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Philadelphia Eagles Preview Capsule

By The Associated PressSeptember 5, 2016

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (7-9)

New faces: QB Carson Wentz, QB Chase Daniel, CB Leodis McElvin, CB Ron Brooks, G Brandon Brooks, S Rodney McLeod, WR Dorial Green-Beckham, RB Wendell Smallwood, LB Nigel Bradham, OL Stefan Wisniewski.

Key losses: QB Sam Bradford, RB DeMarco Murray, LB DeMeco Ryans, CB Byron Maxwell, LB Kiko Alonso.

Strengths: Defensive line of Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Connor Barwin and Vinny Curry is among best in NFL and should thrive in new coordinator Jim Schwartz’s system. McElvin and McLeod improved secondary. Tight ends Zach Ertz, Brent Celek and Trey Burton are solid.

Weaknesses: Inexperience at QB. Daniel has thrown 77 career passes; Wentz is a rookie. If RT Lane Johnson is suspended, as he expects, line loses best player. Perennial Pro Bowl LT Jason Peters is on decline. Lack game-breaking WR, though Green-Beckham has strong upside. No proven workhorse RB behind Ryan Mathews. Don’t have shutdown CB.

Fantasy Players To Watch: Wentz, Ertz, Mathews, WR Jordan Matthews.

Expectations: Before trading Bradford to Vikings, Eagles were hoping to compete in weak NFC East. The blockbuster trade accelerated the rebuilding process and Wentz will start Week 1 despite missing the final three preseason games with a ribs injury. If revamped defense is real deal and key players on offense stay healthy, they won’t be horrible.

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