The Eagles made the postseason each of the previous three seasons, and the first of those playoff runs ended with the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship. Since QB Carson Wentz and head coach Doug Pederson went 7-9 and finished in the last place in the NFC East in their first season together (2016), they have been very successful.
They showed promise in 2016 when their point differential was a positive 36, and then they exploded for a positive 162 point differential in their championship season the following year. Unfortunately, Wentz’s injury troubles prevented him from playing in the Super Bowl. While Wentz does have a 32-24 career regular-season record, he has played just one postseason game.
With Wentz as the main regular-season quarterback, the point differentials took a downturn in 2018 (+19) and 2019 (+31), and the Eagles began 2020 by losing the first two contests by a combined 28 points. At this rate, Philadelphia is hoping to make the postseason this year. The Eagles are fortunate to be in the same division as the injury-riddled New York Giants and the lowly Washington Football Team. However, can the Eagles be relied upon to battle the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East division crown?
Including the postseason, the Eagles went 7-10 against the spread last year, and they were favored in each of their first two games of 2020. Unfortunately, even though the Washington Football Team entered the season as one of the worst teams in the NFL, Dwyane Haskins Jr. and company defeated the Eagles.
They were favored by 5.5 points, by double digits. Then in Week 2, Philadelphia (-2) hosted the Los Angeles Rams and fell 37-19. The loss ended the Eagles’ six-game winning streak in meetings with the Rams. Wentz has struggled to the tune of a 59 percent completion percentage, two touchdowns, four interceptions, and eight sacks.
The Eagles were lucky to have starting RB Miles Sanders in Week 2 after he missed the first game with a hamstring injury. Heading into Week 3, there are not many other bright news and notes for the Philadelphia offense. Rookie Jalen Reagor may not be healthy at all during the 2020 season due to a UCL tear, and starting tight end Zach Ertz is not sure that contract negotiations will go well with management. Dallas Goedert has played well as the team’s other tight end, as he leads the team with 17 targets, 12 receptions, and 131 receiving yards. Goedert and Ertz are the only Eagles with receiving touchdowns this season.
Read Also: Dallas Cowboys Predictions and Odds
2020 Eagles Draft Picks
Jalen Reagor, WR (TCU)
Jalen Hurts, QB (Oklahoma)
Davion Taylor, LB (Colorado)
K’Von Wallace, S (Clemson)
Jack Driscoll, OT (Auburn)
John Hightower, WR (Boise State)
Shaun Bradley, LB (Temple)
Quez Watkins, WR (Southern Mississippi)
Prince Tega Wanogho, OT (Auburn)
Casey Toohill, DE (Stanford)
Notable Other New Faces for the Eagles
Jason Huntley, RB
Javon Hargrave, DT
T.Y. McGill, DT
Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB
Darius Slay, CB
Trevor Williams, CB
Will Parks, S
Notable Eagles in New Places
Jordan Howard, RB – Miami Dolphins
Nelson Agholor, WR – Las Vegas Raiders
Mack Hollins, WR – Miami Dolphins
Timmy Jernigan, DT – Jacksonville Jaguars
Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB – Miami Dolphins
Ronald Darby, CB – Washington Football Team
Rasul Douglas, CB – Carolina Panthers
Sidney Jones, CB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Malcolm Jenkins, S – New Orleans Saints
Andrew Sendejo, S – Cleveland Browns
Notable Eagles on the Injury Report
Corey Clement, RB – questionable for Week 3 with an illness
Alshon Jeffery, WR – out for Week 3 with a foot injury
Jalen Reagor WR – placed on injured reserve with a thumb injury; expected to return for Week 10
Robert Davis, WR – questionable for Week 3 with a lower-body injury
Quez Watkins, WR – placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury; expected to return for Week 4
Josh Perkins, TE – placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury
Lane Johnson, OT – questionable for Week 3 with an ankle injury
Andre Dillard, OT – placed on injured reserve with a biceps injury
Isaac Seumalo, OG – placed on injured reserve with a knee injury; expected to return for Week 6
Brandon Brooks, OG – placed on the reserve/PUP list with an Achilles injury
Fletcher Cox, DT – questionable for Week 3 with an oblique injury
Vinny Curry, DE – placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury; expected to return for Week 5
Daeshon Hall, DE – placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list with a knee injury
Craig James, CB – placed on injured reserve with a thigh injury; expected to return for Week 5
Rudy Ford, S – questionable for Week 3 with a groin injury
Will Parks, SS – placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury; expected to return for Week 4
Eagles Who Have Opted Out of 2020 NFL Season
Marquise Goodwin, WR
Eagles Offense Predictions
Wentz spread the wealth very well in 2019, as he became the first Eagles quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards. Interestingly, no Philadelphia pass-catchers went for 1,000 yards. The top three in receiving yards were Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and Miles Sanders. Alshon Jefferey had the most touchdowns (four) and receiving yards (490) by a wide receiver last season. The second-highest producing wide receiver from last season, Nelson Agholor, went to the Las Vegas Raiders.
LT Jason Peters has returned at 38 years old for his 12th season with the Eagles after playing five years with the Buffalo Bills. He and Lane Johnson, who is questionable for Week 3, will look to protect Wentz, who leads the NFL in interceptions, sacks, and sack yardage. The fifth-year quarterback out of North Dakota State is on pace for career worsts in all three of those categories.
Rookie QB Jalen Hurts could take over at some point if it is an especially bad season for Wentz. The third- and fourth-string quarterbacks are Nate Sudfeld and Josh McCown, the oldest practice squad player in NFL history.
Eagles Running Backs: If Miles Sanders Remains Healthy in 2020, He Can Finish in the Top 10 Among NFL Running Backs
The top rusher for the 2019 Eagles was Miles Sanders, as he became the sixth different running back in six years to be the lead back. Last year, the Eagles finished just outside of the top 10 in terms of rushing yards. As a rookie, Sanders ran a healthy 4.6 yards per carry, as he totaled 818 rushing yards.
Jordan Howard, who is with the Miami Dolphins in 2020, also received more than 100 carries. Howard finished with seven touchdowns, while Sanders had six scores.
In Week 1 of the 2020 season, Boston Scott took over to start running back with Sanders out. Scott went for 35 rushing yards on nine carries and 19 receiving yards in the loss. Scott was utilized more in the passing game and special teams in Week 2: he caught three passes for 24 yards and returned three kickoffs for 61 yards.
Meanwhile, Sanders returned from his injury to amass 131 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. He did fumble, but the Eagles were excited to have their starting running back on the field.
Eagles Wide Receivers: Will DeShaun Jackson and Greg Ward Be Enough for the Eagles at This Position?
Injuries have been rampant for the wide receiving group. Jalen Reagor was ready to contribute to an Eagles passing game that has relied on tight ends for most of Wentz’s career. The lone healthy Philadelphia receivers are veteran pass-catcher DeSean Jackson and Greg Ward, who played just seven games in his rookie season in 2019. In addition to bringing playoff experience, Jackson is among the most prolific receivers in franchise history: he ranks in the top five in receiving yards and top 10 in receptions and receiving touchdowns.
Eagles Tight Ends: Will a Tight End Lead the Team in Receiving for the Fifth Consecutive Season?
While the Eagles may only have two remaining active wide receivers, they have two impressive tight ends to help Wentz. Heading into 2020, Ertz, who was selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, was the leading receiver in each of the previous four seasons. Ertz averaged 89 receptions, 930 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns during that span.
He has also been a Pro Bowler every year since 2017. Meanwhile, Dallas Goedert, whom the Eagles also drafted in the second round five years after Ertz, has become almost as good of a receiving target. After going for 58 catches, 607 yards, and five touchdowns in 2019, Goedert already has 12 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown in 2020.
Read Also: New York Giants Predictions and Odds
Eagles Defense Predictions
In their championship season, the Eagles owned the best point differential and fourth-best turnover differential in the NFL and their defense finished fourth in points allowed and yards allowed. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia defense finished outside of the top 10 in points allowed in 2018 and 2019. If the Eagles want to succeed in 2020, they will have to improve on defense.
Through two games, the Eagles have yet to intercept a pass. However, they do have two forced fumbles. Unfortunately, third-year CB Craig James, who has one of the fumble recoveries, is out for an undetermined period after being placed on injured reserve with a thigh injury. Meanwhile, Super Bowl 50 champion and 2017 Pro Bowl DT Malik Jackson has a team-high three quarterback hits. Philadelphia will hope to have more defenders step up in 2020.
Read Also: Washington Football Team Predictions and Odds
Eagles Special Teams Predictions
Jake Elliott was a part of the Super Bowl LII champion Eagles in his rookie season, as he made 26 of his 31 field goal attempts and missed three extra points during the regular season. He had the exact same field goal performance the following season but missed just two extra points. Elliott then improved his field goal kicking in 2019.
Elliott’s career-best field goal and extra point percentages came in 2019 at 84.6 percent and 94.6 percent, respectively. Since missing three field goals between 30 and 39 yards in his rookie year, Elliott has bounced back to miss just one kick from that distance. In Week 1, Elliott missed a 53-yard field goal but has yet to miss any of his other kicks through two weeks in 2020.
Eagles Head Coach Predictions
Although the Eagles are off to a slow start, Doug Pederson will look for another strong season from his team. He has not led Philadelphia to a record below .500 since his first season as a head coach (2016). The former offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs put together a balanced offensive attack in 2019 with the Eagles. However, it may be more challenging to keep the passing offense going in 2020 if more injuries arise.
Jim Schwartz joined the Eagles as the defensive coordinator in 2016, a few years after being the Detroit Lions head coach. Meanwhile, assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley may be the head coach in waiting in Philadelphia. Staley, who played seven years with the Eagles and accumulated 4,807 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns, enters his third season as the team’s assistant head coach.
Eagles Predictions for Week 3
The Eagles have an easy matchup in Week 3 against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals. The line opened at 5.5 points but has dropped to 4.5 points. However, the over/under increased from 45.5 points to either 47 or 47.5 points, depending on the book. Rookie Joe Burrow will have difficulty winning this season because he is in the vaunted AFC North division and due to his lack of offensive options.
Starting TE C.J. Uzomah is done for the 2020 season with a torn Achilles, so RB Joe Mixon, WR Tyler Boyd, and aging WR A.J. Green seem to be the best players remaining for Burrow. He also relies on backup TE Drew Sample as a safety blanket. With the lack of offensive talent, Burrow’s Bengals should not be able to defeat or cover the spread against the Eagles. Philadelphia is a value bet in Week 3.
Eagles Predictions for 2020 Season
The 2020 preseason over/under for the Eagles was 9.5 wins, and for those that thought Philadelphia was overrated, they most likely will end up being right. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s updated Super Bowl futures bet is +2800, which is tied for 15th in league with the Arizona Cardinals. There is value with this futures bet, as bettors would be buying the Eagles at arguably their lowest point in 2020.
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