. The issue for the Eagles is a brutal schedule that not only includes the NFC East, but matchups against the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. There's no breaks here. Unless Wentz and this Philly offense make a big leap, I’m not sure the Eagles even make playoffs this season. So, I won't be touching these Super Bowl odds in terms of a future bet.

Schedule:

Sep. 10    at Washington Redskins    1:00 PM

Sep. 17    at Kansas City Chiefs    1:00 PM

Sep. 24    New York Giants    1:00 PM

Oct. 1    at Los Angeles Chargers    4:05 PM

Oct. 8    Arizona Cardinals    1:00 PM

Oct. 12    at Carolina Panthers (Thu)    8:25 PM

Oct. 23    Washington Redskins (Mon)    8:30 PM

Oct. 29    San Francisco 49ers    1:00 PM

Nov. 5    Denver Broncos    1:00 PM

Nov. 12    BYE

Nov. 19    at Dallas Cowboys *    8:30 PM

Nov. 26    Chicago Bears    1:00 PM

Dec. 3    at Seattle Seahawks *    8:30 PM

Dec. 10    at Los Angeles Rams    4:25 PM

Dec. 17    at New York Giants    1:00 PM

Dec. 25    Oakland Raiders (Mon)    8:30 PM

Dec. 31    Dallas Cowboys    1:00 PM

 

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