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2013 NFL Preview: NFC East

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Philadelphia Eagles

2012 Record: 4-12; 4th Place

2013 Prediction: 3-13

Confidence in Pick: 50%

Losses: Andy Reid, Jeremy Maclin (ACL), Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Pickups: Chip Kelly, Lane Johnson, Connor Barwin

Reasons for Optimism:

Chip Kelly’s Offense – At Oregon, Kelly ran the most exciting offense in college. Whether it works in the NFL remains to be seen. What is certain is that it will be exciting to see. With Michael Vick operating under Chip Kelly’s offensive creativity, it could be very fun to watch.

Michael Vick – Vick’s athletic ability always gives the Eagles a chance to win any game. A chance.

Reasons to be Cautious:

Chip Kelly – I loved Kelly in college and I can’t wait to see if his philosophy can work in the NFL. With that said, it is an uncertainty at best. He has no NFL experience, an untested offensive scheme, an inaccurate, injury and turnover prone QB in Vick, and a ticking time bomb in his locker room (the whole Cooper saga)…oh yeah, and a football team went 4-12 in 2012 and lost more talent than they picked up in the offseason. Not a recipe for success.

Michael Vick – Decision making, accuracy and leadership. The three most important things for a QB. Decision making and leadership are still question marks with Vick. Accuracy is not. To say Vick is inaccurate would be nice. In his 10 NFL seasons, Vick has a 56.3% completion percentage in a league where 60% is the minimum. In fact, Vick has more years under 50% completion percentage (2) than years above 60% (1). What most fail to realize is that Chip Kelly’s offense is predicated on an accurate QB. Vick does not fit that description.

WRs – Jeremy Maclin’s ACL injury really hurts this team. DeSean Jackson, while extremely talented, is a locker room cancer and could be disastrous for Chip Kelly. Remember when DeSean Jackson decided he was no longer going to run routes until he got a new contract? What is he going to do if he doesn’t like Kelly’s system? Riley Cooper is a decent WR but his presence may pull this team apart. And then you have Jason Avant. A decent WR, but now Kelly is trying him at CB?

Secondary – Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were disappointments in Philly, but they did account for 50% of the teams’ INTs (4 of 8) and are better than what replaces them. This secondary lacks talent and playmaking ability, a very bad combination for a team that shares a division with Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, DeSean Jackson, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

Overall:

Maybe Chip Kelly takes the NFL by storm, but I just don’t see it. And I don’t see how this team is any better than the worst team in the NFC. They shared that designation with Detroit in 2012, but compare the two teams’ rosters and it’s not even close. This team was 4-12 with Reid, Maclin, Asomugha and DRC; I don’t see the addition of Kelly, Barwin, Lane Johnson and Matt Barkley improving this team…or even keeping the talent level equal to that of 2012.

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