The NFC East is expected to be incredibly tight once again this year. Bovada Online Gaming in Las Vegas predicts that all four teams in the division will win between seven and nine games. With that in mind, you can make perfectly valid arguments in favor of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins finishing first, or last, in the league's most popular division.
Let's do exactly that for the Eagles, starting with the glass-half-full perspective...
ON THE OTHER HAND: WHY THE EAGLES WILL FINISH DEAD LAST IN THE NFC EAST IN 2013
There's a new mentality in Philly
New head coach Chip Kelly means business. Once staples in the team's cafeteria during the Andy Reid Era, "Taco Tuesday" and "Fast Food Friday" are gone. Practices have become more fast-paced and efficient. Players have personalized smoothies, for crying out loud. The energy Kelly has brought to the NovaCare Complex could be enough to take an underachieving, talented roster from worst to first. The right pieces are in place, especially if Kelly and his smoothies can get the most out of each and every one of them.
On paper, they got a hell of a lot better this offseason
The Eagles were always better than 4-12 anyway, but then Kelly and Howie Roseman went out in the offseason and did some serious work revamping and upgrading the offense and defense. While the cap-strapped Giants, Cowboys and Redskins sat relatively idle, Philly added at least half a dozen new starters in free agency and some serious playmakers in the draft. Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams, Earl Wolff and Jordan Poyer have the ability to breathe new life into the secondary, while Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson and James Casey could be immediate difference-makers on offense.
The offensive line might be fixed
Johnson was selected fourth overall so that he could step in right away and start at right tackle, enabling the Eagles to move Todd Herremans inside to guard. That means the ineffective Danny Watkins gets benched and the line as a whole improves dramatically. Remember, this line was missing left tackle Jason Peters as well as center Jason Kelce and Herremans at right tackle for a huge portion of the 2012 season. Hard to do anything when your offensive line is that depleted, but all of those guys are healthy now.
Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson are also back
Philly's most lethal offensive weapons spent large parts of 2012 sidelined due to injury, In fact, between the line and the skill positions, the Eagles lost more adjusted games due to injury than any other offense in the NFL last season, according to Football Outsiders. If Vick, McCoy, Jackson, Peters, Kelce and Herremans can stay healthy, the Eagles will have one of the most talented offensive units in the NFL.
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