Are the Eagles really a contender ?

By authorjoseph  |   Friday, August 21, 2009  |  Comments( 0 )

Philadelphia Eagles
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Truth be told, maybe it was a good idea signing Vick. The Birds sure are getting a bunch of attention this preseason, and if you look at them on paper, they haven’t been really good since 2004. They show flashes of brilliance, and have periods of good workmanlike play, but overall, no champion caliber efforts on a week-in/ week-out basis.

Look what is going on in Minnesota after the Favre signing. Just about everyone knows that Favre is not worth 25 million, nor does anyone think he will complete the season at starter. But they are putting butts in the seats over there, and let’s face it, that is what football is all about anymore.

The Eagles are looking at major issues this year. Considering they play in the best all around division in professional sports, period, they have a lot of work to do if they want to get back into contention. They are thin at running back, still have no proven full back, but now have a 5 man glut at QB ? The receivers are better as a group then they have ever been, but unless Reid sticks with McNabb from start to finish, the youth of this receiving corps will be affected.

They also have injury problems, something that has plagued them for years; a main reason why so many Eagles fans hate their team at certain times. I could open a bandwagon dealership on South Street and feed everyone in Cleveland for a year on my commissions !

Special teams has been and still is an sore spot. Akers is reliable, but take him out of the mix and no one else is a proven performer at their position. Rocca has a career net 38 yards per kick, DeSean Jackson is the # 1 punt returner and he is a receiver, Quinten Demps is #1 kick returner on their pre season depth chart, I believe he is a safety, isn’t he ? They are both 2nd year players.

If Westbrook gets hurt; and let’s face it, he has the reputation for being an incredible all around back that is not durable enough to sustain a full season in the NFL, that’s when the glaring holes will appear. The receivers depend on Westbrook’s position in the backfield to distract or pull the safeties, McNabb depends on him to be a safety valve when he gets in trouble now that he is too old and immobile to scramble well, and the running game is all Westbrook.

The fact is Westbrook is nearly a third of the teams offense over the past 3 seasons, scoring 37 of their 132 touchdowns and generating 6,000 all purpose yards to the rest of the teams 12,000 in the same period. The team relies too much on his shoulders and talented feet, as is evident when he goes out due to injury. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the guy, but to be a contender, you need to be able to withstand the loss of a key player. In the past the Eagles did just that, but since their failed Superbowl bid, they have been average at best when you remove Westbrook from the statistics sheet.

So maybe the Vick signing was just a revenue generating stunt on a team that has seen a drop off in performance over the past few seasons. Or maybe Reid was smart enough to view Vick as a major offensive threat that can run, throw and probably catch that he could get cheap for a year and try out.

But are the Eagles REALLY a contender ? Do you expect them to win 12 games or more this year ? Advance past the first round of the playoffs ? Email me at josephdps@yahoo.com. A poll from the fans might tell us more than all the hype we are getting from the national sports media, it will be interesting to see. I personally think the Eagles will finish 10-6, only good for third in their division, what do you think ??
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