Despite a 2 point loss to the Saints in the NFC Wild Card game, the Eagles 2013 season was a far cry from a bust for Chip Kelly’s debut season in Philadelphia. At 10 – 6 and first place in the NFC East Philadelphia fans welcomed the changes Kelly put in place including keeping second year quarterback Nick Foles under center. The big story of the offseason in Philly has been centered on Desean Jackson who was released by the Eagles after rumors of gang affiliations surfaced. As one of the most dominant big play receivers in the game last year, this could cause some major problems for Foles who had a 71% completion rating with Jackson. With Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek having already established a connection with Foles look for them to step up and fill the shoes of the missing Jackson and Avant. Along with Desean Jackson the Eagles parted ways with Michael Vick in a swap that landed New York’s infamous butt-fumbler, Mark Sanchez, a home in Philadelphia. If the Eagles can keep their offensive production on the same path as last year they’ll have no problem scoring with the best in the NFL, only trouble stopping them. Finishing the year at number 29 in points allowed, Philly’s defense is where the big holes remain. While the front-seven progressively got better as the season went on to end up at 10th against the run, the release of Cromartie in the secondary appeared to hurt the Eagles quite a bit. Outside of Boykin’s career-high six interceptions, there was not a lot of positives to come from the Philadelphia secondary, something that will need to change heading into the 2014 season.
Philadelphia’s top notch performance in 2013 landed them some premier matchups in the upcoming season but as far as big games go you can always count on the slugfest with Dallas to produce; especially after the way the season ended for the Cowboys last year. Like every year the Eagles will get the Cowboys twice in 2014, once at AT&T Stadium and another at Lincoln Financial Field. After a 3 year hiatus with the Seattle Seahawks, Philly will get another shot at the defending Super Bowl champs on their own turf after losing at CenturyLink Field in 2011. Other big home games include the Eagles NFC East rivals, the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, which will also follow a one at home one away schedule. If you are planning to hit the road with Philadelphia in 2014 don’t miss the San Francisco game which will be played at the 49ers new facility, Levi’s Stadium, in Santa Clara, California.
Though there will be some big shoes to fill on offense this year the Eagles are more than capable of coming out on top of the NFC East heading back to the postseason once again. Foles will be good but fans, players, and coaches alike shouldn’t be expecting anything better than last year’s performance. While it was definitely no fluke season for Foles it was an amazing and rare one that his standards shouldn’t be characterized by. He’s got plenty of weapons to run one of the most productive offenses in the game and will likely do so in 2014. With draft pic predictions leaning towards a free-safety, Louisville’s Calvin Pryor and Alabama’s HaHa Clinton-Dix, Philadelphia fans can be assured that Kelly knows where his weakness is and he’s looking to fix it. Assuming the defense snags some talent from the draft and possibly off the wire the Eagles will likely be the favorite to defend its NFC East title in 2014.
September 7 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
September 15 at Indianapolis Colts
September 21 vs. Washington Redskins
September 28 at San Francisco 49ers
October 5 vs. St. Louis Rams
October 12 vs. New York Giants
October 26 at Arizona Cardinals
November 2 at Houston Texans
November 10 vs. Carolina Panthers
November 16 at Green Bay Packers
November 23 vs. Tennessee Titans
November 27 at Dallas Cowboys
December 7 vs. Seattle Seahawks
December 14 vs. Dallas Cowboys
December 20 at Washington Redskins
December 28 at New York Giants