The Philadelphia Eagles' 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading into 2014

By Cody Strahm

Philadelphia Eagles: The 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading into 2014

Nick Foles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles were one of the league's biggest surprises in 2013, winning 10 games and the NFC East. Can they build off of that success this fall? Here are five red flags to consider.

5. Nose Tackle Remains Unsettled

Bennie Logan
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

5. Nose Tackle Remains Unsettled

Bennie Logan
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In order to run an effective 3-4 defense, a run-clogging nose tackle that specializes in occupying blockers is in order. The Eagles don't project to have one. Bennie Logan, a third-round pick out of LSU last April, is the favorite to start, but is a bit undersized. Beau Allen, a seventh-round pick from this May's draft, is also expected to compete for snaps in the rotation.

4. DeSean Jackson's Absence Will Be Felt

DeSean Jackson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4. DeSean Jackson's Absence Will Be Felt

DeSean Jackson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles' run-oriented attack might not need DeSean Jackson's services, but don't think for a second his absence won't be felt in some way. Jackson's world-class speed, good for stretching the defense and opening up opportunities for others, can be put to good use on any team, in any system. His impact won't be easily duplicated.

3. Pass Defense Remains Suspect

Cowboys vs. Eagles
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

3. Pass Defense Remains Suspect

Cowboys vs. Eagles
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Signing safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback Nolan Carroll in free agency and using a fourth-round pick on cornerback Jaylen Watkins during the draft probably wasn't enough to drastically improve a pass defense that finished dead last in the NFL in 2013. Some of the Eagles' struggles arose from opponents playing catch-up and getting more snaps thanks to the frantic pace of Philadelphia's offense, but flaws were still evident and still persist.

2. Opponents Have Had Time to Game Plan for Offense

LeSean McCoy
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2. Opponents Have Had Time to Game Plan for Offense

LeSean McCoy
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Chip Kelly's innovative offensive attack took the league by storm in 2013. Taking the league by surprise was a key factor in the scheme's success. Not to say the offense is doomed to struggle from now on, but coaching staff's around the league have now had adequate time to develop strategies to slow it down. Don't rule out Kelly having some new tricks up his sleeve, though.

1. Nick Foles' Play in 2013 Was Likely Fluke

Nick Foles
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Nick Foles' Play in 2013 Was Likely Fluke

Nick Foles
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Foles may cement himself as the Eagles' franchise quarterback in 2014. But he's not going to maintain the efficiency he played with last year, throwing 27 touchdown passes to only two interceptions. It's just not plausible. Any drop off in efficiency will make the Eagles' offense easier, if only slightly, to defend.

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