Here’s a Look at the 2016 Philadelphia Eagles Season Win Total Prediction
Total Win/Loss Odds OverviewHeading into Week 16, the Eagles were alive in the playoff race. They just had to beat the Washington Redskins. They didn’t, and it really wasn’t even close. The final score was 38-24, but the Eagles were never in the game. Then Kelly was surprisingly canned. Kelly had been given personnel control entering last year. He went out and traded for QB Sam Bradford, he shipped RB LeSean McCoy out, and he brought in DeMarco Murray. But nothing seemed to work.
Last year’s 7-9 record was a surprising disappointment. This year’s would be reasonable with a new head coach, new offensive and defensive schemes and other significant changes. The new coach is former Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. He had been Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator with Kansas City for the past three seasons. Before going to Kansas City, he was Reid’s quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia after starting as a quality control coach. Pederson has spent seven seasons as an NFL coach, and all have been under Reid.
Pederson’s limited track record as a coach is helped by a 12-year playing career. He spent time with the Eagles, Dolphins, Packers, and Browns. Pederson held a clipboard behind Brett Favre with the Packers from 1996-98, when Reid was also on the Packers’ staff. Pederson followed Reid to Philadelphia in 1999 and started nine games. He finished his career with 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Pederson becomes the seventh active coach who used to play in the NFL.
Why Betting On The Over?After a disastrous return on Kelly’s one and only free-agent class, the Eagles managed to get out of his two biggest mistakes and pick up draft capital in the process. Philly shipped off Byron Maxwell to Miami and Murray to Tennessee, swapping draft picks as part of both deals.
The hiring of Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator should be an upgrade on Bill Davis, even if Davis still had the Eagles at 17th in DVOA last season. The Eagles’ defense in 2015 was an enigma. After starting out strong, Philly’s defensive play disintegrated down the stretch and ended ranked 30th in total yards per game (401.6) and 28th in points per game allowed (26.9).
Schwartz helped the Bills post the second-best defensive DVOA (which adjusts performance for down, distance, and opponent) and a league-leading 54 sacks during his lone year as coordinator in Buffalo in 2014 before Rex Ryan replaced him with Dennis Thurman and the Bills fell to 24th in DVOA. Schwartz coaches the kind of aggressive, intimidating 4-3 scheme that Eagles fans prefer, and that gives him a chance to become a local folk hero. The Eagles played a hybrid style of defense under Kelly and Davis, but mostly operated out of a base 3-4 set. Schwartz is well known for his ability to manufacture pressure on opposing quarterbacks while only rushing the front four defenders, rarely, if ever, sending blitzers into the backfield. Schwartz spent 2015 as a consultant with the NFL’s officiating department.
Why Betting On The Under?What is this team doing at quarterback? The Eagles gave away several draft picks to move up twice and select the North Dakota State star with the No. 2 overall spot. But they also gave Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel plenty of money — $34 million guaranteed — to be the top two guys on the depth chart. And the team plans in keeping Wentz inactive all season if possible so that’s no immediate help. Wentz is a player the Eagles view as the long term centerpiece of the franchise, but not in any way some kind of short term fix. In a best case scenario, the Eagles would love to be competitive in 2016 with Bradford having his best season as a starter (not a high bar). That will make it easier for GM Howie Roseman to flip Bradford for a decent draft pick during the 2017 offseason. Meanwhile, Daniel’s role feels like he is the long term backup, first for Bradford, and then for Wentz.
Bradford’s problems have been twofold in his career: durability and performance. The injury-prone quarterback has played 16 games only twice in his six-year career. If Bradford can’t perform at a high level, the clamoring for Wentz will begin pretty quickly. The Eagles’ running back situation heading into training camp this season is less than ideal. The top four running backs currently on the Eagles’; roster are Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Kenjon Barner. There’s no true featured back there. Mathews used to have the potential but he’s always hurt. Plus Mathews is not a great fit for Pederson’s offense. Pederson has said that he wants to be able to move his backs around to create mismatches for opposing defenses in the passing game.