Apr 10, 2011
In 2010, NFC East fans witnessed a battle at the top between the Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) and New York Giants (10-6) all season long. The Giants got off to a fast start and took an early lead on the division, however Michael Vick was able to infuse the Eagles’ offense in a late charge that culminated in a Week 15 matchup between the two teams. In that game, Philadelphia scored four touchdowns over the games’ last eight minutes and won on a DeSean Jackson punt return as time expired. That game would go down as one of the craziest of the 2010 season and was the deciding factor in the Eagles claiming the NFC East title. The Eagles and Giants will look to once again battle it out for the top spot in the division while the Dallas Cowboys (6-10) hope to bounce back from a surprisingly disappointing season.The Washington Redskins (6-10) will hang around and surprise some of their division foes, however with many question marks on both sides of the football they can’t be called a serious threat.
It was the Michael Vick show for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010. After starting quarterback Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion in Week 1 of the season it opened the door for a Vick comeback and the Eagles would never look back. Vick answered the call by becoming not only one of the biggest scoring threats in fantasy football, but the NFL. Despite winning the NFC East division, Philadelphia lost their final three games, including a Wild Card Round playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. While the Eagles’ offense has loads of talent at all of the skills positions, this team has plenty of needs to address if they are going to repeat as champions in a tough NFC East conference.
1. Michael Vick — Vick stepped in for Kevin Kolb (concussion) midway through Week 1 and emerged as the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL last season. In just his second season with the Eagles, Vick passed for 3,018 yards, rushed for 676 yards and totaled 30 touchdowns in only 12 games. Vick distracts defenses with his legs, rightfully so, and when he is on top of his game defenses have trouble defending him. After a bittersweet ending to an incredible season, look for Vick to be ready to show off his talents again in 2011.
2. Head Coach Andy Reid — Entering his 13th season as the Eagles’ head coach, the only thing Andy Reid hasn’t done is win a Lombardi Trophy. Reid inherited a Philly team that went 3-13 in 1998 and after going 5-11 in 1999, he reversed their record in 2000 and hasn’t looked back since. The Eagles have made the playoffs in nine of his 12 seasons and few teams have a coach with the experience and track record of Reid. Now, he just needs to win the big game.
3. LeSean McCoy — Not only do the Eagles have a dangerous quarterback, they have one of the most talented running backs in the NFL in LeSean McCoy. Entering his third season, there really isn’t anything McCoy can’t do. In 2010, he led all running backs with 78 receptions and McCoy’s 1,672 yards from scrimmage ranked in the top-10 at the running back position. Look for the versatile running back to be even better in 2011.
4. Young And Talented Wide Receivers — While Vick deserves a lot of credit for the Eagles success, he benefits from throwing the football to elite options on the outside. Both DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are on the fast track to being superstars and their numbers in 2010 showed. Jackson had 1,056 receiving yards on 47 receptions and his 22.5 yard per catch average led all NFL wideouts. Maclin had 70 receptions for 964 receiving yards and his 10 touchdowns tied for seventh in the NFL among wide receivers.
1. Help In The Secondary — Outside of Asante Samuel, nothing is set in stone in the Eagles’ secondary for 2011. Strong safety Quinton Mikell is probably the second most talented defensive back they have, however his contract is up and there is no guarantee he resigns with the team. At the other cornerback spot, Dimitri Patterson has speed but is inexperienced and was visibly fooled way too often last season. Everyone is aware that Nnamdi Asomugha is a free agent and the Eagles would be crazy not to target him. They do, however, have a lot invested in Samuel and may not be ready to commit more big money to another defensive back. Bruno Boys Cory projects the Eagles to draft Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith at No.23 in his most recent NFL Mock Draft.
2. Offensive Linemen – Despite blocking for the most elusive quarterback in the NFL, the Eagles’ offensive line still allowed 49 sacks in 2010, fourth most in the NFL. Jason Peters at left tackle and Todd Herremans at left guard are set, but the rest of the line is a question. Right tackle Winston Justice was benched in the playoffs. Center Mike McGlynn started 14 games after starting zero in his first two years with the Eagles, and at 26 is still a work in progress. Florida G/C Mike Pouncey is an option when the Eagles pick at No. 23 in the NFL Draft. Robert Gallery is an intriguing free agent. Drafted by the Oakland Raiders as a tackle, Gallery struggled at the position, however he came into his own as a guard and would fit in nicely on the right side in Philly.
3. Improving the Defensive Line – The Eagles made it a priority before last season to improve their defensive line, but No. 13 overall pick Brandon Graham failed to make an impact before a season-ending ACL surgery. On top of that, Round 3 selection Daniel Te’o-Nesheim did not contribute and trade acquisition Daryll Tapp was nothing more than a reserve. The Eagles still managed to get enough pressure to record 39 sacks on the season, however outside of defensive end Trent Cole (10 sacks), the line is still thin.