Zach Ertz and the Eagles look to defend their Super Bowl title
Still flying high from the franchise's first Super Bowl win, Philadelphia will try to double its pleasure by becoming just the eighth NFL franchise to repeat as world champion. As difficult as it is to get to the Super Bowl, let alone win two in a row, this Eagles team is well positioned to do just that.
Carson Wentz is coming back from a torn ACL but even if he's not ready for Week 1, head coach Doug Pederson can turn to Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles. Most of the offense returns intact with a couple of intriguing pieces added in the offseason. The defense also basically returns whole and should once again make life hard for opponents.
Philadelphia has company when it comes to Super Bowl contenders in the NFC, but barring major injuries or a significant case of complacency that invades the locker room, the Eagles should be considered a legitimate threat to repeat as champions.
Athlon Sports asked several experts to share their predictions for how Philadelphia's 2018 season will play out and what the team’s record will be when all is said and done.
Philadelphia Eagles Game-by-Game Predictions for 2018
Rob Doster (@AthlonDoster)
Some not-insignificant coaching turnover appears to be the only stumbling block as the Eagles mount what should be a very credible title defense. Former offensive coordinator Frank Reich is now the head coach in Indianapolis, and former quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is now the offensive coordinator in Minnesota, and both those teams are on Philly’s schedule this season. But the key performers in last season’s Super Bowl-winning production — quarterbacks Nick Foles and Carson Wentz and coach Doug Pederson — remain, and the balanced, potent Eagles offense should continue to hum. Defensively, Philly boasts the best run-stopping unit in football — a nice counter to their run-happy rivals in Dallas — and have creative ways of getting to the passer. Another NFC East title should be the expectation for a hard-to-please fan base that has tasted the champagne and would like a second serving.
Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer)
It always seems like we typically see a bit of regression from Super Bowl winners the following years but the excellent state of the Eagles' roster gives me plenty of pause in saying they’ll add their name to the list too -- even with the uncertainty over QB Carson Wentz. This is simply a stacked two-deep and guys like Sidney Jones and rookies Josh Sweat and Dallas Goedert really provide some quality depth and playmaking potential to a team not lacking either. I wouldn’t say a repeat is in the cards given how loaded the NFC is again but the defending champs will be right there and have a say in January.
John Gworek (@JohnGworek)
There could be a little bit of a Super Bowl hangover, and Carson Wentz may not be 100 percent to start the season. But the defending champs won’t need to be dominant right off the bat with half of their first six games against teams that won five or fewer games last season. There are several road tests down the stretch, but there’s no reason to believe this team won’t win the NFC East and make another run at the Super Bowl.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMark)
It's not easy to repeat as Super Bowl champs, but the Eagles are well positioned to do just that. Even with uncertainty surrounding Carson Wentz' return and a few key players leaving in free agency, Philadelphia has more than enough firepower and depth on both sides of the ball to defend its title. The Eagles won't go undefeated, but they should coast rather easily to another NFC East crown and the path to Super Bowl LIII will at least involve the reigning champs, if not go through the City of Brotherly Love once again.