Many members among the NFL media have come to the consensus that the Eagles are a Super Bowl caliber team, with virtually all power rankings listing the Eagles among the top ten teams in the NFL. They cite things such as the confidence in quarterback Carson Wentz, the additions of Malik Jackson and Vinny Curry to the defensive line, and the return of hometown hero DeSean Jackson for these high rankings and why the team could potentially capture their second Lombardi Trophy this upcoming season.
However, what these so called “media pundits” fail to understand is that the Eagles are much more vulnerable than they realize and may not have the season they expect to have if things don’t go in their favor. Worst case scenario, the team misses the playoffs.
Week one of the NFL season hasn’t even rolled around yet and the team is already dealing with injuries, particularly to the defensive secondary. Eagles fans are all too familiar with the horrid tale of the teams defensive secondary unit and the mishaps they had last season which was among the list of reasons for why the team almost missed the playoffs.
Despite this, the Eagles managed to find a shining star in Cre’Von LeBlanc, who proved to be the most reliable cornerback the Eagles had last season. LeBlanc’s outstanding showing, especially in the playoffs proves that he can serve as a reliable starting cornerback.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, LeBlanc’s recent injury in training camp could leave him sidelined until as late as November.
Assuming Jalen Mills could stay healthy once he returns from his foot injury, what confidence does he inspire after his poor performances last season? Also, how confident can fans be in Sidney Jones and Ronald Darby, two players who have yet to play a full season in an Eagles uniform but are rated as among the best corners the team currently has? The Eagles defensive secondary needs to stay as healthy as possible if the team hopes to make a deep playoff run.
In addition to the problems on defense, the Eagles need Carson Wentz to stay healthy, especially with the recent injury of backup Nate Sudfeld.
Sudfeld dispelled any remaining doubts fans may have had about his ability to be a reliable backup with his great showing in the Eagles first preseason game last Thursday. He looked comfortable in the pocket and displayed great abilities to avoid the pressure from blitzing defenders, finishing the day with 177 yards passing with a touchdown and 10 completions on 18 attempts. His night was cut short, however, when he broke his wrist. It is not known when he will return but what is certain is that the Eagles are left more vulnerable at the quarterback position.
Rookie backup Clayton Thorson was extremely inaccurate in the Eagles first preseason game, looked uncomfortable, and only completed 2 passes on 9 attempts for 7 yards and had an interception.
The question must be asked, what are the Eagles going to do if Wentz goes down and Sudfeld isn’t healthy enough to return? Can the Eagles really rely on Thorson or Cody Kessler to get the job done and lead the team to victory?
At this point in time, the answer is clearly no.
Kessler hasn’t received much playing time since his rookie year in Cleveland and if Thorson was that bad in the preseason, imagine how horrible he would be in a regular season game.
If Wentz does go down, let’s hope that Sudfeld is healthy enough to takeover. If not, the Eagles might as well kiss their chances at winning Super Bowl LIV goodbye.