Jason Kelce’s point is valid…
The team should be a little upset about the disrespect by the national media. The team is fresh off its first ever Super Bowl Championship. A playoff run that was completed by a backup QB, and for the most part, return many of the same pieces. All that being said, the rest of the world disagrees. Hopefully, the team uses this as motivation, stays hungry, and makes a run at repeating. The main point of Kelce’s rant was just that they are being disrespected, when they are coming back with what maybe even a better roster.
First lets, look at the some odds, not just for the Super Bowl but for the season as well.
NFC East Odds:
This seems fair, clearly the Eagles are the team in the NFC East. They are the most complete team in the division, and have the best Quarterback. Even with the losses in the off season, the coaching staff as a whole also remains elite to the others. The Cowboys, lost their most reliable weapon in the passing game (Witten to retirement) and cut Dez Bryant, to save cap space. Granted Dez, has not been what he was even 3 years ago, but they have not shown a consistent big play receiver otherwise. They’re defense has plenty of question marks, especially in the secondary, and the offensive line along with Zeke are still very potent. We will see how the QB handles pressure, without his most reliable as well as his best go up and get it Wide Out. Last year, he showed us particularly without Zeke, he had no ability to beat anyone with his arm.
I am shocked the Giants, are that high. Sure I know they are banking on a healthy, non team-wrecking in a contract year all world Wide Out Odell Beckham Jr. I also understand, they drafted, which pains me to say, a generational RB, in Saquon Barkley, and addressed, the teams most glaring weakness at offensive line, first by throwing out more money than any offensive line player in the NFL to Nate Solder, and then by drafting Guard Will Hernandez from UTEP on day 2 of the draft. Even with all that, I still do not believe in Eli, neither should Giants fans. He can’t move and is an interception machine. Maybe the Giants, understand this too, by drafting Kyle Lauletta in the 4th round of the draft, is he Eli’s replacement? Most important with the Giants, is the new staff, Pat Shurmur’s offenses have never been world beaters. He receives a ton of praise, for the development of Sam Bradford, who has never won a playoff game, more importantly never won more then seven games in any season. Yet, he still somehow gets paid. Unreal??
The Redskins, have a racist name. They also have a new quarterback. A game managing type of quarterback. I believe Alex Smith had an arsenal of weapons last year, from Hill, to Kelce, to Hunt, and still along with Andy Reid found a way to lose a 19 point lead at home in the playoffs. Kirk Cousins was not really a problem, but well get into that later. The Redskins best player on offense, is Jordan Reed, but he can never stay on the field. I guess they are banking on Alex making the big throw in the big game, again yet to prove this. This is the same guy who was benched for Colin Kaepernick, and then replaced by Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, I have no belief in him, as an elite QB, regardless of numbers.
NFC Championship Odds:
A three way split, with the Rams, and Vikings. Seems a bit DISRESPECTFUL! We literally, beat both of these teams last year. One of these on the road, after losing Carson Wentz in the same game, and another we smacked down in the NFC Championship game by 31 points. I understand it a little bit. Both teams had interesting off seasons. The Vikings handed over 80 million dollars to QB Kirk Cousins, who has yet to win a playoff game. The Rams acquired Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Sam Shields, and Ndamukong Suh on defense. They also parted ways with linebacker, Alec Ogletree, pass rusher, Robert Quinn, and defensive back Trumaine Johnson, along with Sammy Watkins. They replace Watkins by acquiring Brandon Cooks from the Patriots. The adds on defense, should help. The Wade Phillips led defense, was not a problem for the team last year, it was more so the offense led by Jared Goff (who looks like Ryan Goesling in the Notebook) and Sean McVay who looks like hes 16 with a beard. Todd Gurley is by far one of the best young, most dynamic backs in the league, but they got dominated in the playoffs, by a speedy defensive unit from the Falcons.
Odds to Win SuperBowl:
8/1 right behind the sweatshirt, and the G.O.A.T. This chaps my ass even more, with all do respect to the Patriots, we just waxed you, in the last Super Bowl, and if you read this, basically, I stated ended the dynasty. I get Tom and Bill are almost unbeatable together, and the resume speaks for itself, but can we be somewhat honest here. These two teams minus head coach/quarterback are at different points in development.
First, there is the power struggle, between the owner and gm/head coach guru, leading to tension. There was the departure of pencil in ear, defensive mad man Matt Patricia, who left to coach the Lions. There was also
the loss of Josh McDaniels as head coach to the Colts, only to be talked into staying, by Robert Kraft, who then hired Frank Reich, which is only adding more tension. There was even talk this off season of the Patriots two most important players, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, not returning. Both have since confirmed they will return. Then if we return to the Super Bowl loss, there was the drama with Malcom Butler, and the Eagles ruining the end of the Tom vs. Time documentary. WHICH BLOWS, by the way, do not waste your time. That should bring ear to ear grins, across the faces of all Eagle fans.
So after a Super Bowl loss, the malcontent, the tension, and the clock ticking, should have way more of an impact on the Patriots, and their “dynasty.” From there during the offseason, this happened.
Players who Left:
WR-Brandon Cooks: Traded to Rams
T-Nate Solder (signs with Giants)
RB/KR-Dion Lewis (signs with Titans)
CB-Malcom Butler (signs with Titans)
WR-Danny Amendola (playoff hero)-signs with Dolphins.
The biggest of these losses will probably prove out to be Amendola/Lewis. Amendola was the single reason the Pats even made the Super Bowl, with his unbelivable punt return and two TD Catches in the AFC Championship game against the Jaguars. In my humble opinion, if Blake Bortles could throw at all, we would have played the Jags. Lewis was their best receiving RB, and was a match up nightmare out of the backfield on 3rd down, and was tremendous in the return game. These are key spots, but if we have learned anything from Billicheck, he is able to reload every year, it seems.
DT: Danny Shelton (via Trade)
WR: Cordarelle Patterson (via Trade)
CB: Jason McCourtney (via Trade)
RB: Jeremy Hill (signed)
DE: Adrian Clayborn (signed)
T: Matt Tobin (former eagle signed)
This coach and this team, does have an ability to get the most out of their players, and added in the areas they lost, maybe the talent level is not as high as what was lost, but it seems anytime so one goes to New England, they have career years, its a credit to the staff. This team should be competitive again, I expect it, but the tension, between ownership and the greatest coach, and quarterback who ever lived, will be its demise, at least in my opinion.
Let us move on to the defending Super Bowl Champs. All is looking well for a Carson return week 1. This has been stated by him, the staff, and his medical team. The growth from year 1 to year 2 showed us all we need to know, and as fans, we should expect nothing less in year 3. Like any team, especially the champ, players and coaches will leave its the business of the NFL.
First from the coaching side, Mike DiFilippo who I will say was instrumental in the growth of Carson, left to go take over the offense in Minnesota. This is a well deserved promotion, but I do not believe in Kirk Cousins’ mental toughness to be able to lead a team in a big spot. Frank Reich who I believe was also instrumental in the growth of the offense by putting players in positions to be successful, went on to be head coach of the Colts. This is a very risky move for him, especially if Andrew Luck never returns to form. Phillip Rivers although a good player, was never game changing when Frank, ran the Chargers offense. None of this will matter, especially if the Colts, don’t improve the teams biggest weakness, offensive line, Andrew is likely to never play again, if they can not keep him upright. Fortunately, Doug has a stranglehold on this offense, his team, and the rest of the staff. The players and other coaches respect his leadership, and they respond well. Let’s now take a look at the players themselves and the off season.
Key Players who Left:
RB-LeGarrette Blount-signed with Detroit
WR-Torrey Smith-traded to Carolina
TE-Trey Burton-signed with Bears
CB-Patrick Robinson-signed with Saints
K-Caleb Sturgis-signed with Chargers
DT-Beau Allen-signed with Tampa
DE-Vinny Curry-signed with Tampa
Key Players added in Offseason: (pre draft)
DE/DT-Michael Bennett (acquired via trade with Seattle)
DT-Haloti Ngata (signed as Free Agent)
WR-Mike Wallace (signed as Free Agent)
LB-Paul Worrilow (signed as Free Agent)
TE-Richard Rodgers (signed as Free Agent)
LB-Cory Nelson (signed as Free Agent)
The roster was already extremely deep all the way through. The strength of the team last year, the Vinny Curry loss, would have cost to much, especially as a team that rotates and stays fresh. But we did add Bennett (who can play anywhere on the line) and dominate, and Ngata (who’s better days maybe behind him) but does offer veteran leadership, and was one of the best 3-4 DTs in the league, a few years ago. Mike Wallace versus Torrey Smith is actually an upgrade if you look at the numbers. Wallace had better numbers, and played with a much worse quarterback in Joe Flacco. Compare the numbers below.
He had more catches, more yards, more TDs, and a better average per reception. It’s and upgrade to say the least. The re-signing of Bradham was huge, and could make Mychael Kendricks, the odd man out from the linebacker corps, based on Jim’s system. The other LB signings, add depth, can contribute on special teams and are veterans. Rodgers did enjoy success in Green Bay, with Aaron Rodgers. However, it was the one position that the team really needed to address especially after the losses in the off season.
Going into the draft, I identified the three biggest needs for the team as follows:
–Slot Corner (Thanks Worley)
–Tight End (Celek, and Burton gone)
–Running back (Depth, still unsure on Sproles, Pumphrey, and Blount is gone.
Running back aside, they did well in the draft. The team drafted, the best tight end on the board, crushing Dallas, as they did, it added a corner, and added more depth to the D-line, the strength of the team, and as a successful team, you can never throw enough pass rushers at the QB. The team filled the majority of its all be it tiny holes. Keep in mind a healthy Sidney Jones, to return next year at DB, along with Darby, and Mills, and things look good there. The Josh Sweat pick in the 4th round, is a high reward pick, if it pans out, as he was the best DE ranked in the country in high school in 2015. They also brought in undrafted free agent, RB, Josh Adams from Notre Dame. That formula worked well last year, with the addition of Cory Clement.
Looking at everything in context, this years version of the Eagles, may even be better then that of a Super Bowl Champion. Kelce’s point about hunger, and DISRESPECT is valid. In case you have not see in it the clip is below.
"We've been a starving dog for 52 years and one bowl of food isn't going to suffice."@Eagles center Jason Kelce on still being the underdog while trying to repeat as Super Bowl Champs. pic.twitter.com/vbRnSodZWs
— GMFB (@gmfb) May 16, 2018