The Philadelphia Eagles appear to be one of the darlings in NFL circles, rising from a potential playoff team to a potential Super Bowl contender. One NFC personnel executive told Heavy in the Trenches that the Eagles offseason work paid off, suggesting that their roster is talented enough to battle for a Lombardi Trophy.
“I like Buffalo and Philly in the Super Bowl,” the personnel executive told Heavy NFL insider Matt Lombardo. “The key thing for them is, the quarterback has got to play well. I think he can.”
The Bills aren’t much of a surprise to be picked to go to the Super Bowl after an 11-6 season that saw them fall in the divisional round in a close loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Eagles, meanwhile, snuck into the playoffs at 9-8 and were ushered out by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round 31-15.
Never the less, the Eagles garnered four votes to be Super Bowl champions in Lombardo’s anonymous poll of NFL personnel executives, coaches, scouts and players. That led all teams in the poll.
The executive isn’t the only one picking the Eagles and Bills to face each other in the Super Bowl, as former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy told NFL Network he’s picking the Eagles to beat the Bills in the Super Bowl this year.
McCoy is perhaps showing a bit of bias in picking his two former teams to meet at the end of the year, but he certainly knows both teams well. His assessment of what Jalen Hurts needs to do matches that of the NFC personnel executive who spoke with Heavy and had an interesting comparison.
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts Tops List of MVP Sleepers, NFL Executive Compares Hurts to Baker Mayfield
Lombardo also surveyed 13 league sources on which MVP candidates aren’t being talked about enough, and Hurts tied atop the list with two votes. Justin Herbert and Christian McCaffrey also got two votes each. Seven other players were picked once.
The NFC personnel executive made an interesting comparison for Hurts.
“I think he’s kind of like Baker [Mayfield]. Those guys have to stay in their lane and not try to do too much, or what they can’t do,” the executive told Lombardo. “Don’t try to take over a game by yourself. Just go with the flow of the game, and not screw it up, because you have enough talent on both sides of the ball to win. I think the whole chemistry is right for them. I think Philly is going to be really, really solid.”
Eagles Have ‘Execution Benchmarks’ to Get Gardner-Johnson on the Field
The Eagles have projected confidence about getting newly acquired safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson onto the field for the season opener, but with just four days remaining before their matchup with the Lions, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon admits it’s not a guarantee.
“We’ll just see how the week goes,” Gannon said in his September 6 press conference. “That’s like with all our players. We just kind of figure out as the week goes on this guy is ready to play or this guy is not, and we kind of go from there.”
Pressed for more details about how they’ll make the decision, Gannon said they’re looking for certain measurables from the practice field.
“Yeah, execution benchmarks in practice,” Gannon explained. “Like I said, when he’s ready to play, we’ll put him in there.”
Gardner-Johnson was acquired from the Saints late in the preseason, leaving the Eagles only 11 days to try to get him up to speed for Week 1.