Looking at the 2019 Season

Posted: September 4th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Looking at the 2019 Season

The 2019 NFL season gets underway this week. The Eagles are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 9-7 campaign.

While the 2018 season didn’t go as expected, the Eagles were only a couple of plays from going 11-5. I know you can argue the opposite as well, but there were two blown fourth quarter leads. There weren’t any miracle comebacks. Heck, the Eagles came close to getting back to the NFC championship game.

Plenty of people would kill for a down season like that.

The point isn’t to throw praise at a disappointing season, but rather to think about what 2018 showed us.

Howie Roseman has built a strong enough roster that the Eagles could overcome starting 13 different DBs. The offense overcame losing the starting QB, starting RB and speedy WR. Doug Pederson has created a strong culture that all kinds of different players can fit in. Holdover veterans like Jason Peters, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham have thrived. Rookies like Carson Wentz and Corey Clement came up big right away. Elite free agents like Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Brooks have played at a high level. Low price veterans like Patrick Robinson, Chris Long and Cre’Von LeBlanc became key players.

The Eagles are more than a one-year wonder. They are more than a few key players. This is a team that is built to sustain success.

The 2019 Eagles have a healthy Carson Wentz. The offense gets a big boost from the addition of DeSean Jackson, Miles Sanders and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The defense will get a boost from key starters returning to the lineup, as well as the additions of Malik Jackson, Vinny Curry and Andrew Sendejo.

This is a deep, talented team. The sky is the limit.

Let’s talk about some things to watch.

First quarter points

The Eagles scored early and often in 2017. They built leads and played from ahead. This is a simple formula that all teams want to make happen. The 2017 team did and it delivered the city of Philadelphia its first Super Bowl title.

There is no one thing from 2018 to correct. Turnovers were a problem. Penalties were a problem. The coaching could have been better. So could blocking and execution by the skill players. Everyone had a hand in the problems.

A scoreless first quarter on Sunday would be a bad sign. If the Eagles are up 21-0, go ahead and make your Super Bowl plans.


The Eagles defense had 10 INTs last year. They had 19 the year before. The Eagles defense must make plays. Last year they didn’t, instead making crucial errors that cost them some key games. Should I continue to hold a grudge against Corey Graham for his fourth down mistake in the loss to the Titans? No, that would be silly. But I still do. Gone, but never forgotten, Corey!!!

Beyond getting the ball, the Eagles need to make plays when they do get it. The defense scored five TDs in 2017. They didn’t find the end zone at all in 2018. Think about the 2017 season. Other than Philly Special and the BG strip sack, the most memorable play was Patrick Robinson’s pick-six against the Vikings.

Dominating Up Front

You could make an interesting case that the team MVP in 2017 was the offensive line. They protected the QBs (Wentz’s injury came on a scramble). They opened holes in the run game. They were dominant when it mattered most. Re-watch the Super Bowl. Foles was great, but part of that was him having a clean pocket and plenty of time to throw on most of those plays.

The line was up and down in 2018. Nagging injuries affected multiple players. The high level of play just wasn’t there as it had been in 2017. If the OL bounces back, which they should do as a healthy unit, that will offer a big boost to the whole offense. Heck, the whole team.

Pass Defense

Jalen Mills was a scrappy, playmaking CB in 2017. He became the 21st century version of Toast Jenkins in 2018. QBs abused him on a weekly basis. Mills wasn’t alone.

The entire Eagles secondary took a big step backward in 2018. QBs averaged 7.36 yards per passing attempt. That was down at 6.5 the year before. Opposing QB rating jumped from 79.6 up to 93.4.

DBs didn’t cover well. They didn’t make plays. That’s not a good combination.

The good news is that all the injuries allowed young players to get valuable experience. Avonte Maddox could be in for a huge year. Sidney Jones is healthy and might finally show us the ability that made him a star in college. Ronald Darby is healthy and in a contract year. He’ll be ready to show the world he deserves big money next March. And Rasul Douglas is just itching to get on the field.

The Eagles have better depth at safety this year and that could make a difference if anyone gets hurt.

Better play by the DBs would make all the difference in the world.


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