Philadelphia Eagles Odds Preview

Depending on how you look at it, the Philadelphia Eagles have spent the last decade as either annual contenders or consistent failures. With Donovan McNabb at the helm, Philly was almost always in the mix but the team never captured a Super Bowl title - settling for four NFC Championship losses and a single Super Bowl defeat instead.

Now the Eagles finally turn the page. Kevin Kolb takes over under center and, with new blood at quarterback, Philadelphia has +2500 Super Bowl odds at Sportsbook.ag. If a championship is in the team’s future, though, it needs more than Kolb to step up-the defense has to come along for the ride too. Eagles Odds to Division: +300 Eagles Regular Season Win Total: 8.5 (OV even, UN -120) Eagles Super Bowl Odds: +2500 Kolb certainly had his moments last year. The former second-round pick got two starts in place of McNabb and threw for a combined 724 yards and four touchdowns. Kolb also tossed three interceptions against the Saints, though, and no matter what Philly fans think of McNabb they can’t expect the same polish from Kolb in just his first year as a starter. Of course, if there’s a recent comparison, it might be Aaron Rodgers. Like Kolb, Rodgers sat behind a Pro Bowl quarterback for a few seasons before getting any meaningful playing time. It paid off for the Packers, as Rodgers threw for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns in his first year as a starter.

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Kolb has the benefit of working with one of the most explosive groups of skill players in the NFL. Though small in stature, DeSean Jackson is one of the league’s premier big-play guys. He can get downfield after a bomb in a hurry but, more importantly for the young Kolb, he creates yards after the catch. Philly also has tight end Brent Celek and No. 2 wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to lean on. The running game leaves something to be desired, though head coach Andy Reid doesn’t use it much anyway. LeSean McCoy is the starting tail back-a Brian Westbrook Lite-but fullback Leonard Weaver will steal some carries after a couple of solid games in 2010. The line looks very solid, particularly at tackle with Jason Peters and Winston Justice. But though much attention will be focused squarely on Kolb this season, it is perhaps the defense that’s most crucial to a Super Bowl run. The Eagles have slipped since the passing of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson; they ranked 19th in points allowed last season. The “D” doesn’t have the same teeth it did under Johnson, partly because of the departure of safety Brian Dawkins. Dawkins wasn’t just a playmaker; he set the tone for Philadelphia. The team is hoping first-round pick Nate Allen can bring a similar attitude and effort. The rookie certainly has tremendous shoes to fill.

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