The Philadelphia Eagles will begin the 2018 season as something they’ve never been before: reigning Super Bowl champions. After defeating the New England Patriots, led by the powerful duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, 41 to 33 in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, the Eagles begin their journey of defending their title September 6th at home against the Atlanta Falcons.
With the kickoff to a new NFL season looming, let’s preview the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles and see if these one-time underdogs have what it takes to consistently contend and potentially repeat as champions.
When MVP-candidate and franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, suffered a torn ACL in Week 14 against the Rams, the hopes of a deep postseason run hung in the balance for the Eagles. Coupled with the numerous other injuries they faced throughout the year, what followed was truly one of the most remarkable stories in sports about how backup QB Nick Foles led the Eagles to their first championship.
This upcoming season, the Week 1 availability of Wentz remains questionable. However, there is no denying that this is Carson Wentz’s team. When healthy, Wentz is a top-10 quarterback in the league. The intangible skills of leadership and confidence he possesses grant him the potential to be a star in this league for years. The Eagles return with a strong, and arguably the best, offensive line in football to protect their QB, and make way for running backs Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement.
The wide receiving corps is shaping up to look similar to the previous season, with the exception of Torrey Smith. Mike Wallace was brought in to fill that downfield speeder role, while Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor look to continue to be big-time targets. Tight ends Zach Ertz and rookie Dallas Goedert give the Eagles an edge in the red zone with two 6’ 5” threats.
Their defensive front is as dominant as any in the entire NFL. With superstar players like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, the emergence of 2017 1st-round pick Derek Barnett, and the new acquisition of Michael Bennett, any QB who is going up against the Eagles should be put on notice.
At the linebacker position, the Eagles have a solid group. However, the inability of Jordan Hicks to play a full season has hindered this position for the team. Nigel Bradham has played remarkably well and rightfully earned a five-year, $40 million contract.
The secondary is poised to be lockdown all season long. Most fans are looking forward to watching Sidney Jones get into the action after being sidelined while rehabbing from a torn Achilles. With talented corners in Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby, along with the hard-hitting safeties which include Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney Mcleod, the Eagles look just as strong this year on defense as they did during their championship run.
As the leading sports trophy store near NJ, we are predicting the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East and return to the Super Bowl once again for a chance to repeat as champions.
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