The Philadelphia Eagles have not even stepped on the field for a game and they are already in pain. The eldest son of head coach Andy Reid, Garrett died early Sunday morning. The 29-year old was working with the team’s strength and conditioning coach during preseason.
Last season many predicted the Eagles would waltz their way to the NFC Championship and into the Super Bowl. Just the opposite happened, they played terrible starting out just 4-8, before taking their last four in a row to end the season at 8-8, with no playoffs. Some oddsmakers have the Eagles at +500 to win the NFC Championship and +135 to win the NFC North division title. The Super Bowl odds for Philly at this point are +1000 (bet $100 to win $1,000). The team’s wins on over/under is 10, with the over coming out the favorite at -130.
Last year the defense was the team’s hear and soul and after putting together one of the league’s best secondaries on paper. However, the team gave up 23.5 points per game over the first 12 games of the season. The last four games the defense allowed just 11.5 points per game and went 4-0. The Eagles picked up DeMeco Ryans from Houston, who will help. Vinny Curry was drafted as a DE out of Marshall and his presence should be felt right away.
On the offensive side of the ball any team with Michael Vick running the show has a chance to win. Last season they were fourth in the league in total offense. Vick needs to stay healthy the entire year to help the team. He needs to have free reign on the field and play with his instincts otherwise he becomes an average quarterback. DeSean Jackson will light up the playing field with his play as will Jeremy Maclin.
The team must not turn the ball over. Last season they were a combined -14 on turnovers. This will be their second season under Juan Castillo’s defensive formations and that should help make the team one of the league’s best.
Early oddmakers have the Eagles favored in 13 of their first 14 games. Look for them to win the NFC North and reach the NFC Championship game. Beyond that is still out of focus at this point.
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