October 26, 2014

2011 Philadelphia Eagles Preview: Offensive Line and NFC East Overview

Prior Previews

Depth Chart

Well – this isn’t how we planned it…

Ryan Harris hurt and released, Herremans to RT, Mathis starting, Kelce beating out Jackson, Watkins demoted and Kyle DeVan signed and put in the line-up about a week before the season.

Considering this group has the most vital task of the entire season (keeping Mike Vick on the field), this is all very, uh, concerning.

Most Important Player- Jason Kelce

I remember the end of the 2009 season. When Jamaal Jackson when down, and our entire offensive line fell apart as we got absolutely smoked by the Cowboys in back-to-back games.

Because of this, I’m a little (lot) worried about starting the season with Jason Kelce in the middle. Why? Well, here is Kelce’s career path…

2006: Walks on at Cincinnati as a LB
2007: Converted from LB to OL, plays 9 games as a back-up Guard and Center
2008: 13 starts at LG
2009: 13 starts at LG
2010: 13 starts at Center

Look – I think Kelce has tremendous upside. He’s a great, great athlete for the OL. But this is guy who up until a couple years ago was a LB, and only had 1 year playing at center and that was in a college spread offense.

The center has a lot of responsibility in the Eagles OL – calling adjustments and what not. Can we really rely on a 6th-rounder with limited experience to do that when one mistake could mean Michael Vick laying in a heap?

Biggest Question

Is Howard Mudd as good as his reputation?

Howard Mudd came here with the reputation as “the greatest OL coach ever.” So far, not so good. Part of it isn’t his fault, with injuries being a problem, particularly at RT. But the OL has looked very sketchy in the pre-season and we will be going into the first game with a group that didn’t take one snap together.

A lot of people are wondering if the great OL play for the Colts was more Peyton Manning and his quick releases than Mudd. Either way, Mudd has a big challenge ahead of him, and there is a heckuva lot riding on the answer to that question.

Division Ranking



1. New York

This isn’t really close. The Giants have by far the best line in the NFC East.

2. Washington

A solid group here for the Redskins, especially if Trent Williams can break-out in his 2nd full season.

3. Philadelphia

Yes, I’m putting us ahead of Dallas. The bottom line is our tackles are better and they have just as much uncertainty on the interior as we do as they are starting a 7th-round rookie at LG, a 1st round rookie at RT and an 2010 UFA who was the 4th string center to start last year. All that being said, we are only BARELY above them.

4. Dallas

See #3…

NFC East Overview

Now that we have looked at every position, we can look at the overview.

Yes – the Giants come in 2nd here – but based on further injuries to their defense, I just don’t see how they can hold up.

My predictions…

1. Eagles, 12-4 - Strengths overcome weaknesses
2. Cowboys, 9-7 –
Overrated, as always
3. Giants, 8-8 - Will be tough even with injuries
4. Redskins, 6-10 - Won’t be the pushover everyone thinks

And while I’m at it, might as well do my playoffs predictions as well…

NFC

1. Packers, 13-3
2. Eagles, 12-4
3. Atlanta, 10-6
4. Arizona, 10-6
WC. New Orleans, 10-6
WC. Detroit, 9-7

AFC

1. Steelers, 13-3
2. Patriots, 12-4
3. Chargers, 12-4
4. Houston, 10-6
WC. Baltimore, 10-6
WC. Kansas City, 9-7

NFC Champ: Eagles over Packers
AFC Champ: Steelers over Pats

Super Bowl: Steelers over Eagles

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Comments

  1. jjg says:

    May the revamped offensive line break the ignominious record for sacks allowed – Eagles ’86, 104 – and celebrate with the distinguished members of the Westminster Kennel Club, barking and non-barking divisions.  Cheers! 

  2. joof says:

    Should be interesting to see if J Jackson slides into the lineup despite his size.

  3. phillyfan says:

    Wow – another late-game egg by Romo.  Costly fumble and game-ending interception. 

    Giants O-Line didn’t look great against a very average Redskins D-fense.

    With the Giants injuries, this division is really weak.  I do see Eagles 11-5 on that basis.  And agree no WC comes out of the division.  Based on the performance against the Rams though, I don’t have much confidence in the Eagles beating better/best teams.  In fact, if Jackson stayed healthy and the Rams caught some wide open balls in their hands I think we would be jumping off bridges ruminating over a n Eagles loss.  Amazing how a couple gaffs by and opposing team can change things.  Atlanta game doe snot set up well for Eagles since Atlanta lost.  I think Atlants wins comfortably – 31-17 ish. 

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