The Philadelphia Eagles are a supremely talented football team, and no one will deny that. If games were played on paper, they'd have a decent shot to be 16-0 this season.
But games aren't played on paper. In the NFL you're constantly dealing with injury, off-the-field issues, and various other obstacles that impede your success. And especially with the tragic news regarding Andy Reid's son (Per ESPN), the Eagles have a lot on their plate to deal with at the moment.
However, I still hold the opinion that they're more than capable of winning the Super Bowl. Here's why.
Mike Vick's Going to Stay Healthy
It's always discussed that Michael Vick's style of play leads to injury, and that the guy just can't seem to stay out of harms way. He's only played 16 games in a season once (although he has played 15 three times).
But this season's going to be different for Vick.
Vick's finally realized his value to this team, he understands that he's the key to their success. And given his closeness to Head Coach Andy Reid, he's going to want to have the best season he's ever had, and he will play in all 16 games this season.
Vick's more motivated than he's ever been, especially after his dynasty comments to the media. If Vick stays healthy, and plays at the top of his game, this team will be unstoppable, they'll be racking up points with the best of them and they'll be very, very difficult to beat and will be poised to make a Super Bowl run.
The Defense Will Be Top-5 in the NFL
The Eagles front four very quietly provided the best pass rush in the NFL, having the most sacks when rushing four or less players in 2011. The much maligned secondary should only be stronger this year, as last season they struggled early but really came together over the last third of the season.
And with a full off-season under their belt to mesh to get with one another, they'll be set to have a lot of success.
The one really weak area was the linebackers, but it looks like that's been addressed with the off-season addition of pro bowler Demeco Ryans, and drafting Cal LB Mychal Kendricks, who has a lot of upside. Add first-rounder Fletcher Cox to the D-Line, and this defense should thrive in 2012.
Assuming the secondary can play well, there isn't really any glaring weakness in this defense. If the line continues their solid play, and the Linebackers are just average at the very worst, this defense will be scary to go up against.
And since it's Juan Castillo's second season, with a full off-season under him, he should be a much better Defensive Coordinator than he was last year.
This Team is Unique
When you look at the Eagles roster, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, there isn't really another team that matches up equally with them. What other team has all of their top receivers being speedy yet undersized but equally hard to defend, with an extremely dynamic QB and a RB that's very quick and shifty, and could breakout and be the best back in the league this year?
Combined with a defense that could be great, and you have a recipe for a deep playoff run.
Very few teams can deal with the Eagles if they're firing on all cylinders. They just need to finally put it all together, and play to their full potential, and they'll be just fine in 2012.
All Stats Per ESPN
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