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2013 Philadelphia Eagles
Since Andy Reid became head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999, they expected to make the playoffs every year. Last season was a huge disappointment after the Eagles started 3-1 (0-3-1 against the spread), but quickly faltered, dropping eight straight games and 11 of their last 12 down the stretch to finish 4-12 overall in last place in the NFC East. That poor finish ultimately cost Reid his job and also cost sports bettors big-time down the stretch in going 3-9 ATS.
After a stellar campaign in 2010, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has put together two disappointing seasons in a row following his contract extension. Vick was limited to playing in just 10 games due to injuries, but when he did play he did not perform well, throwing for just 2,362 yards and 12 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin continued to be a big contributor, leading the team in receptions (69), receiving yards (857), and touchdowns (seven). But fellow WR DeSean Jackson and Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy combined to miss nine games due to injury. Backup RB Bryce Brown showed flashes filling in for McCoy with 564 yards rushing but also struggled to hold onto the football at times. Due to those injuries, inconsistent play and inexperience, Philadelphia ranked 29th in the league in points scored, averaging 17.5 points per game, with the defense giving up 27.8 points per contest to finish 30th.
Former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly takes over for Reid heading into the 2013 season, and his NFL debut is highly anticipated due to his extremely fast-paced offense. Kelly brought former Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur to Philly as the offensive coordinator, replacing Marty Mornhinweg. The biggest challenge for Kelly and Shurmur will be finding a QB to run their system between Vick, second-year player Nick Foles (1,699 passing yards, six TDs and five INTs last season) and rookie Matt Barkley. The Eagles parted ways with cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson, who will be playing for the division rival New York Giants next season. The secondary should be much improved though with the addition of two very solid safeties in Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung as well as CB Cary Williams. Linebacker Connor Barwin and DT Isaac Sopoaga should also be strong contributors on defense. In addition, the offense got some help in offensive tackle Lane Johnson, chosen in the first round of the NFL draft, along with second-round selection Zach Ertz at tight end.
The oddsmakers at 5Dimes have Philadelphia set at O/U 7.5 wins for this season. This number could be surpassed if the Eagles can play up to their potential under Kelly because they made some very solid acquisitions through free agency and the draft. Look for this team to win eight or nine games and just miss the playoffs, which would be an accomplishment in Kelly's first year.
Recommended Play: OVER 7.5
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