The Sports Illustrated NFL preview issue hits newsstands on Wednesday and it will probably dampen your spirits.
After an offseason in which the so-called Dream Team added multiple Pro Bowlers, including Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, and Vince Young, SI's Peter King predicts that the Eagles will end the 2011 season with the exact same record as last year: 10-6.
Although he does expect the Eagles to win the NFC East and advance past the first round of the playoffs, King writes that the Birds will lose to the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round. For many Eagles fans -- as well as the players and coaches themselves -- this result would probably be a grave dissappointment.
Certainly the Eagles aren't perfect, with rookies starting at center, right guard and middle linebacker, but overall there's been a wave of optimism since football resumed a month ago. Now with Michael Vick signed long term and a new contract for DeSean Jackson likely just around the corner, this might be the most bullish moment in recent team history. As Vick and others have intimated, this season is Super Bowl or bust.
The issue also highlights emerging running back LeSean McCoy, who was one of the most effective all-around players in the NFL last season. Andy Reid told the magazine that a lot of McCoy's success came from a new dedication in the weight room.
“I think since he grew up near Hershey, he enjoyed the fruits of the candy world,” Reid says. “But he changed that and really dedicated himself to the profession. People who know football know how valuable he is to our team.”