2021 Philadelphia Eagles Predictions with Odds to Win Super Bowl
Since winning the Super Bowl in 2017, the Eagles have been one of the more mediocre teams in the league. Sure, they made the playoffs the following two seasons, but they finished the regular season at 9-7 each time and got into the playoffs because the NFC East was a very bad division. They Beat the Bears 16-15 in the 2018 Wild-Card Game before falling to the Saints in the Divisional Round. In 2019, they were easily dispatched of by the Seahawks, and then the wheels fell off completely last season. Carson Wentz, who is no longer with the team, was often injured and Jalen Hurts was called upon to lead the team. Hurts is a good QB, and we’ll see what he’s capable of as he’s now the team’s No. 1 quarterback out of camp.
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The Eagles kick off their 2021-22 campaign with a trip to Atlanta to take on the Falcons on September 12. From there, they return home for a date against the 49ers before hitting the road for a Week 3 division showdown against the Cowboys. A five-game month of October kicks off with a home date against Kansas City in Week 4, then at Carolina, home to Tampa, then two on the road at Las Vegas and Detroit. The Eagles do not have their bye week until Week 14, and by then we should know if the Eagles will be just playing out the string or competing for a playoff spot.
As of writing this, the Eagles are longshots to win the Super Bowl as they’ve been tabbed at +6600. To win the AFC and get to the Super Bowl, the Eagles are +2500 and to win the NFC East the Eagles are sitting at +450.
Let’s take a look at what to expect from each unit heading into this season.
Key Players: Jalen Hurts, Running Back X, DeVonta Smith
Part of the issue for the Eagles last season was the fact that the offense was very one-dimensional and didn’t have any explosive players or make very many explosive plays. It didn’t help that Wentz continuously missed games because of injury, leaving Hurts to fill in for him. Well, this year, Wentz is gone and Hurts, the product of Alabama, has been given the keys to the offense. Will he perform well enough through 16 games to keep the Eagles afloat and push for a division title? That’s unlikely, but there is plenty to like from Hurts being under center. Hurts is a mobile quarterback that can hurt you with his feet. He’s not a Lamar Jackson type, but he’s not afraid to tuck it and run when he needs to. Hurts managed 353 yards and three touchdowns on the ground last year to go along with 1,061 passing yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. Again, these are not stats to write home about, but the Eagles flat out sucked last season, and a bounce-back season is in the works.
Hurts will have his older college teammate, DeVonta Smith, to throw the ball to. Smith comes to the city of Brotherly Love and will be expected to make an immediate impact. Much has been said of the Heisman Trophy winner’s stature as he stands 6-foot-0 and weighs 170 lbs. Will that frame be able to withstand the weekly punishment from bigger and heavier players? Only time will tell. However, what I do know is that Smith and Hurts should be able to develop chemistry early and it’ll help the team get to where they want to go.
And then you have the running back room. If you can tell me which running back is going to be the feature back or is going to have the best season, would be grateful. The Eagles have Jordan Howard (Chicago outcast), Kerryon Johnson (Detroit outcast), Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. Not exactly a Pro Bowl list of talent in the backfield, but one of these players will need to step up and produce in the running game to keep the defense honest and allow Hurts that extra split second to make the right read on passing downs.
Defense & Special Teams
Key Players: Fletcher Cox, Darius Slay
Defensively, the Eagles were in the bottom half of the league in all major defensive categories. Maybe it was due to the fact that the offense was turnover-prone, or maybe it was because they just did not have the talent to execute the defensive scheme. Nonetheless, the Eagles will need to improve in every facet of defense if they want to be competitive this year. The Eagles ranked 20th in points allowed per game last season, giving up 26.1 points. They were no better against the run, ranking 23rd overall, allowing teams to rush for 125.6 yards per contest. Against the pass, the Eagles were somehow better, giving up just 237.4 yards per game, which had them 16th overall. As for special teams, the Eagles will rely on Jake Elliott to handle the extra point and field goal kicking duties. Elliott was solid last season, so there is no reason to believe he will be a liability this year.
If I’m being brutally honest, I think the Eagles are the worst team in the division. I think the Cowboys, Football Team and Giants all have better pieces on both sides of the football, and two of those teams have better coaching (Dallas, does not). The Eagles’ chances of having a good season hinge on a rookie wide receiver and a sophomore quarterback. I’m not liking those odds. Another below .500 season is likely in store for the Eagles.
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