2011 Philadelphia Eagles Team Preview | NFL Predictions
If the Philadelphia Eagles are going to return to the playoffs next season and go farther in them, one thing they are going to have to improve on is giving up large chunks of yards to the opposing offense.
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2011 Philadelphia Eagles Team Preview/Predictions
2010 Record: 10-6
ATS Record: 7-9
You know the old sports cliché, bending but not breaking.
The Eagles need to find ways to not bend in the first place. Last year the Eagles allowed 13.9 yards per point last year, which ranked them 25th in the league.
With that stat in mind, the Eagles decided to make a change with their defensive coordinator. They cut ties with defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and gave the reins of their defense to their offensive line coach Juan Castillo. That’s not a misprint.
Castillo has coached strictly on the offensive side of the ball in Philadelphia and at Texas A&M since 1990. He last coached a defense back in 1989, and that was at Kingsville High School. Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid is making a bit of a gamble, to say the very least.
The Eagles’ success in 2011 will come down to the team’s new defensive acquisitions, shutdown corner Nnamdi Asomugha and Cullen Jenkins, and how they – along with the rest of the Philadelphia defense – react to being instructed by a former offensive coach. Asomugha, plucked from the Oakland Raiders, and Jenkins – a formidable defensive tackle from the defending world champion Green Bay Packers – will be expected to fit into Castillo’s system and take over games with their natural talents.
The Eagles have assembled the pieces needed to compete for a championship on the defensive side of the ball. Those pieces must now mesh under Castillo.
One big key for the Eagles last year was the re-emergence of Michael Vick, who once again unleashed his imposing athletic skills on the football field. Vick finished fourth among quarterbacks in 2010 with a QB rating of 100.2, while throwing for 3,018 yards with 21 touchdowns. Vick was also very productive on the ground as well.
Vick rushed for 676 yards and nine touchdowns in leading his Eagles to the division crown.
It doesn’t hurt Mr. Vick that he has arguably the best deep threat duo in the NFL. Many people around the league believe that DeSean Jackson is the best in catching the deep ball while Jeremy Maclin isn’t far behind. Between the two standout receivers, they had 117 receptions totaling more than 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns. Of course, the offense didn’t stop there.
The interesting thing about the Philly defense last year was that it forced the opposing offense to turn the ball over 34 times, which ranked fifth in the NFL. However, the Eagles still gave up lots of points. The Eagles were dreadful in the red zone, the worst in the NFL to be exact. They allowed opponents to score on 78.3 percent of their trips to the red zone.
Even with one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the league in Asante Samuel, Philly still gave up 31 throwing touchdowns, which landed them third-worst in the league.
There is one more mind-blowing stat that doesn’t benefit the Eagles. This time it’s on the offensive side of the pigskin. With a quarterback as mobile as Vick, you would think the team’s offensive line wouldn’t allow a lot of sacks, but that wasn’t the case last year. Only the Bears, Panthers, and Cardinals gave up more than the 49 sacks given up by the Eagles last year.
This needs to be changed in 2011.
2011 Eagles Futures
Super Bowl Odds: +1015
Conference Odds: +425
NFC East Odds: +105
2011-2012 NFL Regular Season Wins: Over 10.5
2011 Eagles Predictions
Place they’ll finish in NFC East: 1st
Place they’ll finish in NFC Conference: 3rd
Over/Under Wins Prediction: OVER
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