Chip Kelly will be starting his third season at the helm as the Philadelphia Eagles' head coach after his team posted back-to-back 10-6 records in his first two years. The oddsmakers over at Bovada have set the betting odds for this year's projected wins at 9.5 with an even +100 moneyline on the "over" and a -130 moneyline favoring the "under". The Eagles' futures odds to win the NFC East this season have been set at +180 as second favorites behind Dallas (+125).
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The one thing that you can definitely say about Kelly is that he is not the kind of guy that is content to rest on his laurels after two winning seasons. Given the added responsibility for all player personnel issues this past offseason, he has been wheeling and dealing his way to creating a new-look Eagles' team that will ultimately sink or swim depending on how all of these moves pan out.
Despite posting an identical record in 2014 after winning the NFC East the season before, the Eagles actually took a pretty big step backwards last season after finishing two games behind Dallas and out of the playoffs. Kelly knew that it would take some radical moves to try and not only close the gap but to legitimately compete with the likes of Seattle and Green Bay in the entire NFC. Philadelphia remains an 11/1 fourth-favorite behind these three teams to win the conference this year.
2015 Philadelphia Eagles Overall Team Outlook
If the Eagles are going to climb their way back on top in the NFC East, it will probably be behind the throwing arm of their new quarterback, Sam Bradford, and the legs of their new lead running back, DeMarco Murray. Bradford came over in a trade with St. Louis that sent last season's starter Nick Foles to the Rams. Murray was signed away from Dallas in free agency after leading the NFL in rushing yards last season with 1,845 yards.
Philadelphia also parted ways with their top receiver Jeremy Maclin and running back LeSean McCoy, but along with Murray and veteran running back Ryan Matthews, Kelly used his top pick in this year's draft adding a weapon for Bradford or possibly quarterback Mark Sanchez in wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
Kelly also made numerous moves on the other side of the ball in an effort to improve a defense that was ranked 31st in the NFL against the pass and 28th in total yards allowed. The defensive secondary has been completely rebuilt with the addition of Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond III via free agency and Eric Rowe and JaCorey Shepard through the draft.
The bottom line with all of these roster changes could hinge on health. Many of Philadelphia's recent acquisitions have missed a substantial amount of time due to injuries. If that is once again the case this season, this team could take a major step backwards. However; if the Eagles can stay fairly healthy for 16 regular season games, they could be one of the most talented teams in the NFC.
2015 Philadelphia EaglesSchedule
Along with their six division games against Dallas, New York and Washington, the Eagles will get a shot at playing the AFC East and the NFC South this season. The remaining two games are against Detroit on the road and Arizona at home.
Philadelphia is a combined 8-4 against the NFC East the past two seasons, and I feel it's pretty safe to assume that it can squeeze another four wins out the division in 2015. I also like the Eagles' chances to earn at least a split against the AFC East with Miami and Buffalo at home, and they could easily rack up three wins against the NFC South with New Orleans and Tampa Bay at home. That would tip the scales to another double-digit winning season with a split against the Lions and the Cardinals.
2015 Philadelphia Eagles Win Total Prediction
There are a number of question marks with Philadelphia heading into a new season, but the single move of stealing Murray away from the Cowboys could loom very large in determining which one of these teams makes it to the top of the division this time around. I see things falling the Eagles' way in 2015 in what should be a third straight season with a record of 10-6.
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