Fall is almost here, and we’re pumped to head back to the Linc for tailgating, cheering and an Eagles season that will be anything but boring. Here are five reasons we’re excited – and keeping playoff hopes alive.

1. Carson Wentz

There’s just no getting around it – bringing a young, fresh quarterback to a team that hasn’t had a QB to start all 16 games (not since Donovan McNabb in 2008) is exactly the shot of excitement Eagles fans needed. The Eagles used their No. 2 overall pick to snag the promising 23-year-old quarterback out of North Dakota State, and while the Eagles say Wentz probably won’t play this year, we have to admire Andrew Porter of  WIP’s bold prediction that Wentz will start the final four games of the season (you know, after it’s clear that the Eagles aren’t going to the playoffs).

Read SalPal’s take on Wentz here.

2. The return of Jason Peters

He’s a veteran and a leader in the locker room – not to mention an eight-time Pro Bowler. He suffered a devastating back injury last season, but he’s also professed his dislike for Chip Kelly’s hurry-up offense, so Peters could bounce back with a vengeance this year and be the sorely needed shock to the offensive line’s system.

3. Jim Schwartz’s defense

He’s not heralded hometown-favorite defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, but new coach Jim Schwartz has returned the Eagles to a competent-looking 4-3 defense after years of weak performances under Chip Kelly’s partner-in-crime Billy Davis, who favored the 3-4. Here’s hoping powerhouses like Fletcher Cox, Vinnie Curry and Connor Barwin make it count.

Listen to Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz address the press.

4. The safeties

Pro Bowler Malcolm Jenkins has always been a leader on the team, and now he’s joined by Rodney McLeod at safety. The two look to play well together – and we love how McLeod immediately immersed himself in his new city and endeared himself to his teammates. He could quickly become a new fan-favorite.

5. The rest of the NFC East

The NFC East has been a consistently weak division for years. The Dallas Cowboys looked to be early-on favorites, but with the loss of injury-prone quarterback Tony Romo due to a fractured vertebrae in his lower back, the Cowboys’ season (despite strong preseason turns from first-round pick Ezekiel Elliot and a recently concussed Dez Bryant) is now up in the air.

We hate to say the same thing as last year – but this division could be won at 7-9 or 8-8.


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