Here’s a look at the Super Bowl prospects of the Philadelphia Eagles, who finished the regular season 13-3 and went on to win their first Lombardi Trophy. The tiers consist of: Realistic Super Bowl expectations; Should contend, but there are question marks; Middle of the pack; Lots of work to do; and Nowhere close.
Westgate odds of winning Super Bowl LIII: 6-1
Realistic Super Bowl expectations: The Eagles have arrived ahead of schedule. Few projected that they would seriously contend for a championship in Year 2 of coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz, and even fewer thought they'd get the job done when Wentz went down with injury and Nick Foles stepped in. But there was a force about this team that simply could not be denied.
The core of the Super Bowl roster will remain intact. Linebacker Nigel Bradham, corner Patrick Robinson and running backs LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles are all set to become free agents, but most of the key contributors are under contract for the foreseeable future. Plus, top-end players like Wentz, left tackle Jason Peters and linebacker Jordan Hicks -- all injured during the title run -- could be added back into the mix.
Wentz's left knee will be a big topic of conversation this offseason. He tore his ACL and LCL in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams. The target return date is Week 1, but it's not a slam dunk. Oftentimes, a player does not return to form until after full season. Assuming he can get back somewhere close to his MVP-caliber self, the Eagles appear to have a legit chance of making another run at this. Does anybody think Wentz will let them have a Super Bowl hangover? He was thrilled for Foles but no doubt is hungry to be hoisting a Super Bowl MVP trophy of his own. That could be the X-factor as the Eagles look to repeat.