The Philadelphia Eagles are only a few years removed from a Super Bowl title. What can the franchise do to recapture that championship feeling?
Doug Pederson’s second season as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles was simply spectacular.
In his debut season in 2016, a 7-9 finish ushered in a new era at quarterback. One year later, the club won the NFC East with a 13-3 mark. And although Carson Wentz went down late in the year, the Birds were rescued by Nick Foles. It all added up to the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl title courtesy of a 41-33 win over the defending NFL champion New England Patriots at Minneapolis.
These past two seasons, the Eagles have managed to return to the playoffs. And frankly, there are not a lot of other teams in the league (Patriots, Chiefs and Saints) that can say they have been to the postseason these past three years. Of course, consecutive 9-7 finishes are a far cry from 13 victories although that mark was good enough to win an NFC East title in 2019.
Still, the goal of this organization is to get back to the Super Bowl. So what can general manager Howie Roseman, Pederson and the club do over the next few months to make this happen?
5. Secure defensive line depth
A Jim Schwartz defensive unit is at its best when it is able to stop the run and use its front four to harass opposing quarterbacks. In order to do this, depth is very important when it come to this group. That was certainly the case a few years ago when a fresh pass rush was able to get to Tom Brady in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII. Brandon Graham strip-sacked Patriots’ quarterback, Derek Barnett recovered the fumble and a late field goal made it very difficult for New England to rally that day.
Graham, Barnett and perennial Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox are the backbone of a unit that also includes Tim Jernigan, Vinny Curry and Hassan Ridgeway. All three of those latter veterans will see their contracts expire in March and it will be interesting to see which of them will be allowed to test the open market.
Of course, the team is hoping defensive tackle Malik Jackson can bounce back after missing all but one game in 2019. The Eagles got contributions from youngsters such as Josh Sweat and Daeshon Hall. But don’t be surprised if one or more of the aforementioned potential UFAs return for another season.