This past Sunday, NFL fans gathered around to watch the biggest game of the year and watched the 2013 season come to a close. Everyone was certainly amazed as the Seattle Seahawks captured its first Super Bowl championship by demolishing the Denver Broncos, one of the best offenses in NFL history. Fans around the world was simply shocked to watch this happen on the grandest stage in all of sports.
Unfortunately, also watching this game were the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans.
Like the Seahawks this year, the Eagles will enter the 2014 season looking to win its first Super Bowl in franchise history. After one of the most incredible turnaround seasons in recent years, the Eagles will certainly be one of the sleeper picks to make it to Super Bowl next year. However, despite a fantastic first year under head coach Chip Kelly, there is still room for improvement for the Eagles heading into next season. In the offseason, Philadelphia must address its worst-ranked secondary in the NFL, and it would help to find a pass-rushing, 3-4 outside linebacker to really transform this 3-4 defense that was ranked 29th in the league. This rebuilding process is far from over for Philadelphia, and this offseason will be focused on completing it.
However, despite the needs for this team, the Eagles aren’t that far off from Super Bowl glory. There is no reason why fans shouldn’t be optimistic about their team’s chances of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy come next February.
First, Philadelphia looks to be the top contender in a weak NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys are over the cap, again, and it will be tough to rebuild with less money. The New York Giants and Washington Redskins both had horrible seasons, and neither team may contend for a while. The potential is highest for Philadelphia in this division as they aren’t losing many players to free agency, and they have a decent amount of money to try to improve their roster. Also, the team will just have another offseason to learn Kelly’s offense, and players will have an entire camp with quarterback Nick Foles as the starter. Last training camp he was not the starting quarterback, and everyone on the offense will have an opportunity to get even more chemistry with him under center. As hard as it is to imagine Foles improving upon a 27 touchdown to two interception season, he can only get better in this versatile offense.
As bad as the defense was at times, the Eagles and its players were beginning to finally transition toward the end of the season. There will be plenty of new players on the defensive side of the ball. The entire offseason will be focused on getting players who will fit a 3-4 defense. The potential of free agent signings such as Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo, Seahawks defensive back Brandon Browner and Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward are all guys who would fit in the 3-4 scheme and make an impact right away. There are also guys in the draft to be targeted and help transition this defense into one of the better ones in the league. Louisville‘s Calvin Pryor and Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III are two young, explosive players that could be playmakers on this defense.
As Seattle showed this past Sunday, “defense does win championships,” and Philadelphia fixing theirs could put the Eagles next in-line for a Super Bowl championship.