We are just a few days away from the Eagles’ first game of the season, so it’s a perfect time to drop the Eagles writers’ bold predictions for the 2020 season.
We also asked you on Twitter to drop some of your predictions for the season and we got some great predictions and some bold ones.
Check out the staff predictions below:
10-6 and top 5 defense.
There’s a ton of issues on this roster, not only for this season but in the next couple of years after. For arguably the first time in his career, Carson Wentz is dealing with a very questionable offensive line to start his season. The only reason I think this team can make the playoffs is that the defense should be a lot better. I compare it to the 2008 Steelers: an excellent defense but awful o-line that gets bailed out by a superb QB. I think the Eagles season will play out very similar
Miles Sanders will finish top in five all-purpose yards and become the first thousand-yard rusher since LeSean McCoy in 2014.
After finishing 8th in all-purpose yards in 2019 in just 11 games, Miles Sanders will cement himself as a force in the pros this season. While top five may not seem like a huge jump, that means eking out players like Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry.
The Eagles will enter the year with a depleted receiving corps and will need Sanders to hone his skills as a multi-faceted playmaker. On top of that, Doug Pederson has admitted that he is finally away to do away with his patented running back-by-committee approach and lean into the second-year back. It’s likely he will no longer return kicks, which will eat into his yardage, but his involvement in the passing game, as well as what should be a large boost in handoffs should put him into the top five. Get ready for the new era ladies and gentlemen.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside came into the league with unfair expectations. He was a second-round pick that many GMs around the league felt was taken too soon. With the amount of talent that fell after JJAW, the Eagles felt the pressure to re-assess the way they drafted players. That newfound idea alone magnified the JJAW pick above anything else.
Now in year two, the Eagles have raved about the leap that JJ has made in the offseason. He’s in better shape for starters and now he doesn’t face the uphill battle that he faced last season when it came to learning the playbook while building chemistry with the franchise QB. It feels like JJ could he in store for something big this season, I won’t go as far as saying he’s WR1 but I do believe he’ll have a huge impact on the team.
JJ has a size and matchup advantage that most of the receivers on the team don’t have. His ability to go up and get the ball at its highest point resembles the attributes of Alshon Jeffery. With the bad rookie debut behind him, I’m declaring a big season for the former Stanford product. I’m saying that JJAW goes for 600 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns to finish his sophomore season.
Fletcher Cox had a statistical down-year in 2019, despite still looking great on tape. This was largely due to the fact he was having to do all of the heavy lifting by himself while battling a lingering injury. This time around, the Eagles have stacked the position to the brim with talent. A four-man rotation of Cox, Jackson, Hargrave, and Ridgeway should be enough to give interior linemen nightmares and take some much-needed strain off the shoulders of Cox. With that in mind, I predict Cox will post his second 10+ sack season of his career in explosive fashion.
We were supposed to come up with one bold prediction but I’m going to cheat and do two in one because they kind of go hand in hand.
Derek Barnett’s body just refuses to allow him to play healthy. With his status for Sunday still up in the air, Josh Sweat has a golden opportunity to steal the starting job from Barnett. Now Sweat’s knees are not anything special either, he’s had chronic knee issues for a long time, but if he can stay healthy then I believe he takes the starting job from Barnett and produces the first 10+ sack season for an Eagles defensive end since 2011 (Jason Babin).
Along with that, there’s room for another player to assume the “Josh Sweat role” in which high production is seen in limited snaps. Casey Toohill has been raved about this training camp and made the rare jump from seventh-round pick to 53 man roster. He is extremely athletic and has the “Toohills” (tools, sorry) to excel in a limited role. Toohill will make his impact this season with a five sack rookie year while playing less than 40% of the defensive snaps.
For fan bold predictions, check out the next page.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire