Can the Eagles recapture the magic of their 2017 season?

By Max Silverman
July 12, 2021

Going into the 2020 season, the Philadelphia Eagles had high expectations. Many people believed that they were a playoff-caliber team and some had them going on a deep playoff run. However, instead of a dominant season ending in confetti, the Eagles faced countless injuries and losses, ending their season at 4-12-1, last in the weak NFC East.

Because of their terrible season, quarterback Carson Wentz was traded, while head coach Doug Peterson was fired. With Nick Sirianni, the new head coach, new coaching staff, second-year QB Jalen Hurts at helm and many questions about the team to be answered, how well will the Eagles do in 2021? I’ll try and answer that question.

Following a disastrous 4-11-1 2020 season, Jalen Hurts and the Eagles look to bounce back to playoff success. “Jalen Hurts” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by All-Pro Reels

As previously mentioned, the Eagles have currently made major moves in the offseason by trading Wentz and hiring a new head coach. However, while these moves are controversial, Philly has flown under the radar acquiring some key players. Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson and safety Anthony Harris bolster two positions of need. Another key signing was running back Jordan Howard, back for a second stint in green and black. Quarterback Joe Flacco was also picked up to back up Jalen Hurts. Additionally, the team has 11 draft picks, so they have the opportunity to draft loads of young talent.

Even though they have picked up some important pieces in the offseason, I don’t think that the Eagles will have a winning record this year. I feel that a combination of a new head coach who’s learning the ropes and many young players (especially at wide receiver) that need to develop will hold this team back. As of now, Las Vegas has the Over/Under (win total prediction) for the Eagles at 7.5, which I feel is a little too high.

Across multiple rankings, the Eagles have the one of the weaker schedules in the league for 2021. However, there are two notable games that stand out, as Philly will have to face the two teams who clashed in the Super Bowl: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.

I also see the Eagles losing against the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, and the Los Angeles Chargers. I feel that these teams are very well balanced, and the young and relatively inexperienced Eagles offense will struggle to match the scoring of the elite Chiefs and Buccaneers with their plethora of star talent.

The Falcons and Raiders are two other opponents that I feel will be too much for Philly to handle. Despite their tendency to give up big leads, the Falcons have an explosive offense featuring star receiver Julio Jones, who has proven time and time again that he is able to win games by himself.

Two notable games for the Eagles this year are against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs, the two teams who squared off in the Super Bowl. “Jose Gasparilla Super Bowl LV 2” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Photomatt28

Philly faces four other non-NFC East teams this year. These teams are the New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions. They’re currently in rebuild mode and I think that Philly has a better roster, so I’m pretty confident in picking the Eagles to win.

Much like last year, I think that the NFC East will be very ugly in 2021. Because of this, I can easily see the Eagles winning a few games against their divisional foes. I think that the Eagles will be able to sweep the New York Giants, split their games against the Dallas Cowboys, but lose both against Washington. Games between the Cowboys and Eagles are usually very close and both teams are usually evenly matched, so I think that each team will win one game against their arch nemesis. Washington’s defense was one of the best in the league last year, which I believe can capitalize on an often-injured Eagles offensive line and inexperienced receivers.

Joe Hamilton, senior finance major, also believes that the Eagles will have a losing record this year. He thinks that they will go 5-12.

Chris Schaller, sophomore digital communications major, has a more positive outlook on the Eagles’ upcoming season. He says that he sees “The floor for them being around 6-11, but, I think they have a ceiling of 9-8.” He believes that their strong offensive line and additions to their already solid defense can help the Eagles potentially compete for a division title. He is also confident in the playmaking abilities of Hurts.

To summarize, I think that the Eagles will lose against the Buccaneers, Chiefs, Falcons, Raiders, Saints, Chargers, 49ers, Cowboys (once), and Washington (twice). I think that Philly will beat the Jets, Panthers, Lions, Broncos, Cowboys (once), and Giants (twice). This puts Philly at a 7-10 record for 2021, half a game below their Over/Under. While another losing season might upset some fans, I feel that the Eagles main focus of this season is to rebuild.

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Max Silverman

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