If you’re reading this then it may be too late. You may have already declared the season to be over due to the injury sustained by the team’s star rookie. Do not fret. I’ll be telling you why the Eagles offense can be a sure-fire top 5 unit in the NFL this season.
1. Consistent Running Game
‘Run the ball’ is a statement that may well define the Doug Pederson era up to this point. In each of the last four seasons, the Eagles struggled to get the ground game going early and when they did work it out, injuries started to hit. That won’t be the case in 2020.
Miles Sanders had himself a huge rookie season. The Eagles had to rely on the young running back due to the Jordan Howard injury. Now, the Eagles have made it clear that Sanders will be “the guy” heading into the 2020 season. While Sanders is the main back and the days of a committee effort are beginning to fade, the fact that the Eagles have two other hacks behind him that each bring something different to the table is worth noting.
The Eagles haven’t had a consistent backfield since the LeSean McCoy era. With a healthy Corey Clement and an emerging Boston Scott, the team have situational prowess as well as a pair of backs who could step up in relief of Sanders should the Penn State product need to take a series off here and there.
2. Depth at Wide Receiver
The Eagles endured a rarity in the NFL last season as their entire starting receiving corps was riddled with injuries. 2020 has seen the group go from no depth at all to being absolutely inundated with it. While Jalen Reagor will miss the next four weeks with a “small” shoulder tear, the franchise shouldn’t feel rushed in Bringing him back so quickly.
The Eagles will have Quez Watkins, John Hightower, DeSean Jackson, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Greg Ward Jr to start the season. At some point, Alshon Jeffery and Jalen Reagor will return and only add to the dynamic of this group.
The Eagles created a mixed bag of talent within this group as they have paired the speedsters with jump ball specialists and a reliable pass-catcher in Greg Ward Jr. While the Reagor injury may cause trauma to most fans, the Eagles have made sure that they have enough talent to get by in the meantime.
3. Carson Wentz soars with the Eagles
Ultimately, the Eagles will go as Carson Wentz goes and that’s hardly a bad thing. For all the criticisms the face of the franchise has somehow come under, he’s never failed to prove people wrong. 2020 will be his best chance at doing exactly that.
Without Wentz, there is no Lombardi trophy. There is no trio of consecutive playoff runs. If you took Wentz away from the Eagles last season, the whole team may have collapsed.
He led the team to a 4-0 finish and the NFC East Division title. He had a passer rating of 97.5, 109.3, 108.2, and 88.4 during that final stretch. He also passed for 1,199 yards and 7 touchdowns with no interceptions. Wentz was on a tear without any of his starting WR’s. In fact, only two QB’s passed for over 4,000 yards and led their teams to the playoffs without a 1,000-yard receiver. One was Carson Wentz and the other was Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes.
The NDSU product finally has a group of skill position players around him that will elevate the offense in even-stride, as opposed to Wentz needing to quite literally do all the leg-work, and that is absolutely vital.
4. The Eagles Offense that can’t be matched
The Eagles offense is a very unique group. While the focus has been on the speed that they have added at the wide receiver position, the focal point of this unit will be their tight ends. Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz will play key roles in how the offense will create mismatches for the opposing team’s defense.
There isn’t a standard way to face this offense. The receiving ability of the running backs will give Defensive Coordinators fits, the playmaking ability of the tight ends will cause headaches, and the speed on the outside will be the icing on top. As long DeSean Jackson can stay healthy and the team’s rookies can find their footing early on, the wide receiver group will be the biggest x-factor this season. Wentz will have such a diverse group of options for the first time in his career, it could lead to a big year for the offensive unit.
Jalen. Hurts. The Eagles not only drafted a quarterback who was a Heisman runner up, but one that thrived in option looks and rushed for over 1,200 yards in 2019.
They then added Marty Mornhinweg to their coaching staff. Formerly of the Eagles, Marty most recently helped Lamar Jackson break out as a rookie in Baltimore. During that time, the Ravens experimented with 2-QB sets. During that time, Lamar Jackson’s stat-line read like this:
Passing: 7/11 87 yards
Rushing: 28 attempts, 139 yards
Whether or not we see the same for Hurts is anybody’s guess, but it’s at least fun to hypothesize. The Eagles spent significant capital to get Hurts in the building and with such a unique skill-set, it’s only fitting that they make the most of it.
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