The Philadelphia Eagles spent the 2016 season figuring out who they were. They had a new head coach in Doug Pederson and a new starting quarterback in their first round draft pick Carson Wentz. They went all in on the young signal caller from North Dakota State, trading away both experienced quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford, leaving them with journeyman rookie Chase Daniels as the only back-up. And after a great 3-0 start, they team came back from their early bye week to lose 9 of their next 11 games before winning the last two and going 7-9 for the season. But sometimes just jumping into the fire is the best method and where 2016 didn't turn out exactly how they wanted, it did set up 2017 for a good season.
Everything clicked for this team in a tremendous way. They started off winning 10 of their first 11 games and tied the highest winning percentage in team history with a final 13-3 season. And what for most teams would've been a catastrophic loss, the Eagles lost their starting quarterback during a week 14 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Wentz had a torn ACL and would not play again that season, but the team was at that point the top seed in the NFC and a likely lock for the playoffs. They turned to back-up Nick Foles, who once thrived as an Eagle starter but had moved on to the Rams and Kansas City Chiefs before returning to the city of Brotherly Love. Foles stepped in without missing a beat, keeping the Eagle high-powered offense rolling, winning 3 of the final 4 games of the season… the loss being the final game of the season when some players were rested. They went on into the playoffs where they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 15-10 and then blew out the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 before heading into the Super Bowl against perennial favorites New England Patriots and Tom Brady. Foles and the Eagle outscored the Brady and company in a shootout 41-33, bringing the Lombardi Trophy home to Philadelphia.
This is a bit tougher as the team has some decisions to make having to do with personnel. The Eagles have very little room under the salary cap and have some important players who need to be resigned. Linebacker Nigel Bradham, running backs LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles, cornerback Patrick Robinson, defensive tackle Beau Allen and tight end Trey Burton are all slated to be free agents. And they will need to either make some drastic cuts or watch some of these folks move on to other teams then have to find replacements. And there is the big question of what to do with Foles. His trade value right now is as high as it can be and the Eagles have to decide if they're confident enough in Wentz's recover progress to trade their back-up/Super Bowl MVP. Pederson and the front office will need to work hard to keep the core of this team together for 2018. And they'll be doing it without offensive coordinator Frank Reich who is now the head coach in Indianapolis. Mike Groh, the teams wide receivers coach, has been promoted to be the new OC.