Philadelphia Eagles: Super Bowl or Bust

Derek MooreCorrespondent IMay 28, 2009

Five times in the last eight years, the Eagles have made it to the NFC championship—and only once have they made it to the Super Bowl, which they lost by a field goal to the Patriots.

Yet I expect all five of those heartbreaking losses to be avenged this season.  I truly believe that the Eagles are the team to beat this year, and I think they will finally win the Super Bowl.

Last season definitely had its ups and downs—the Eagles dominated at times, and many of their victories were lopsided in which they won by several scores, including the 44-6 Dallas beat-down, which secured a playoff birth.

Despite the many one-sided victories, the Eagles finished the year a disappointing 9-6-1, well below many Eagles fans' expectations. 

Even though they made the playoffs and went all the way to the NFC championship, the Birds largely underachieved.  Statistically, they had the third best overall defense and scored the most points in franchise history.

But statistics don't tell the entire story.

Five of the losses were by an agonizing seven points or less.  Offensive inconsistencies, short yardage problems, and problems in the red zone were the main issues.

The Eagles were notorious for being stopped in short yardage situations.  At Chicago, they had three opportunities to punch the ball in from the one yard line to lock up a probable win. 

Instead, they set the theme for the entire season by running up the middle three straight times and coming away with nothing but a loss.

A similar scenario occurred against their division rivals, the New York Giants.  After reaching midfield, they again had a 4th and 1 play decide the outcome— which ended up being yet another heartbreaking loss for the Eagles.

The short yardage game shouldn't be a problem this season—Westbrook is now healthy, and he has two new offensive lineman in Stacey Andrews and Jason Peters.  Shawn Andrews will also be back, and that should give Philadelphia one of the best—if not the best—offensive lines in football.

The signing of Leonard Weaver means the Eagles will finally have a true fullback, and with the drafting of Lesean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles are stacked.

Stacked on paper, that is.

Last year's preseason paper champions were the Dallas Cowboys, who failed to even make the playoffs and finished 9-7.

But considering the core of youth and talent the Eagles have on both sides of the ball, they should finish far better than 9-7. 

This season will definitely be a tough and hard fought one, though. They play in the best division in the NFL, and also play against the NFC South.  That automatically gives them ten tough games right from the get-go.

12-4 is the most reasonable expectation for the regular season, considering the schedule.  But once the playoffs come around, considering all the talent the Eagles have on their roster, one phrase can sum up my expectations: Super Bowl or Bust.