We're joined by Eagles expert Brandon Sommermann who has breaks down the upcoming season for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Philadelphia Eagles used a 4-game winning streak in December last season to win the NFC East title. A title that was won at 9-7. It was the third consecutive season the Eagles made the NFL post-season.
In 2020-2021, the Eagles will not be so lucky if they take the same track as last season. Not to mention, the NFC East has not had a repeat champion since the Eagles won 4-straight titles from 2001-2004.
With history stacked against the Eagles, are they still a good bet in 2020?
The Eagles over/under in 2020 is 9.5. A number that the Eagles will have hit if they want to make the playoffs. With the two wildcard teams projected to come out of the NFC South & West, the Eagles only shot of making the playoffs this season may be the division.
If you look at the Eagles schedule, 10-6 is very easy to project. However, if the Eagles start slow like they have down the past two seasons, it gets tougher.
With the Eagles schedule heavily on the road to end the season, three of their last five games on the road, it is hard to find wins down the stretch. Not to mention one of the two Eagles home games over the last five weeks is against a title contender in the New Orleans Saints.
Many projections have the Eagles at 8-8 or 9-7 with a few having them break the double-digit win mark for the first time in 3-years. While the Eagles have done a tremendous amount of work this offseason to improve the team, they will more than likely fall short of their 9.5 over/under.
Too many unknowns on the Eagles roster will result in them going 9-7 & a tie for the NFC East title that will be broken by their record against the Dallas Cowboys. But, with the Eagles season having so many unknowns, there is a lot of individual potential. Here are a few…
Individual Game Locks
Looking at the Eagles schedule, there are four near-locks for wins. Those three teams are the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, & Washington Football Team
The Eagles play the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland in Week 11. It is their first meeting since 2016. In their last five meetings, the Eagles are 5-0. Including winning five of their last six in Cleveland. This meeting will be the battle of the unknowns this season. Cleveland looks to take the next step in their rebuild while the Eagles look to put it all their pieces together. By Week11, these two teams will be very different then they are now. But, bettors & analysts seem to agree the Eagles will have the upper hand in Week11.
The Eagles play the Cincinnati Bengals in Philadelphia in Week3. A meeting that has not been good to the Eagles in the past. However, the Bengals are expected to start #1 overall pick Joe Burrow this season. While Burrow had success in college against lesser competition, the Eagles revamped defense will have a field day with the rookie at quarterback & a young offensive line. A day that will not only be good to the Eagles in the win column but also the defense in DFS.
The Eagles enter the 2020 season on a six-game winning streak against the Washington Football Team. Who they play in Week1 & Week17 this season. Last season, the Eagles used a big 2nd half comeback in Week1 & a final drive touchdown to Greg Ward in Week15 to beat Washington. This season, both games are more important to the Eagles. Opening the season in Washington & ending the season against Washington in Philadelphia. If the Eagles want any shot at the playoffs, both games must be treated like a playoff game & won.
The main reason the Eagles made the post-season last year was Carson Wentz. After a 5-7 start, Wentz put the Eagles on his back and led the team to a perfect 4-0 December & a NFC East title. A title that was won by beating the Cowboys, Redskins, & NY Giants twice during the Eagles 4-0 stretch in December.
During that stretch, Carson Wentz looked like 2017 Carson Wentz. A player that was on his way to a possible MVP & a long playoff run. But, a torn ACL against the LA Rams put a halt to that. However, December 2019 marked two years since the injury. An injury that many doctors say takes at least two years to completely heal.
While Carson Wentz may never be the Carson Wentz from 2017, Wentz could get pretty close. Something that Wentz looks to continue on to start this season.
In 2019, Carson Wentz became the first QB in Eagles history to throw for 4000 yards in a season. A season that Wentz threw a completed pass to 16 different players. Even with a receiving corps decimated by injury & loaded with practice squad players, Wentz still managed to break 4,000 passing yards.
But, even with all that Carson Wentz had against him last season, oddsmakers don’t believe he will be able to replicate that success. Wentz’s over/under for passing yards in 2020 is 3900 yards. Which may seem like a lot for a guy that has only hit 4000 yards once.
However, if you project Wentz's per 16-game average for his career, has average would be 4,055 passing yards. If Wentz can replicate his 2019 success with a more stable wide-receiver group in 2020, he will breeze by his 3900 projection.
During the offseason, the Eagles made it a priority to get deeper & faster at the wide receiver position. A position that had less combined yards than their two starting tight-ends, Zack Ertz & Dallas Goedert, in 2019.
However, with offseason acquisition Marquise Goodwin sitting out due to Covid, 1st round pick Jalen Reagor expected to miss at least Week1 with a shoulder injury, the unknown of Desean Jackson’s health holding up, & the when/what they will get from Alshon Jeffrey, can you project anything for this group?
Any given week it could be a different wide-receiver performing for the Eagles. But, one player that has been a constant during training camp is JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside has been a standout in training camp & is expected to start Week1 for the Eagles. Arcega-Whiteside did not have the rookie season himself or the Eagles believed he would. Being outperformed by fellow rookies D.K. Metcalf, Diontae Johnson, Terry McLaurin, Hunter Renfrow, & Darius Slayton. All of whom were drafted after Arcega-Whiteside.
While its hard to project Arcega-Whiteside’s full-season potential, especially with all the Eagles issues already at wide-receiver, you can expect J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to be a hot commodity every week for DFS.