The 2016 NFL season is still 105 days away, but the Philadelphia Eagles are already destined to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. While the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Washington Redskins all have a chance to win the NFC East, the Eagles do not.
Any Team Can Win the NFC East…Except the Eagles
The Cowboys could have competed in the NFC East last season if quarterback Tony Romo hadn’t suffered a huge collarbone injury that kept him out most of the year. The Cowboys still did well in 2015, despite not winning a game without Romo.
Missing half the season with a broken foot suffered Week 1, wide receiver Dez Bryant still recorded 401 receiving yards. Cole Beasley also had an average season, catching 52 passes for 536 yards and five touchdowns. Tight end Jason Witten also did well, catching 77 passes for 713 yards.
Running back Darren McFadden might not have put up 2014 Demarco Murray numbers, but he did finish the season with 1,089 rushing yards, including five games where he rushed for over 100 yards.
In 2016, Romo will be back healthy, as will Bryant. They also made a huge addition to their running game with Ezekiel Elliot as their fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft.
The Redskins made the playoffs last season with a tight end being their star receiver in Jordan Reed. He caught 87 passes for 952 and 11 touchdowns to lead the team.
Despite missing two months with a foot injury, wide receiver Desean Jackson still managed to record 528 receiving yards. Alongside him is a rookie who may break out next season in Josh Doctson. Last season at TCU, Doctson set career highs with 78 catches, 1,326 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The defense also took a big step forward when the Redskins signed former Carolina Panthers
cornerback Josh Norman
to a five-year deal.
Norman recorded four interceptions for the Panthers in 2015.
The Giants are looking like the winner of the NFC East on paper. Eli Manning had one good receiver last season in Odell Beckham Jr. In 2016, he could have several great receivers. Beckham is returning to the team, looking to continue his consistency and Victor Cruz is finally returning after missing all of the 2015 season recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered during the 2014 season.
Before going down with the injury, Cruz had recorded 337 receiving yards in half the season. Cruz broke out on to the scene during his rookie season in 2011 when he caught 82 passes for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns as the Giants defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
Beckham recorded 12 touchdowns in 12 games after Cruz was lost for the season. Last season, he continued his greatness, catching 96 passes for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Giants also added another great receiver in Sterling Shepard out of Oklahoma. He set a career highs in receptions, reception yards and touchdowns last season in Norman.
The defensive line is also stellar with Jason Pierre Paul leading the way. The addition of Olivier Vernon will make the Giants defensive line that much more powerful.
So the Cowboys, Redskins and Giants have great potential going into 2016. Then there’s the Eagles.
The Eagles were thought to have had the triple threat at running back with Murray, Darren Sproles and Ryan Matthews last season. The leading running back when it came to yards per carry, Matthews, who was thought of as the Eagles’ third running back, averaged 5.1 yards per carry. Murray, their leading rusher with 702 yards, took his talents to Tennessee, so the leading running back in Philly right now is Matthews.
As far as the quarterback competition, the Eagles are doomed. The two quarterbacks that are competing for the starting job are Sam Bradford and number two overall pick Carson Wentz. Bradford threw for 14 interceptions last season and Wentz is a quarterback that missed eight games last season at North Dakota State, who won all eight games without him. That is a sign that the Eagles may have wasted a high draft pick on a quarterback that is not that reliable.
The wide receiving core is also a big mess. Aside from Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz, the leading receiver for the Eagles in 2015 was Demarco Murray, a running back. With that kind of wide receiver core with two unreliable quarterbacks and a clustered running game, the Eagles are already rolling downhill in the NFC East while the other three teams are climbing to reach first place.