This article is part of our Team Previews series.
By: Mario Puig
STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
Although the Eagles have been perennial playoff factors for basically the entirety of the 2000's, it's probably safe to say that expectations have never been higher than they are for the 2011 season.
Even before the offseason, the team already boasted a potent offense. Michael Vick looked like a top-three quarterback in 2010, while the trio of running back LeSean McCoy and receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin teamed up with Vick to create an offense with perhaps unmatched big-play ability. Even the defense, despite its inability to regain the dominance it showed in the Jim Johnson days, had Pro Bowl talents in defensive end Trent Cole and cornerback Asante Samuel.
After giving the eventual Super Bowl champion Packers all they could take in the wildcard round of the playoffs, losing just 21-16, the Eagles seemed to only be a piece or two away from becoming preseason playoff favorites. The addition of free agent Nnamdi Asomugha alone probably would have been enough to start up the Super Bowl hype, but he was just one of many names added by Philadelphia in the offseason.
The team traded backup quarterback Kevin Kolb to Arizona for a second-round pick and former Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, giving the team what's easily the best cornerback lineup in the league. Cullen Jenkins was signed in free agency, giving the team a Pro Bowl candidate alongside the already formidable duo of Mike Patterson and Trevor