The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off of a 2018 campaign in which they won nine games and snuck into the playoffs, upsetting the Chicago Bears in the Wild Card Round before falling to the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round.
Heading into 2019, Nick Foles is no longer around, meaning the Eagles are banking on Carson Wentz to stay healthy all season.
Philadelphia added quite a bit of talent to its offense this offseason, and as a result of all its talent at the skill positions, some feel that the Eagles are a darkhorse Super Bowl contender.
So, here are the three Eagles players under the most pressure going into this season.
3. Ronald Darby
I know I just spent all that time talking about the Eagles’ offense, so putting a defensive player here may sound strange, but hear me out.
Philadelphia traded for Ronald Darby during the summer of 2017, hoping he would help iron out what was a shaky secondary overall. Instead, Darby has gone on to play just 17 games in two years with the Eagles due to injuries.
Philly decided to give him another chance this offseason by re-signing him, but this is probably his last opportunity in the City of Brotherly Love.
Plain and simply, Darby needs to stay on the field. When he is right, he is certainly a good cornerback and should absolutely elevate the Eagles’ secondary, but obviously, avoiding injuries has been a big problem for the 25-year-old.
2. DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson is back for his second stint with the Birds, with his first go-around beginning in 2008 and lasting through 2013.
Jackson experienced the most success of his NFL career with the Eagles, making all three of his Pro Bowl appearances in Philadelphia. His best season came in 2013, when he hauled in 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.
Injuries have been an issue for Jackson in recent years, but his production as a whole has also declined.
Now that Jackson is back in a high-powered offense, he is expected to be a major threat in the Eagles’ passing game, even at the age of 32. There is definitely some heat on Jackson to make Philadelphia’s offense even better.
1. Carson Wentz
This one is obvious.
Wentz just signed a massive contract extension with the Eagles even though he has played just one full season in three years.
In 2017, a torn ACL knocked him out in Week 14. Then, this past season, Wentz appeared in just 11 contests before bowing out with a back injury.
Now, it’s time for Wentz to actually show he can remain healthy and not only validate his contract, but show the Eagles that he can, in fact, be a franchise quarterback, because we don’t know if he is capable of that yet.
The talent is certainly there, but it’s not going to matter how skilled Wentz is if he can’t stay on the gridiron.
Make no mistake about it: Philadelphia absolutely, positively needs a full 16-game campaign out of Wentz in 2019.