Candidates for a bounce back 2019 season
There may not be a better way to describe the 2018 season than by calling it a roller coaster ride.
The Eagles ripped off five of their six final games after a sluggish 4-6 start to make the playoffs. What looked like a lost season was perhaps a Marshon Lattimore interception away from turning into another NFC championship berth.
Doug Pederson and company were able to right the ship, overcoming multiple blown fourth quarter leads, inconsistent line play, and a catastrophic amount of injuries on both sides of the ball.
While they were able to find their 2017 form at the perfect time, things didn't get better for everyone.
These four players will hope to replicate the Eagles late-season rebound with a turnaround of their own in 2019.
QB Carson Wentz
Wentz is the obvious one on this list as he attempts take two of the redemption tour. The 2018 season fell off the track for the franchise quarterback after suffering a stress fracture in his back that held him out of the final three games and the playoffs.
While stats show growth in his game finishing with career-highs in completion percentage, quarterback rating, and yards per attempt, serious injuries continue to be a dark cloud.
If the offensive line avoids another slow start and keeps Wentz up-right, he will have no excuses not to bounce back with one of the deepest skill-position depth charts in the league.
DE Derek Barnett
Much like Wentz, Derek Barnett suffered a serious injury early in the season that ended what was shaping up to be a breakout second year.
The first month of the season, Barnett was the most effective pass rusher on the edge.
The 2017 first round was especially dominant Weeks 3 and 4 against the Colts and Titans racking up 2.5 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss, and four QB hits.
One of those sacks included the game-winning play against Andrew Luck on 4th and goal.
The Eagles need Barnett to get back to his early-season form as Michael Bennett was traded to New England and Chris Long leans heavily towards retirement.
RB Corey Clement
The Super Bowl hero's up and down sophomore campaign perfectly defines how the season went for the Eagles in general.
Clement started the season strong. From Week 2-4 he finished with 85, 75, and 69 yards from scrimmage to go along with two rushing touchdowns.
Things got tougher from there.
The former Wisconsin Badger didn't surpass 4.0 yards per carry for the next five weeks and only ran for 36 yards from Week 5 to Week 8.
Right before suffering a season-ending leg injury, a turnaround was developing.
Clement went back to back weeks surpassing 70 yards from scrimmage on top of a 5.5 and 9.0 YPC mark against the Giants and Washington.
Good to bad to good to bad. Clement's third season hopes to bring more consistency which would be an encouraging sign considering Jordan Howard is a free agent after the 2019 season.
CB Sidney Jones
What will happen with Sidney Jones? After the Eagles selected him in the second round of the 2017 draft, most saw it as a potential steal as the Washington-product only fell out of the top-15 because of a torn Achilles suffered at his pro day.
The Eagles clearly agreed starting him in the slot to begin the 2018 season where Jones showed some real flashes the first six weeks of the season.
Then the soft tissue problems flared up again and he only appeared in three more games at the end of the season.
His ceiling could be the highest of any CB on the roster but with five other corners that have shown potential on the field, will Jones beat them out?
Will there even be an open competition that gives him a chance?
It will be interesting to see how the front office and coaches handle Jones and the position, weighing upside vs proven track record.
Either way he needs to stay healthy and he needs to shine in the summer to avoid getting buried on the depth chart.
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