Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/4/12

The Eagles are two years removed from being at the top of the NFC East.

Last year was the supposed "Dream Team" season with all the free agency signings including Asomugha, Babin, Jenkins and a whole lot more.

After an 8-8 season and without a playoff win in the Vick era, fans and coaches are starved for another run into the playoffs.

Before that is possible, they have to outperform almost every team in the regular season. Here's 10 reasons why i think the Eagles will fly high in the East.

10. 2012 NFL Draft

The Eagles had one of the most successful drafts considering how many of the players from it are playing this season.

First-round defensive tackle Fletcher Cox looks to get an increased amount of playing time with Mike Patterson out for most of the season at least. Their second pick, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, has been slated as the starter to play alongside DeMeco Ryans.

After the recent release of cornerback Joselio Hanson, fourth-rounder Brandon Boykin will have to prove he was worth releasing a great player for. Arizona product Nick Foles has proven himself a great backup quarterback, possibly even a future starter.

Hopefully, we don't have to see him start a game this season, as Vick looks to finish 16 games for the first time since since 2006. 

9. LeSean McCoy

For a "pass-first" team, the Eagles have one of the best running backs in the league. McCoy burst onto the scene last year with an incredible 1,309 yards and a league-leading 17 touchdowns on the ground (20 total).

McCoy has proven himself as the most elusive back in the league. There isn't a player in the NFL who can stop McCoy, if it's just one-on-one.

A year ago I might get in a little trouble for saying McCoy resembles the amazing Barry Sanders, but now, people don't mention LeSean McCoy in the same sentence without at least whispering Barry Sanders. Hopefully 2012 will be another great year for McCoy as he establishes himself as one of the greatest running backs in Eagles' history.

8. Quarterback Depth

While I do have all the confidence in the world for Vick, every snap he takes I hold my breath. When Vick is given time in the pocket, he is one of the best, most accurate quarterbacks in the league. Not to mention, the guy has the best rocket arm in the league.

When Vick is flushed out of the pocket is when it seems most of his injuries occur. His motto is, the play is never over. He will give his body to the game as he has time and time again, and if he fails to start a game at some point, the Eagles are feeling comfortable at quarterback.

Nick Foles has obviously solidified himself as one of the best backup quarterbacks and also has himself a heck of an arm. Third-stringer, ex-afterthought, Trent Edwards surprised a lot of folks when he led the Eagles on four game-winning drives in a row during the preseason, winning a job in the process.

If Vick should go down (knock on wood) the Eagles are feeling good at quarterback, at least for a couple weeks.

7. Todd Bowles

When the Eagles signed Todd Bowles after the 2011 season, I was ecstatic. His signing seemed to slip through the cracks and it wasn't celebrated enough after being overshadowed by the DeMeco Ryans trade.

Todd Bowles is a highly-respected cornerback coach in the NFL, and has a track record to prove it. Bowles finished 2011 as the Miami Dolphins' head coach.

That's right, the Philadelphia Eagles' cornerback coach is an ex-interim head coach. The Eagles' pass defense was mediocre at best in 2011, but 2012 shows new promise. Asomugha may finally return to his Oakland form and shut down half of the field, and DRC at this point in 2012, has shown more promise than Asomugha. Both players are due a Pro Bowl year, so look for them to earn it this upcoming season.

6. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

If Nnamdi Asomugha is the best cornerback on the Eagles, it's a tight race. DRC has played out of his mind this offseason. He turned heads in training camp when he was the only player able to keep up with DeSean.

Fast Forward to preseason, he was a hot commodity. DRC had a couple passes defended, and would have had more if the opposing quarterback would throw his way.

He has always been known for his closing speed, but it is truly coming to light this season. I believe, by halfway through the season, DRC will be the number one cornerback on the Philadelphia Eagles.

If Nnamdi Asomugha is No. 2 on your depth chart, you have a damn good cornerback tandem.

5. Defensive Line Depth

I made a little riddle in my most recent article, and i think it's dead on, "What has 16 legs, eight heads, and demolishes any quarterback willing to take it on?" Answer: The Philadelphia Eagles' insanely ferocious defensive line rotations. 

The Eagles had one of the best lines in 2011, with Trent Cole and Jason Babin stepping up to bring the opposing quarterbacks down. 2012 looks to be even greater. Let me show you the list of  the defensive line players who look to see a lot of playing time in 2012: Trent Cole,

Derek Landri, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin, as if that isn't enough, the list is only half way over. Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Darryl Tapp, and preseason great Phillip Hunt look to also make themselves known in the city of Brotherly Love. 

Look for the defensive line to be a huge part to the success in 2012.

4. Training Camp

That's right, training camp.

The Eagles along with the rest of the league, were without a training camp in 2011, and their struggles showed. From run defense, pass defense, to even pass offense.

However with a full training camp under their belts, the Eagles look to take strides this year and come out guns blazing Week 1.

It will be most helpful to Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, who was blamed for most of the 2011 woes. Juan Castillo will earn the respect of the fans in 2012, and secure his spot on the Eagles' defense and the questions surrounding him will fade to black. 

3. The Death Of Garrett Reid

I really wanted to keep this off the list. It is such a tragic event and such a heart breaking loss, but with great loss, comes passion. 

The team feels for the Eagles' 14-year coach Andy Reid. He mourned the loss of his son the coming days, and the whole league was quiet for that time. 

This team will not let down Andy Reid, as they dedicated the 2012 season to Garrett Reid. No player will fail to try his hardest, and the Eagles will do what it takes to win week after week. 

As i said, this team will display an incredible amount of passion.

Garrett will not be forgotten, every Sunday the Eagles will remember what they lost, and every Sunday they will give it everything they have.

Look for the Eagles to turn their sadness to aggression and come out on top in 2012.

2. Too Much Talent

If games were played on paper, the Eagles would probably lead the league in Super Bowl wins. Unfortunately, that isn't the case and the Eagles have yet to record a Super Bowl win. 

This year, that whole "games played on paper" thing might actually be the case. The Eagles literally have too much talent to fail this year. DeSean may have underperformed last year, but now that he is paid, he promises to explode back on to the scene and lead the team in receiving.

The Eagles' defense can be a top-caliber defense if they can rally around Juan Castillo and Jim Washburns' schemes. 

Obviously the Eagles are not lacking at running back, nor at quarterback (especially depth). Look for the Eagles to storm back into the playoffs in 2012, all while earning first place in the NFC East.

1. Jeffrey Lurie's Recent Comments

As if the death of Garrett Reid wasn't enough for this team to rally around their coach, team owner Jeffery Lurie recently said, "Again, I am not going to make blanket statements. I really wanted to try to explain to you that 8-8 was unacceptable. Yeah, I guess if two-thirds of the team is not playing, there are always exceptions. That was a really unacceptable outcome. I just want to reiterate that."

Lurie was quick to make it known that the community and staff will always support Andy Reid, head coach or not. 

The team loves Andy Reid, Philadelphia (for the most part) loves Andy Reid.

If there is one thing i can guarantee, after all of this turmoil and loss in the last year, the Philadelphia Eagles will not finish 8-8; they will rise above to keep Reid's job safe.



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