PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The expectations are sky-high for the Philadelphia Eagles heading into the season, but can the Birds live up to the hype? On Sunday, the long, difficult journey to a Super Bowl begins for the Eagles.
Here are some burning questions heading into the season that every fan needs answered.
Are the Eagles legitimate Super Bowl contenders? The answer is absolutely yes.
Quarterback Carson Wentz is healthy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson is back. The offense is absolutely loaded at every position and that alone makes them one of the favorites in the NFC.
However, there are concerns. At 37 years old, left tackle Jason Peters is giving it another go. His health is always a major concern at a premium position. He is the bodyguard, after all.
That said, first-round pick Andre Dillard is his understudy and the reviews about him have been glowing.
“Andre has a chance to become a tremendous player,” general manager Howie Roseman said. “He’s got maybe the best left tackle of all time to learn from.”
Fans should also worry about the Eagles’ defense a bit, specifically the linebackers and secondary.
Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill is out and Nigel Bradham hasn’t seen the field all preseason. Safety Rodney McLeod is making his way back from a major knee injury, as well as cornerback Ronald Darby.
Cornerback Sidney Jones has the talent, but will he put it together?
On the other side of the ball, here’s who the fans should get to know. The two-headed monster at running back of Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders.
Howard came over from Chicago and has averaged over 1,100 yards the last three seasons. He’s a big bruising back and he’s only 24.
Add rookie Miles Sanders into the mix and you’ve got the makings of a really talented backfield.
Fans also need to keep an eye on defensive tackle Malik Jackson as he’s going to line up next to Fletcher Cox. The pairing should be great.
So, it’s Super Bowl or bust, right? They have a head coach in Doug Pederson who knows the deal. They have a quarterback poised to be an MVP. They have Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and Cox, Brandon Graham and Malcolm Jenkins. They have the leadership.
So is it back to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years?
“Obviously, there’s a talent at a lot of positions,” Pederson said. “A lot of the same guys are back that have been with me now for four years. But, you know, hey, you still have to go play and still have to execute your offense, defense and special teams. But I do feel like it’s our deepest roster that we’ve had, yes.”
The Eagles face the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday in the season opener.