Michael Perez/Associated Press
Here's my ridiculous bold prediction of the season for the Eagles. I think Alex Henery emerges as one of the best kickers in the National Football League in 2014.
First of all, forget about the kicking competition in training camp with Murderleg. Henery isn't going to lose his spot to a kicker who made just 78 percent of his field goals in college.
Right now, the entire fanbase is frustrated with Henery. I understand. I was leading the criticism on Twitter throughout the 2013 season, especially against the Minnesota Vikings (short kickoffs) and New Orleans Saints (missed field goal in two-point loss).
But the 2014 season is a chance for Henery to completely forget about his past struggles. He was a very successful kicker as a rookie, and he's gotten progressively worse over the past two seasons. Field-goal percentages can fluctuate drastically from year to year. It's almost impossible to predict. One year, a Billy Cundiff will hit on 96 percent of field goals, and the next year he's cut by thrree different teams.
Henery has had his share of misses before, and he's due for a streak like the team-record 22 straight field goals he made in 2012. Kickoffs will still likely be an issue, although I don't ever remember him struggling like he did in 2013. Expect significant improvement in both areas. Expect Henery to win some games this year, instead of losing them.
And for the record, there's no other candidate for offensive breakout player of the year. Rookies aren't eligible because they haven't played yet. I think Lane Johnson struggles during his second season. I don't see Zach Ertz making quite the leap everybody expects. And I would be surprised if a backup like Chris Polk or Allen Barbre played enough to become a breakout player.