Philadelphia won three of their first four football betting games last season and then proceeded to win just once the rest of the way. That led to the firing of head coach Andy Reid (who has since landed in Kansas City) after 14 seasons at the helm. Chip Kelly takes over the Eagles for 2013 and well, let’s just say it has been an interesting offseason, on and off the field in the City of Brotherly Love.
Best Offseason Move
There are a couple of contenders for best move of the offseason for the Eagles. The first comes from the secondary, where they signed cornerback Cary Williams along with safeties Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips. All of these players should compete for starting spots and early indications are that Williams and Chung are in the lead for their positions, while Phillips isn’t far behind. Off the field, getting rid of Reid was an excellent move because after 14 years, things ran their course between the two. Kelly, fresh off his success with Oregon, can bring some new ideas to the team, especially on offense. But college coaches have spotty records in the NFL, so Kelly will have to fight history.
Worst Offseason Move
The Eagles will hope that rookie tackle Lane Johnson can help solidify the offensive line, but leaning on a first-year player for that is a very big risk as Philadelphia didn’t sign any free agents or make any trades up front. Michael Vick wasn’t great last season (none of the Philly QBs were), but it’s difficult when you’re running for your life on almost every play. However, the larger problem came off the field as receiver Riley Cooper made headlines for a racial slur he made on camera at a country-music concert. The Eagles have yet to release Cooper and this is an issue that threatens to be a constant distraction in the locker room and if the Eagles decide to keep the former Florida star (it hasn’t been a good summer for Florida alumni, but that’s for another day), they’re going to answer questions about it all season long unless he turns into the second coming of Jerry Rice.
How They Will Finish In The Division
Philadelphia is much better than a four-win team but they’re going to struggle to make the playoffs simply because they’re in a very good division. NFL betting lines makers know that the Eagles have to figure out a way to keep Vick (or Nick Foles, whoever the starting quarterback will be) on his feet and give him time to find receivers because the line was so awful in 2012. Allowing another 48 sacks will be a quick way for the Eagles to continue their struggles. Kelly is going to learn very quickly that the NFL is different from college, and it is going to take some time for him to install his offensive philosophies, along with new coordinator Pat Shurmur, who has something to prove after he was fired from the head-coaching position in Cleveland.
Super Bowl Odds: +4500