Philadelphia has built a reputation of coming so close but yet being so far. They have been in five NFC Championship games in the past 10 years and have zero SuperBowl rings to show for it. Head Coach Andy Reid hopes to follow the Phillie’s recent success and bring home a title this season.
Donovan McNabb will once again be the starting quarterback for Philly and hopes to stay healthy for the whole season. The receiving core will be a bit more experienced this season with DeSean Jackson being the number one and Kevin Curtis as the number two. First-round pick, Jeremy Maclin has a good chance of being the number three receiver with Reggie Brown, Jason Avant, and Hank Baskett being in the mix. This is a pretty talented group of players and the Eagles have plenty of depth at the receiver position. McNabb’s other targets include tight ends Brent Celek and rookie Cornelius Ingram. Philadelphia’s line will once again be solid and provide plenty of protection for McNabb. 3 time Pro-Bowler Shawn Andrews returns at the tackle position and also playing tackle is newly acquired Jason Peters from Buffalo who has been selected to 2 Pro-Bowls himself. Both of these players are even better at run-blocking then they are at protecting their quarterback. The Eagles hope veteran runningback Brian Westbrook can stay healthy this season and provide a spark and once again be a dangerous threat. LeSean McCoy will also see plenty of carries but he does need to improve his blocking ability if he wants to see more carries. If either runningback goes down with an injury, Lorenzo Booker will be a solid back-up.
Philadelphia will once again return with one of the best defenses in the league under Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson. The secondary is loaded and can very scary to thrown against. 2 time Pro-Bowler, Asante Samuel, is an outstanding cornerback and he will be playing opposite of Sheldon Brown who also a very solid player. The team did lose cornerback Lito Sheppard but still have plenty of depth with the likes of Ellis Hobbs and Joselio Hanson. At the safety position, the two Quintins will provide solid play. 2nd year player Quintin Demps will start at free safety while the hard-hitting Quintin Mikell will be playing at strong safety. Chris Gocong and Akeem Jordan return as the outside linebackers and while both are young, they are both effective run-stoppers. Stewart Bradley returns in the middle and should once again have another stellar year and strike fear into opponents. Philadelphia hopes to strengthen their pass-rushing attack this season and hope Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson will build on their strong run-stopping game and develop into better pass-rushers.
The Eagles once again bring a great team on to the field and they hope this is the year they can break through and get a SuperBowl ring. It could be tough though playing in the NFC East. If the Eagles want to do so, players such as Westbrook must stay healthy and other younger players must step-up and improve their overall game.
2009 Season Prediction: 11-5, 2nd NFC East