Quick Review of 2011
Offense—No. 9 passing, No. 5 rushing, No. 4 total.
Defense—No. 10 passing, No. 16 rushing, No. 8 total.
No team was documented, analyzed and criticized more than the Eagles in 2011.
As soon as the lock-out was over, the Eagles were the big deal makers. They assembled the talent to make a Super Bowl run. They were even called the "Dream Team."
Then the season began, and it quickly turned into a nightmare.
After an Opening Day win, the Eagles would lose the next four. They spent the rest of the season trying to overcome this horrible start.
Blowing second-half leads became a way of life for them.
They blew a 10 point fourth quarter lead in Atlanta. The next week, they were outscored 15-0 in the fourth quarter by the Giants, and lost 29-16. The next week was the worst. They blew a 20 point lead, at home, to the 49ers.
They also blew a 24-17 lead against Chicago, and lost 30-24. There were also ugly losses to the Cardinals, Seahawks and Patriots.
However, they won their last four in dominant fashion. Though it was not good enough for a playoff spot, they finished 8-8, including a sweep of Dallas. That gave them the tie-breaker for second place in the NFC East.
How many games will the Eagles win in 2012?
S Oshiomogho Atogwe, OT Demetress Bell, QB Trent Edwards, G Mike Gibson, DT Derek Landri, LB DeMeco Ryans, C Steve Vallos.
DT Fletcher Cox, LB Mychal Kendricks, DE Vinny Curry, QB Nick Foles, CB Brandon Boykin, OT Dennis Kelly, WR Marvin McNutt, G Brandon Washington, RB Bryce Brown.
Undrafted Free Agents
WR Elvis Akpla, S Wade Bonner, TE Chase Ford, CB Cliff Harris, TE Emil Igwenagu, WR McKay Jacobson, WR Damaris Johnson, G Alfred McCullough, RB Chris Polk, LB Ryan Rau, FB Jeremy Stewart, S Phillip Thomas, DE Monte Taylor, DE Frank Trotter.
DE Victor Abiamiri, RB Ronnie Brown, G Kyle DeVan, DT Trevor Laws, DE Juqua Parker, CB Asante Samuel, FB Owen Schmitt, WR Steve Smith, QB Vince Young.
Outlook for 2012
The Eagles have most of their key players returning for 2012.
The defensive backfield is deep enough that they traded cornerback Asante Samuel to Atlanta.
Now they have brought in linebacker DeMeco Ryans. Ryans is a two-time Pro Bowler who was defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006. Of their first five draft picks, they spent four on defense. The defense was Top 10 last year, and should be better in 2012.
On offense, the only missing key player is tackle Jason Peters. Peters tore his right Achilles during the off-season.
Michael Vick will once again have DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek to throw to. LeSean McCoy returns after finishing fourth in the NFL in rushing with 1,309 yards in 2011.
The Eagles weakness could be at back-up quarterback. The Eagles have had capable back-ups for the past few years. Though Vince Young has his critics, is there a better back-up on the roster now?
Owing to Michael Vick's tendency to miss games due to injury, with three missed games last year, this could be the Eagles downfall in 2012.
Overall this team should contend, not just for a playoff spot, but for the Super Bowl as well.
If they don't, the seat may get hot for head coach Andy Reid.
Sep. 9 at Cleveland
Sep. 16 Baltimore
Sep. 23 at Arizona
Sep. 30 New York Giants
Oct. 7 at Pittsburgh
Oct. 14 Detroit
Oct. 28 Atlanta
Nov. 5 at New Orleans
Nov. 11 Dallas
Nov. 18 at Washington
Nov. 26 Carolina
Dec. 2 at Dallas
Dec. 9 at Tampa Bay
Dec. 13 Cincinnati
Dec. 23 Washington
Dec. 30 at New York Giants
The Eagles will play six teams in their first eight games that were in the playoffs in 2011, including five straight from September 30 until November 5.
The Eagles will make five prime-time appearances. There are two Sunday night games with division rivals Dallas and the Giants.
They are on Monday Night Football twice—against New Orleans and Carolina.
They will also play on Thursday, December 13 against the Bengals.
Another "Dream Team," the Miami Heat, won a championship this year.
Can the Eagles live up to last year's hype and win the Super Bowl this year?
Or will there be more turmoil and disappointment?
With their talent, even despite a schedule that features eight playoff teams, the Eagles should contend for the Super Bowl.
They are capable of winning 10 games.
However, they will still fall short of that ultimate goal again this year.