NFL Predictions Week 1: Will Philadelphia Eagles Dream Team Flop in Debut?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 13: Quintin Mikell #27 of the St. Louis Rams returns an interception during the first half of the NFL preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Edward Jones Dome on August 13, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

On Sunday we will finally get to see the Philadelphia Eagles in regular-season form and many across the country will be expecting a blowout against the St. Louis Rams.

However, those that really know football—just look at Vegas' odds—understand that the Eagles are guaranteed nothing after their offseason forays into free agency.

Those that really know football understand that the St. Louis Rams have all the right weapons to beat the Eagles on opening weekend.

Whether the Eagles chose to or not, this offseason put a target on their backs and fans and franchises alike will be gunning for them. Their first taste of this will be tough to take as they travel to the Edward Jones' Dome to play the upstart St. Louis Rams.

The Rams are a team that looks set to breakout this year, in Sam Bradford's second season, as they had a very impressive offseason of their own.

The most significant offseason acquisition came off the field as Josh McDaniels' tenure as one of the worst head coaches in the league ended and he returned to being one of the best offensive coordinators in the league.

McDaniels is a quarterback guru who loves to pass the ball, but he understands that the real star in St. Louis remains at the running back position—a running back that is perfectly designed to dominate the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend. The Eagles have invested heavily in the cornerback position, but did little to improve their linebackers and safety groups.

Steven Jackson should be able to have a huge amount of success against the Eagles as he runs behind an impressive offensive line. Jackson will be able to get into the second level of the Eagles defense, where there will be no dominant linebacker or safety waiting to jar him.

He will also see the ball a lot as the Rams look to keep the Eagles offense on the sideline and keep them cold by dominating the time of possession.

When the Eagles do get on the field, they have the perfect players up front to take advantage of the Eagles' pass-protection issues. Todd Herremens may be a star guard, but playing at tackle will be difficult as Chris Long lines up across from him.

Long should be able to get into Vick's face all day, while Quintin Mikell will undoubtedly use his familiarity with the Eagles system and quarterback to take advantage of any pressure upfront.

The Philadelphia Eagles may ultimately win the Super Bowl; however, they will need to overcome their suspect defense against the run. If you cannot stop the run, you cannot stop any offense.