The 2011 Philadelphia Eagles Oddsbreaker: Super Bowl or Smoke and Mirrors?

Is this the year of the Super Bowl for the Philadelphia Eagles?

With all the media hype, it appears that the Philadelphia Eagles are already carrying the Vince Lombardi Trophy even before the season has formally begun.  I wouldn’t be so quick yet to place them on a mantle quite yet.  ESPN has already held the Philadelphia Eagles to placing third overall in this upcoming season, once said and done.  Luckily, they didn’t quite adorn Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick with garlands in his 2010 overall season performance.  His 2010 performance ranked him 18th for his performance last season with the Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 66.6.  He is comparable to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans Saints Drew Brees and Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger in their 2010 regular season performances.  Surprisingly, Vince Young, his backup now, had a higher Total Quarterback Rating than Michael Vick in his 2009 performance with the Tennessee Titans.  He is ranked 12th and has a QBR of 69.2.

With this in mind, Michael Vick unfortunately collapsed last season in the Wild Card game as he could not withstand the Packers perplexing defensive packages with Clay Matthews at the helm.  The Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Green Bay Packers 16-21.  He had 292 passing yards, a touchdown, an interception and a mediocre 79.9 quarterback rating.  On the bright side (sort of), he had a better performance against the Green Bay Packers in their loss of 20-27 at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010.  He had 175 passing yards, a touchdown and a 101.9 quarterback rating.  Then again, Vick was healthier at that time, and he had not yet undergone the punishing defenses later on, like the New York Giants, the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys.

This season, after their week 7 bye, the Philadelphia Eagles offense led by Michael Vick will be in one punishing gauntlet of defenses.  The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants defenses again rear their heads, and they will have the Washington Redskins right before their bye week.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe Michael Vick can pull off that dominating performance last November 15th, but he should still be capable of winning the game.  Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman commented that his team may be a sleeper since their acquisitions of wideouts Dante Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney.  They have also acquired Tim Hightower, one of the running backs of the Arizona Cardinals.  However, that game will be highly dependent on which Rex Grossman decides to show up for that game.

After week 7, if Michael Vick (and maybe Vince Young), can survive the gauntlet of defenses, the Philadelphia Eagles will be in good playoff shape, as their last regular season game is against the Washington Redskins.  Again, like last season, I would expect that Eagles head coach Andy Reid rest his starters by first half of that game.  If Michael Vick is still in one piece, he would be resting after maybe a series or two.

I don’t doubt that the Philadelphia Eagles can make the playoffs and quite possibly clinch the NFC East with a regular season record of 11-5 or 10-6.  Again, if they face teams with stiffer defenses in the playoffs, the explosive Philadelphia Eagles offense implode, like last season.  The playoff curse might again catch up to the Philadelphia Eagles, particularly in the NFC conference playoff game.   This time, you can’t blame it on William Penn or Donovan McNabb.  It may as well rest on the shoulders of head coach Andy Reid.

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