We’ll continue a series of opponent preview posts for the New Orleans Saints opponents in 2018. Next, we’ll finish that that “bunch of frauds” (s/o to our old pal John Sigler), the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Our friends over at Bleeding Great Nation took some time to give us Saints fans the scoop a the reigning Super Bowl champs.
Week 11: vs the Philadelphia Eagles
Notable free agent additions:
WR Mike Wallace, DT Haloti Ngata, LB Corey Nelson, (DE Michael Bennett - acquired through trade)
10.5 wins -- Over. The reigning Super Bowl champions won 13 regular season games last year. They did this despite not having Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, and Chris Maragos for all 16 games. The Eagles were able to overcome theses losses due to a combination of elite coaching by Doug Pederson, fantastic play in the trenches, and strong roster depth. The Eagles project to have these same strengths in 2018 so I wouldn’t bet against them.
Most exciting rookie:
I’m most excited about: TE Dallas Goedert (AKA Philly Goedert). Goedert measures in at 6-4, 260 pounds and boasts plus athleticism. He looked virtually unguardable in the red zone during spring practices this year. The Eagles already have one great tight end in Zach Ertz. The presence of Goedert could give Philly a new dynamic duo for Pederson to unleash on the league.
Position battle to keep an eye on:
The Eagles need to figure out what to do at nickel cornerback with Patrick Robinson leaving in free agency. It’s possible 2017 second-round pick Sidney Jones steps up in that role. He got the first look during OTAs. De’Vante Bausby, who spent last season on Philadelphia’s practice squad last year, also flashed during spring drills and might be the front-runner right now. Rookie fourth-round pick Avonte Maddox will throw his hat into the ring as well. It’s possible the Eagles could employ a rotation in the slot so there might not even be one true winner from this battle.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp:
Carson Wentz’s health status is the obvious answer here. The 25-year-old signal caller was having an MVP-caliber season before suffering an ACL tear in early December. From that moment, it was unclear if he’d be ready to start the beginning of the 2018 season. The good news is that Wentz’s recovery progress has been very encouraging. Some in the Eagles organization have described him as “shockingly ahead of schedule.” Wentz was a lot more involved in OTAs and minicamp than most expected him to be. He wasn’t participating in full team 11-on-11 drills, though, so that’s the next hurdle for him to clear. We’ll see how that goes in training camp. There’s definitely optimism that he’ll be ready to start in the NFL kickoff game on September 6.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:
Two of the Eagles’ biggest offseason departures took place in the coaching department. Former offensive coordinator Frank Reich is now the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and former quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is now the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator. It’ll be hard to gauge the impact of losing them until the season starts but this is certainly something to keep an eye on.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
The list is so long that it’s easy to forget someone. Wentz is coming off the ACL. Alshon Jeffery isn’t expected to be ready until around Week 1 as he recovers from a torn rotator cuff. Timmy Jernigan had offseason surgery on a herniated disc in his back and will likely end up on the NFI/PUP list. Haloti Ngata missed all of spring practices as he recovers from torn biceps. Super Bowl hero Brandon Graham had offseason surgery on his ankle. Jordan Hicks wasn’t able to fully participate in spring practices. Chris Maragos didn’t practice at all as he recovers from a PCL injury. Besides Jernigan, there’s hope most of these players will be ready by Week 1. But we’ll have to see how they progress during the summer.
So what says you, you unbiased Saints fans? Can the Saints knock down the defending Champs, or will they get humbled in the Dome? Vote in the poll. Explain in the comments. And make sure you also check out DraftDividends.com, a website for a new book I’m writing currently titled Draft Picks and Dividends: A Fantasy Football Player’s Guide to Understanding the Stock Market.
How will the Saints fare against the Philadelphia Eagles?
This poll is closed