If the 2009 Eagles season ends anywhere short of the Super Bowl, then the season will be seen as a failure. Can the Birds live up to those expectations?
The answer is probably not.
The Eagles offense is stacked, but it was also stacked last year when the Eagles scored a franchise-record 416 points but managed to only win nine regular-season games. They'd blow out a team one week (30-10 over Cleveland) only to lay an egg the next week (3-10 loss to Washington).
They lacked consistency last season and the same should be expected this season as the offensive line struggles to take the field together, quarterback Donovan McNabb struggles to win in the clutch and Michael Vick disrupts any offensive flow the team gets going in the first couple weeks.
The defense is also a huge concern as emotional leader Brain Dawkins flew the coop in the off-season leaving a rookie (“Macho” Harris) to play free safety. And the middle linebacker position is being trusted to guy who lost the job a few seasons ago (Omar Gaither).
Add in the loss of stalwart-defensive guru Jim Johnson with the inexperience of his successor Sean McDermott and this defense could wind up as sieve through which touchdowns are scored.
Simply put, the Birds have too many question marks to give this writer the confidence to pick them to make the Super Bowl, let alone win their division. Members of the national press may be on the Birds’ bandwagon and so is the Daily News’ John Smallwood but this writer isn’t.
This Eagles team will need to win shootouts and McNabb has never proved himself in those situations.
With weak teams in every other division (Tampa Bay, Detroit, St. Louis) it will be tough to see a Wild Card coming out of the tough NFC East. You gotta win it to make the playoffs and the Eagles won’t do that. It will take at least 11 wins to take East. The only team in the division geared to win that many is the Giants.
I didn't drink the Kool-Aid of the Eagles being a top-tier team. They will finish average at best.
My pick: Eagles will finish 8-8
Sorry Joe, but this team just isn’t as Super as you’d like us to think.
What do you think?