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Philadelphia Eagles Betting – Offense Will Fly, But Defense Halts Eagles’ Ascent

Posted by Stan Simmons on 6/16/2011 6:17:21 PM
philadelphia eagles betting

Some sports betting players who watched Philadelphia last year may say that they were the most exciting team in the league, but they ran into eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay, and that showed the Eagles still have a ways to go. The offense will continue to put up points, but the Eagles won’t get to the next level until their defense improves.

  • Head Coach: Andy Reid
  • Offensive Coordinator: Marty Mornhinweg
  • Defensive Coordinator: Sean McDermott
  • Owner: Jeffrey Lurie
  • Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field
  • Capacity: 68,532 (61,144 with standing room)
  • Super Bowl Wins: 0

Offense

The Eagles were second in the league in offense last season, coming in fifth on the ground and ninth through the air, and Michael Vick showed that he is back. While he is still a dangerous running quarterback, Vick had the best throwing season of his career, finishing fourth in the league in passer rating. LeSean McCoy took a lot of the running load off Vick with his first 1,000-yard season, and the running game allowed the Eagles to use play-action to free up deep threats DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, with tight end Brent Celek and receiver Jason Avant as outlets. However, the offensive line needs some help as they allowed 49 sacks, fourth-most in the league, and that led to Vick and Kevin Kolb going to the sidelines with injuries. In fact, Kolb was the starter in Week 1, but he was knocked out with a concussion, and that gave Vick a chance. Kolb got some more work when Vick went down with a chest injury, so the Eagles have to find a way to improve up front to keep their pivots on the field.

Philadelphia has to figure out what to do about Kolb, who will be traded when the lockout is over as he wants to be the starter after sitting for four years in Philadelphia, but he is a big bargaining chip, so the Eagles should be able to get something good for him, and they have some needs. Also, it would be good to find another possession receiver to allow Jackson and Maclin to go down the field more; Plaxico Burress, who was released from prison and is a very good friend of Vick as the two are Virginia natives, has been mentioned.

Grade: B+

Defense

NFL betting players may see a change in the Eagles’ defense, which finished 12th in the league, but they were 15th against the run and tied for 14th against the pass, and they depended on their offense far too much. But Juan Castillo has been promoted from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator, which is a bit of a weird change from coach Andy Reid, even though Castillo has been with the Eagles since 1995, so it’ll be interesting to see how Sean McDermott’s replacement does. The first thing they need is a healthy Stewart Bradley, who was hurt down the stretch, and the Eagles lost their last three games, including the playoff loss to the Packers. Bradley is a game-changer on the Philadelphia defense, but we’re not even sure if he’ll be in Philadelphia as he is a free agent with a history of injury. Jamar Chaney is slated to step in at middle linebacker if Bradley doesn’t come back. Ends Trent Cole and Juqua Parker combined for 16.0 sacks, but Parker is 33 years old. Another free agent to watch is safety Quintin Mikell, who led the teams in tackles, but he’ll likely be back.

The big question, beside Bradley, comes in the secondary where the Eagles need a cornerback opposite Asante Samuel, who had seven picks last season. Philadelphia will likely go after free agent Nmandi Asomugha, who is one of the top three corners in the NFL but is looking to escape Oakland, or they could dangle Kolb to try and fix the situation. But Samuel had seven picks with Dimitri Patterson Trevard Lindley on the other side after Ellis Hobbs went down to injury. With Asomugha there, he could approach double figures as teams don’t even bother to throw in Asomugha’s direction.

Grade: C

Special Teams

Philadelphia was an awful kick-return team, coming in 25th, so they shouldn’t be too worried about the new kickoff rules. Jackson powered the Eagles to 12th in punt returns, and with his open-field speed, you always have to be worried about the diminutive receiver taking one back to the house. The Eagles are a mid-pack team when it comes to covering kicks and punts, so there is always work to be done there.

Kicker David Akers had another solid season, and even though he is a free agent, it’s a pretty safe bet that he’ll be back to play his 13th season in Philadelphia. Punter Sav Rocca is also a free agent and a good safety net, but the Eagles may try to improve there.

Grade: B-

Prediction

It was an exciting season in Philadelphia, particularly because of Vick, but now the league has had a full offseason (and more) to concoct schemes to slow him down. The Eagles have to fill some holes in order to make the playoffs for the fourth straight year and the 10th time since 2000, especially on defense. What are they going to do about Bradley, and how will Castillo handle being a full-time defensive coordinator? Will they get Asomugha to pair up with Samuel? Can the Eagles generate a pass rush in a pass-happy division like the NFC East?

The offense is fun to watch, but defense wins championships, and even though they’re co-favored at +150 to win the NFC East and are rated at +1500 to win their first Super Bowl, there are too many questions about their defense to have faith in Philadelphia’s online betting odds.

2011 Schedule

  • Week 1 – at St. Louis (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 2- at Atlanta (Sunday, 8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 3 – vs. New York Giants (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 4 – vs. San Francisco (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 5 – at Buffalo (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 6 – at Washington (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 8 – vs. Dallas (Sunday, 8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 9 – vs. Chicago (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
  • Week 10 – vs. Arizona (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 11 – at New York Giants (Sunday, 8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 12 – vs. New England (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 13 – at Seattle (Thursday, 8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 14 – at Miami (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 15 – vs. New York Jets (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 16 – at Dallas (Saturday, 4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 17 – vs. Washington (1:00 PM ET)

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