Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Offensive Players Who Need To Continue To Step Up To Make Philadelphia A Contender
Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Offensive Players Who Need To Continue To Step Up
Although they still find themselves with a below-.500 record and trailing the division leader by a game, the Philadelphia Eagles have made some positive strides that, if continued, could make them contenders before season’s end. The inconsistent performance of some key contributors has really played a large role in the downfall of the team in key games throughout the year, and their ability to reach their potential more regularly could create success for the Eagles. Being able to rely on production from those areas will change the outlook overall for Philadelphia.
Beginning with the Green Bay Packers, the Eagles have a string of winnable games coming up that could move them up in the NFC East quickly if they can take advantage of the opportunities. Philadelphia has already seen some winnable games pass them by, dropping them in the standings and diminishing the confidence of the team overall. Good teams take care of business when they’re given the chance, and the Eagles have yet to prove that they are one of those teams.
The defense has shown improvement over the course of the year and has now become the more reliable and consistent of the two Philadelphia units. It’s the offense that has seen its ups and downs, and it really needs to find a consistent groove to make the Eagles clear contenders in the division. Once the offense can perform at the high level which was expected of them entering the season, Philadelphia will have a better shot at achieving something and making Chip Kelly a success story from the start.
5. Bryce Brown
Invisible was the perfect word to describe the season Bryce Brown was having. He had not seen much time behind the league-leading rushing talents of LeSean McCoy, but even when given the opportunity, he had been less than impressive. Brown finally had a breakthrough against the Oakland Raiders and will need to continue to improve and stay consistent if the Eagles are going to make up some ground. The Eagles have been searching for a bright spot in someone to give McCoy a breather, and if Brown can hold onto the football and accomplish that feat, the Eagles become a much more dangerous team.
4. Zach Ertz
Even though he’s just a rookie, Zach Ertz presents a skill set that allows him the opportunity to immediately affect the Philadelphia offense. He began the season slowly, which can be expected of a first-year player. However, he has come on of late and can continue to present matchup problems for opposing defenses. The Eagles could really use another pass-catching option with the depleted receiving core they’ve been dealing with all year. If Ertz can continue to find ways to get involved and become more threatening to defenses, the Eagles can really take advantage of the pass game as an option.
3. Riley Cooper
Until Nick Foles took his place behind center, Riley Cooper was non-existent. Although he is still not producing consistently for a no. 2 receiver, it’s been a large improvement from the beginning of the season. Cooper has at the very least made himself necessary to cover, giving DeSean Jackson some much-needed space. He could really help the Eagles’ offense in the long run. Cooper will need to find a way to stay involved for Philadelphia to chase down the Dallas Cowboys and gain the division lead.
2. DeSean Jackson
Although DeSean Jackson is on pace for a record-breaking receiving year, there have been more games than not where the Eagles are looking for his services instead of employing them. Jackson’s season has been an inconsistent one and for Philadelphia to really take the chances that are present, he needs to carry the load in the aerial game. The Eagles' struggles on offense can really be attributed to guys not showing up in key situations, and Jackson needs to show more production, especially in big games against big-name teams for the Eagles to contend.
1. Nick Foles
Although he had a huge hiccup against the Dallas Cowboys, dropping a chance at the NFC East lead, Nick Foles has been a fairly consistent performer in the opportunities he’s been given. His most recent performance, one for the record books, will not be the norm, but he needs to continue to challenge defenses and control the tempo of the game. If Foles stays behind center, protect the football and keep the Eagles offense moving consistently down the field, he’ll give the Eagles a great chance to contend for the division come the end of the season.