NFL

Second-year quarterback ready to make Eagles fly again

Just a few short seasons after winning Super Bowl LII in an epic shootout over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles have made a complete remodel of the team.

But that tends to happen a little too often after a 4-win season, especially when your team resides in the uber passionate city of Brotherly Love.

Now the Philly fan base will be asked to show a little patience with the new rebuild.

After a 4-11-1 season that ended the Doug Marone era and saw the once franchise quarterback of Carson Wentz being dealt in the offseason and multiple other roster changes, the Eagles are looking to get back to the promised land. Leading that charge is second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts, who took over for Wentz late last season.

MyBookie – one of the top sportsbooks at Online Betting Sports — has the Eagles over/under win total set at 6.5. Bettors taking the are receiving -130 odds, while those who don’t have much faith in the new regime and take the under are receiving even-money odds (+100). Keep on reading Philadelphia Eagles: 2021 Win Total

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Hurts tossed six touchdowns against four interceptions in four games starting last season to go along with 1,061 yards through the air. The biggest concern with the then-rookie QB was his 52 percent completion percentage. 

Adding first-round draft pick and former teammate at Alabama, Devonta Smith should help Hurts in all facets of his passing game. Smith should provide the deep-ball threat as well as a sense of trust and security which will go a long way in his development under center.

Other Key Offensive Weapons

Travis Fulgham returns as the Eagles’ leading WR from last season as he caught 38 passes for 524 yards and four touchdowns. 

Greg Ward led the receivers in touchdowns (6) and receptions (53) to go along with 419 yards.

Jalen Reagor is another player the Eagles will hope will continue to grow offensively. As a rookie last season, Reagor hauled in 31 passes for 396 yards. 

Philadelphia has also moved on from Zach Ertz at the tight end position as Dallas Goedert took over at the position last season. Goedert had 46 receptions and led the team with 524 yards to go along with three touchdowns.

If not for missing four games, Miles Sanders most likely would have produced a 1,000-yard season out of the backfield. The 2019 second-round pick out of Penn State led the Eagles with 867 yards on the ground while finding the endzone six times. 

Boston Scott provides a good change-of-pace back who racked up 374 yards rushing and caught 25 passes for 212 yards last season. Kerryon Johnson was also added to give the Eagles depth in the backfield.

Rookie Kenneth Gainwell is also expected to contribute to the offense this season. Gainwell opted out of his final season at Memphis last season but racked up 1,459 yards rushing and 610 yards receiving on 51 receptions in 2019. Gainwell could see some reps out of the backfield but will most likely see the majority of his time out of the slot. 

Piece of Cake? Probably not!

For those who put stock in the strength of schedule, there’s hope for the Eagles. Opponents on Philadelphia’s schedule this season produced a .430 winning percentage last season, which ranks last in the NFL. 

But will it translate to wins this season?

The first four weeks could put the Eagles behind the eight-ball. 

Philadelphia opens with a winnable game at Atlanta but then plays San Francisco at Dallas and hosts Kansas City in the following weeks. 

Two weeks later, the Eagles play host to Tampa Bay.

Other key non-divisional games are: vs. Los Angeles Chargers (NFL Week 9), at Denver (Week 10), and vs. New Orleans (Week 11).

Division Outlook (Odds)

According to win totals on MyBookie, the Eagles are predicted to finish in the cellar of the NFC East for a second-straight season. Dallas is projected at 9.5 wins, followed by Washington (8.5) and New York (7). 

For those optimistic fans wanting to wager on their beloved Eagles to pull off a last to first turnaround this season, odds Bovada Sportsbook –another top sportsbook at Online Betting Sports — has Philadelphia at +500 for winning the East. 

Prediction

Those three games in the middle of the season against the Chargers, Broncos and Saints could be the key in whether or not the Eagles reach that 6.5 win total. Hurts should be able to take a step forward from last season but still may be another year away from fully taking off within this offense. Although having a playmaker in DeVonta Smith will most certainly be an immediate boost. 

2021 Season Record Prediction: 6-11, 4th place NFC East

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