Follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffWarnerNFL for all the latest on the Eagles and the NFL! Follow All About the Birds on Twitter @AATBirds and Facebook! We are just a few short days away to finally some normalcy with the NFL finally returning. The last moment of football we saw was over seven months ago seeing former Eagles Head Coaching Great Andy Reid finally hoist the Lombardi Trophy with the Kansas City Chiefs. It has only been three seasons since we saw the Philadelphia Eagles end the season as the last one standing but still feels so long ago at the same time. Last year they went on December run into the playoffs as NFC East Champs but lost in the first round to the Seattle Seahawks after franchise QB Carson Wentz was knocked out of the game with a concussion and the constant debate all offseason, is Carson Wentz an Elite Quarterback and will he not only lead the Eagles to another divisional crown but will he finally get over the hump and lead Philadelphia on a deep playoff run? Philadelphia Eagles 2020 Preview: Offense- QB Carson Wentz has shown that he can be an elite quarterback in this league. He has all the tools and tangibles be be one of the greats. The one thing that is holding him back is slow starts and inconsistency. The 2017 MVP candidate rebounded well from a midseason play last year and we saw his best football in the month of December. Returning out of the backfield is running back Miles Sanders who had an impressive rookie season in a shared role and will be asked to take on a much bigger role this season. The Eagles drafted speedy WR Jalen Reagor in the first round of April's Draft and bring back veteran deep threat Desean Jackson who missed almost all of last season, along with tight end tandem Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. There is no denying the talent the Eagles have at offense and they should be able to put up points this season. What is concerning is the protection up front with the makeshift offensive line. Former All Pro Jason Peters is back following the injury to All Pro Brandon Brooks and is now at left tackle after switching from RG at the last minute. Versatile olineman Matt Pryor will likely be starter at RG. Can this line protect Carson up front, who has shown his durability issues in the past, from getting knocked around and allowing these deep routes to develop to allow the big plays? If he goes down can 2nd round pick QB Jalen Hurts and Nate Sudfeld handle the starting duties? We can only hope but I still expect Philadelphia to be one of the top offenses in the league in 2020. Defense- The Eagles defense has alot of question marks entering 2020. Can this linebacker group go out there and perform? Can Jalen Mills transition from corner to the safety position? Will the lack of depth in the secondary come back to bite them? Can Derek Barnett live up to the potential the Eagles saw in him when they drafted him in the 1st round? Those are all yet to be seen until they step out on that field week 1. Thankfully they brought in veteran All Pro CB Darius Slay who Jim Schwartz coached briefly in his time with Detroit. The Eagles arguably have the best interior defensive line in all of football with Fletcher Cox, newly acquired Javon Hargrave and returning Malik Jackson. The Eagles most talent part of the defense and possibly the roster is their defensive front. I don't see an issue the Eagles getting to the QB which like they say a great pass rush helps your secondary. It's just going to be interesting to see how this unit gels together with the new pieces in place and if they can get back to that Philly style of defense.
3 Bold Predictions for the Eagles in 2020:
- QB Carson Wentz Wins his First Playoff Game as a Starter: It was disappointing for Wentz last season to make it back to the playoffs and get knocked out the game with an injury. The man is on a mission and not only do I see the Eagles returning to the playoffs for a 4th straight season but finally slaying the dragon and at least winning one playoff game.
-Miles Sanders Eclipses 2000 Yards From Scrimmage: The 2nd year back talked about this season racking up 2000 yards from scrimmage in 2020 and I think he can do it. Last season he compiled over 1300 yards(11 starts) and in 5 games last season he had over 100 total yards in a shared role. With him being the primary back, I see him getting some serious consideration for NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
-Eagles Will Have a Top 10 Defense in Points Allowed:
I know there is plenty of concerns with the Eagles defense including from myself. Last season the Eagles D finished 10th in total defense and 3rd against the rush but 19th against the pass and 15th in points allowing 22.1 a game. But I think they might surprise some people. The addition of Hargrave to bolster up our defensive front and shutdown corner Darius Slay to battle with opposing team's best wideout will definitely be an improvement for our defense this season..
Game By Game Prediction:
Wk 1- At Washington Football Team: Win Wk 2- LA Rams: Win Wk 3-Cincinnati Bengals: Win Wk 4- At SF 49ers: Loss Wk 5- At Pittsburgh Steelers: Loss Wk 6- Baltimore Ravens: Loss Wk 7- NY Giants: Win Wk 8- Dallas: Win Wk 9- Bye Wk 10- At NY Giants: Win Wk 11- At Cleveland Browns: Win Wk 12- Seattle Seahawks: Loss Wk 13- At Green Bay Packers: Loss
Wk 14- New Orleans Saints: Loss Wk 15- At Arizona Cardinals: Win Wk 16- At Dallas Cowboys: Loss Wk 17- Washington Football Team: Win
Final Record: 9-7, Wild Card Spot Bottom Line- The Philadelphia Eagles will definitely be in contention for the playoffs and the division title but the lack of depth and the amount of question marks at key positions to an already injury plagued roster is what holds them back from making a deep playoff run. They have a talented roster and when hot, one of the best QBs in the league which could be the difference in the end for the Eagles but as it stands right now I don't see them as a Super Bowl Contender this season. Howie Roseman needs to get this cap situation in order and make the much needed moves next offseason to put Philly over the hump and back on the map as Super Bowl Contenders.
NFL 2020 Season Predictions- Bold-indicates playoff team, *indicates wild card AFC
Buffalo Bills- The Bills were a playoff team last season. They got Josh Allen some weapons by acquiring receiving stud Stefon Diggs and with no Tom Brady in the division, they capture their first divisional title since 1995!
New England Patriots*- The post Tom Brady Era has arrived in New England and we will find out if Bill Belichick is the genius the NFL world believe he is. He does have a former NFL MVP at QB with Cam Newton after a falling out in Carolina. We shall see if the genius can rejuvenate Super Cam to be the player he once was.
New York Jets- This will be the make or break year for 3rd year player QB Sam Darnold who has a career record 11-15. They need more consistency from the former 1st round pick to show is the quarterback of the future otherwise they might be moving in a different direction in the near future.
Miami Dolphins- Miami's heavy spending spree in free agency still won't be enough for them to really compete in 2020. On the bright side for Dolphins Fans, hopefully they have their franchise QB of the future with Tua Tagovailoa. But with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick making $8 million this season, expect Tua to ride the bench until Miami is out of playoff contention.
Baltimore Ravens- The reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson looks to continue his tear on the league and show that last year's season wasn't a fluke. Barring an injury to Jackson, he will help lead Baltimore to not only a division title but a deep playoff run. They just have too much talent on both sides of the ball to not be a major contender this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers*- The Steelers season hinges on the health of Two-Time Super Bowl Winning QB Ben Roethlisberger. The Roethlisberger to JuJu connection along with a big play defense will help get Pittsburgh back in the playoffs
Cleveland Browns- QB Baker Mayfield is now playing under his 3rd coach in as many seasons. That much change over isn't good for the development of a young quarterback. Unless Baker can carry this team on a magical run, expect a 13th straight losing season for the city of Cleveland
Cincinnati Bengals- The NFL 2020 1st overall pick Joe Burrow will being the starting QB week 1 for the Bengals. Burrow checked off all the boxes entering the draft but we will see what the kid can really do sooner rather than later. I don't see much success in 2020 as far as wins and losses but by the learning curve and development of their signal caller.
Tennessee Titans- Last season Ryan Tannehill had a great season and lead the Titans to the playoffs. With him back to lead the potent offense along with beast Derrick Henry and the free agents Vic Beasley and Jadevon Clowney to bolster up their pass rush on defense, I see another AFC South crown in Tennessee's future.
Houston Texans- With the lost of Clowney and All Pro Wideout Deandre Hopkins plus an aging JJ Watt... Just too much talent lost to overcome. Deshaun Watson I see playing well but not enough to lead the Texans to back to back division titles.
Indianapolis Colts- They signed a 38-year old Phillip Rivers... the question is how much does he have left in the tank? I know Indy is trying to get into a 'win now' mode but this isn't the year they do it.
Jacksonville Jaguars- A complete overhaul of their roster. Jacksonville is a complete dumpster fire!
Kansas City Chiefs- I know everyone is worried about a Super Bowl Hangover but they still have arguably the best Coach-QB Tandem in the league. The Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes is in the prime of his career and with a majority of the roster returning along with newly added talent, the Chiefs are in prime position at a repeat.
Las Vegas Raiders*- The Raiders have quality talent on their roster. They get a weapon for QB Derek Carr by drafting WR Henry Ruggs in the 1st round. They are making strides in the right direction which is why they will be one of the wild card teams, but sadly they aren't at the level yet to compete with their division foe, Kansas City.
Denver Broncos- John Elway tried to fill holes this offseason in free agency and the draft but was it enough? Got a tandem of rookie wideouts with Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. They signed free agent Melvin Gordon and traded for CB A.J. Bouye but the question it comes down to, is Drew Lock a consistent starting QB in this league? Now that he has some weapons at disposable we will see and if he doesn't, there is no excuse.
Los Angeles Chargers- For the first time in 15 seasons, Phillip Rivers isn't under center for the chargers. With LA in rebuilding mode there isn't much expectations as far as winning but to see the progression of 1st round pick Justin Herbert. But unfortunately LA will have to wait and see as Tyrod Taylor will start the season as the starter. We will see how long that tates.
AFC Championship Game: Baltimore Ravens over the Kansas City Chiefs Two teams with offensive fire power but the Ravens D will be the difference this time around.
Dallas Cowboys: There is no denying that the Cowboys are the preseason favorite in the NFC East. They add CeeDee Lamb to an already bolstering offense with Zeke Elliott and Amari Cooper. But despite high expectations they always seem to come up a little short. With a new contract on Dak Prescott's mind, will that be what holds the Cowboys back? Even so though on paper right now they have more overall talent and team that will definitely have them competing and winning the NFC East title.
Philadelphia Eagles*: The Eagles spent this offseason trying to get younger and quicker but this team will only go as far as QB Carson Wentz can take them. With the mounting amount of of injuries and many question marks on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, Wentz is going to have to play like 2017 MVP candidate Carson to help get Philly back to the playoffs. Under Dougie P they have made the playoffs 3 of 4 seasons, including 3 straight and with a weak division.. Philly will see themselves in contention at the end of the year trying to win back to back division titles but end up making the wild card.
New York Giants- The Giants have the pieces in place to surprise some people this season. QB Daniel Jones is coming off a promising rookie season, they have one of the best backs in football with Saquan Barkley along with a reconfigured offensive line to protect up front. Plus they brought in key players such as LB Blake Martinez and rookie S Xavier McKinney to improve their defense. They might not be ready to be contenders just yet but they are stepping in the right direction.
Washington Football Team- Ron Rivera's defensive mind along with new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio are going to work their magic with Washington's defense who drafted difference maker DE Chase Young. Young and pass rushing specialist Ryan Kerrigan are going to be a difficult tandem to control from getting to the quarterback. They added quality talent on defense in free agency with LB Thomas Davis and CB Kendall Fuller but with the unknown of QB Dwayne Haskins and an inferior offense that ranked 31st last season
Green Bay Packers- Green Bay somewhat surprised everyone by taking the heir at QB with Jordan Love instead of getting Super Bowl winning QB Aaron Rodgers more weapons but it seems the Packers are committed to having a rushing attack with drafting AJ Dillon in the 2nd round which will be beneficial to Rodgers who was sacked 36 times last season. But Green Bay still has the best QB in the division which is why they come out on top again.
Minnesota Vikings- The huge addition of pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue from Jacksonville to pair with Danielle Hunter is huge, combining for 22.5 sacks in 2019. But losing 5 defensive starters this offseason due to cap restraints will be costly. They have one of the best in backs in football with Dalvin Cook who is also looking for a new deal. Minnesota will have to rely on young veterans and rookies to really contribute and is Kirk Cousins the guy they paid him to be? I don't think so.
Chicago Bears- Chicago paid all this money to bring in QB Nick Foles to the windy city but Mitch Trubisky will be your starter for the Bears. Even with Khalil Mack, Akeim Hicks and Roquan Smith providing one of the best defensive fronts in football won't be enough for Chicago to overcome their offensive woes.
Detroit Lions- The Lions high-powered offense with WR Kenny Golladay and rookie D'Andre Swift and hopefully a healthy QB Matthew Stafford has the potential to be one of the league's top offenses in the league but unless they get significant improvements from their revamped defense they will be in the cellar again.
New Orleans Saints- The 41 year old ageless Drew Brees continues to play at a high level and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. After back to back 13-3 seasons and talent on both sides of the ball, the Saints are in well positioned to make a deep playoff run another Super Bowl!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers*- Tom Brady finds his new home in Tampa and brought an old friend with TE Rob Gronkowski. Can the 43-year old GOAT continue to play at a high level. With one of the best wideout tandems, WR Mike Evans and WR Chris Godwin finally having a decent QB to throw them the ball we could see some special things this season from the Tampa Offense.
Atlanta Falcons- Coming off back to back 7-9 seasons, Atlanta is in a do or die time with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and other veterans aging and creeping deeper into their 30s. Time is running out on Atlanta's championship aspirations
Carolina Panthers- Carolina is in rebuild mode under first year HC Matt Rhule and it could be a long process to get back to where the franchise once was. They signed free agent QB Teddy Bridgewater who will be their starter week 1 and brought him speedster WR Robby Anderson to pair with other wideouts Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore. Look at the bright side, they have to some the greatest back in the NFL with Christian McCaffrey. Hopefully they can figure out this plan sooner rather than later so they don't waste CmC's prime years.
San Francisco 49ers The defending NFC Champions look to get back to the promise land after falling short against the Chiefs in Super Bowl 54. But it won't come easy after losing a few key players this offseason. With the majority of their roster returning from their Super Bowl team and adding some offensive weapons for Jimmy G in the draft like WR Brandon Aiyuk and TE Charlie Woerner, I see SF still being a viable contender in the NFC.
Seattle Seahawks*- It's been six seasons since Seattle was in the Super Bowl... Since then they haven't made it past the Divisional Round in the playoffs. They have one of the top QBs with Russell Wilson and their offense can put up points, averaging 25.3 last season(9th best in NFL). Surprisingly their defense is what might hold them back. They need immediate contributions from young talent LB Jordyn Brooks and DE Darrell Taylor who they drafted in April's Draft if they want to overtake the defending NFC Champs.
Los Angeles Rams- The Rams are really relying on a bounce back season from franchise QB Jared Goff who had a disappointing 2019 campaign. Just two years removed their Super Bowl appearance, the Rams haven't made much improvement to their roster and will need an immediate impact from their draft class. Even so they are still the third best team in the division.
Arizona Cardinals- Arizona added an elite offensive weapon with WR DeAndre Hopkins for 2nd year signal caller Kyler Murray. With the 4 time All Pro to throw the ball to and a year under his belt in the offense, expect Murray to progression and come into this own. It's time for the Cardinals to show drastic improvement this season and if they do, I see them maybe a year away from contending for the playoffs.
NFC Championship Game: New Orleans over the SF 49ers -Drew Brees and the Saints punch their tickets to the Super Bowl, ending their 11 year drought since their last appearance where they beat the Colts
Super Bowl 55: Baltimore Ravens over the New Orleans Saints
-The Baltimore Ravens are the most complete team in the NFL right now. The versatility at QB with Lamar Jackson and all the offensive firepower he has at his disposal. Baltimore alos has one of the top notch defenses in the league that was top 10 in almost every defensive category a season ago. Baltimore gets their 3rd championship in 20 years.
-Coach of the Year: Bill Belichick -MVP: Patrick Mahomes -Offensive Player of the Year: Lamar Jackson
-Defensive Player: Nick Bosa -Comeback Player of the Year: Cam Newton -Offensive Rookie of the Year: CeeDee Lamb
-Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young