The Eagle offense averaged 28.6 PPG (3rd NFL). Their pass attack was ranked 13th (233.6 YPG), while their ground game came in third (132.2 YPG). They were successful on 42% of their third downs, which earned them a tie for sixth in the league. It was a good offense but not necessarily spectacular.
Quarterbacks and Running Backs
Under coach Pederson, the Eagles rotate their running backs. They see Jay Ajayi (70 ATT, 408 YDs, 5.8 YPA, 1 TD), a powerful and speedy back with knee ailements, can deliver if managed properly. He’s also a solid pass catcher. Corey Clement (74 ATT, 321 YDs, 4.3 YPA, 4 TDs) is a fine third-down runner. It’s hoped that the promise of Darren Sproles and Donnel Pumphrey, both of whom were sidelined with injuries in 2017, can be realized.
Receivers and Tight Ends
Our 2018 Philadelphia Eagles NFL betting preview finds that this team has a solid group of guys who can catch the ball. Perhaps their most important pass catchers is tight end Zach Ertz (74 REC, 824 YDs, 11.1 YPC, 8 TDs). He is exceptionally dangerous, especially in the red zone. Alshon Jeffery (57 REC, 789 YDs, 13.8 YPC, 9 TDs) is one of the most reliable wideouts in the NFL. Plus, there’s Nelson Agholor (62 REC, 768 YDs, 12.4 YPC, 8 TDs), a young player who grew incredibly last season as a slot receiver.
The offensive line was effective in 2017. That was despite injuries to key players such as nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters. They allowed a total of 36 sacks, which placed them 16th, right in the middle, of the NFL. Peters is back at the age of 36, and there’s concern there. All-Pro center Jason Kelce anchors this unit.
the D-line is solid, and has some fine edge rushers. Included in the group is Brandon Graham (9.5 SCKs), Chris Long (5 SCKs), and Michael Bennett. Bennett had eight sacks with Seattle last season. Fletcher Cox, a two-time All-Pro tackle, can create mayhem for quarterbacks. Of special note are DE Derek Barnett (5 SCKs), who had a very productive rookies season in 2017, and veteran DT Haloti Ngata (Lions). Ngata, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, gives this group depth.
There are injury concerns on this unit, as MLB Jordan Hicks, the lynchpin of this squad, has been plagued by injuries. In three years, he’s missed 17 of 48 games. Last season, he was off to a good start but then succumb to a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. Health is a major concern here. In creating our 2018 Philadelphia Eagles NFL betting preview, we thought it important to note that the team signed Corey Nelson (Denver) and Paul Worrilow (Detroit) to help underpin this unit. Important players from last season in the group include Nigel Bradham (85 TKLs) and Mychal Kendricks.
The deep backs had a rough go of it at the beginning last season, but, as time went on, they became a fairly formidable force. Safeties Malcolm Jenkins (119 TKLs) and Rodney McLeod (3 INTs) were overall effective, dogged defenders. The corners include Sidney Jones and Ronald Darby (3 INTs). Jones, a talented and athletic player, missed most of 2017 with a torn Achilles. Darby, who missed five games due to an ankle injury, is noted for being a solid, dependable player. CB Jalen Mills (3 INTs), who was solid last year, is ready to go. Patrick Robinson (4 INTs) is gone. Will he be missed?
Our 2018 Philadelphia Eagles NFL betting preview observes that Doug Pederson proved to be the man for the job in 2017. He and his assistants did amazing work crafting the team’s journey to the Super Bowl and that big win. The second time will be a charm. Can Pederson lead this team in the same manner in 2018? He’s without offensive coordinator Frank Reich and QB coach John DeFilippo. Mike Groh and Spencer Phillips, both of whom have been with Philly for at least two years, replace them.
2018 Philadelphia Eagles NFL Betting Preview: Final Word
The team opens against the Atlanta Falcons on Sep 6 p.m. E.T. Which way will that go? The big question is can they repeat as champs? That’s a tough road to go down. Wentz has to stay healthy, and on defense, Hicks staying in the game is important. Losing Robinson in the secondary could be problematic. Everyone is gunning for this team. It’s a whole new world for Pederson and company. But the NFC East could be theirs for the taking.
2018 Philadelphia Eagles NFL Betting Preview Projection: 11-5 Record, 1st NFC East
QB: 9.5, RB: 8.2, OL: 9.1, WR: 8.5, TE: 9.1
DL: 9.0, LB: 8.2, DB: 8.0
PK: 9.0, PT: 7.5, RT: 8.0
Intangibles: Tough to get back to Super Bowl (18% return the next year); after winning, 41% don’t make it to the playoffs the following season.
Overall Rating = 8.5