During their parade last week in Philadelphia, the Eagles coaches, players and executives all talked of how winning the Super Bowl this month wouldn’t be a one-and-done type of thing,
They talked of getting used to playing in Super Bowls.
We know talk is cheap when it comes to this type of bravado, but the Eagles are positioned to be a top contender — and maybe the favorite — again next season.
How can they not be after winning a Super Bowl with backup quarterback Nick Foles? Yes, he was great in the postseason, but Carson Wentz will be the starter when he returns from his ACL, which will only strengthen this team. Wentz is, after all, better than Foles — and please don’t talk about a controversy. There is none.
The Eagles have a talented roster and a coach in Doug Pederson who plays to win and doesn’t hold back, a fresh approach in a league full of coaches who don’t.
That isn’t to say they don’t have issues. They have a first-round pick, but it’s last in the round, and they don’t have a pick in either the second or third round because of trades.
They are also up against it when it comes to the cap, which means key contributors like nickel corner Patrick Robinson could be gone.
So all that talk about a new norm of February football is nice and all, but, as the NFL has taught us, if you don’t have Tom Brady it’s a lot harder to make that a reality than just saying it.
But the Eagles beat Brady in Super Bowl LII to win their first in history, which is why they open the offseason atop my Power Rankings. The Patriots, despite the loss and the supposed turmoil inside the organization, open in the second spot.
It looks like Drew Brees will re-sign with the Saints, but you never know. The Jaguars are leaning toward bringing Blake Bortles back, but could they enter the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes? Minnesota’s top-three quarterbacks are all free agents, led by Case Keenum, who led them to the NFC Championship Game against the Eagles, so they have to decide who their guy will be.
The offseason is upon us with the NFL scouting combine in two weeks, then free agency, followed by the draft and minicamps and OTAs. There is hope now for a lot of teams, but the Eagles head to the offseason thinking about a repeat with their talented roster, which is why they are looking down at the rest of the NFL.
|The return to health of Carson Wentz and the loss of offensive coordinator Frank Reich are the only real issues facing the Eagles heading into next season. Of course, repeating is tough to do.||2||13-3-0|
|The defense was exposed in the Super Bowl and they are losing their defensive coordinator. But Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels are back so here they are up high again.||1||13-3-0|
|They had defensive issues late last season and in the playoff loss to the Jaguars that have to be fixed. What do they do with Le’Veon Bell?||1||13-3-0|
|Will Blake Bortles be the quarterback again? Or do they make a move to get a veteran?||4||10-6-0|
|This ranking is based on Drew Brees coming back. I can’t imagine he won’t.||1||11-5-0|
|They will be back again among the NFC’s best with Aaron Rodgers healthy. They have to do more on defense.||13||7-9-0|
|Who plays quarterback? Who should? Will it be Case Keenum?||3||13-3-0|
|They made big strides in Sean McVay’s first year. Now comes the tough part: Maintaining it.||3||11-5-0|
|They were a bad goal-line sequence away from knocking the champion Eagles out. The offense will be better in Steve Sarkisian’s second year as coordinator.||1||10-6-0|
|It’s time to build it around Russell Wilson. Get him some help on offense.||4||9-7-0|
|Getting Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt back healthy will immediately improve this team. They can be a playoff team.||20||4-12-0|
|Changes on offense could be good for Cam Newton. Norv Turner will run a more pro-style offense.||5||11-5-0|
|Patrick Mahomes takes over as the starter, which could lead to some growing pains. But down the road, he will be a big-time player.||4||10-6-0|
|With the Ezekiel Elliott fiasco behind, the Cowboys can focus on getting back to the playoffs. Dak Prescott has to be better.||1||9-7-0|
|New coach Matt Patricia takes over a team that is good at quarterback with Matt Stafford. He has to improve the defense, which is his specialty.||2||9-7-0|
|Don’t we say they are close every year? It’s time to get past that talk and make the playoffs.||—||9-7-0|
|New coach Mike Vrabel is a good choice to take over running this team. Marcus Mariota needs to play better.||5||9-7-0|
|They have to improve the offense, Joe Flacco needs help, but he also needs to show more.||5||9-7-0|
|They made the playoffs, but is it sustainable? What do they do at quarterback?||8||9-7-0|
|Jon Gruden is back as coach and he has some premium talent on the roster. Derek Carr needs to get back on track.||1||6-10-0|
|They traded to get Alex Smith from the Chiefs, but does that make them better? How much better if so?||1||7-9-0|
|This is a big year for Adam Gase to turn this thing around. Ryan Tannehill will be back starting at quarterback.||4||6-10-0|
|Marvin Lewis is back, but there are a lot of changes. Teryl Austin takes over running the defense.||3||7-9-0|
|They were smart to give Jimmy Garoppolo a long-term deal. They could be a lot higher as we close in on the season.||1||6-10-0|
|Who plays quarterback for new coach Steve Wilks? Could it be Sam Bradford or Nick Foles?||7||8-8-0|
|Who plays quarterback for the Broncos? Do they make a move for Kirk Cousins?||1||5-11-0|
|New coach Matt Nagy will be good for Mitchell Trubisky, who I think will make big strides in his second season.||—||5-11-0|
|Dirk Koetter and his staff are back for one more win-or-else season. They have to fix the defense.||4||5-11-0|
|If Andrew Luck is all the way back, they will be higher. But until we know for sure, they stay down here. I do like the hire of Frank Reich as coach.||1||4-12-0|
|New hire Pat Shurmur needs to change the culture. Things were way too loose the past few seasons.||1||3-13-0|
|What do they do at quarterback? Is Kirk Cousins going to be the guy?||3||5-11-0|
|They have the arsenal in terms of draft capital to get a lot better. But they need to fix the quarterback position.||—||0-16-0|