What they're saying about the Eagles

It's difficult to find a member of the national media picking Andy Reid's squad to win the NFC East. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

As we sit a week away from the start of the 2010 NFL season, predictions continue to trickle in.

Here's our weekly look at what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

SI.com's Ross Tucker previews the NFC East and has the Eagles going 9-7. Tucker has all four teams in the division finishing above .500, with the Redskins and Cowboys going 10-6. He has the Giants finishing 9-7.

Tucker lists one thing that each team needs to improve. For the Birds, he says it's an intimidation factor:

The defense took a step back last year under first-year defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and must get back to being the intimidating crew that the late Jim Johnson created during his tenure in Philly. The Eagles got a number of reinforcements this offseason after trading for linebacker Ernie Sims from the Detroit Lions and using their first two draft choices on defensive end Brandon Graham from Michigan and safety Nate Allen from South Florida. All three are expected to start from day one. The defense also returns rock-solid middle linebacker Stewart Bradley after he missed all of the 2009 campaign with a torn ACL.

Sean McDermott and Andy Reid have pointed to Sims as a guy who can provide that intimidation factor. But, in my opinion, that has to start with being a playmaker, something Sims will have to prove he's capable of in the regular season.

SI.com's Peter King also previews the Eagles in a video that accompanies Tucker's piece. He praises the Eagles for moving on to Kevin Kolb, but says it will be tough for them to win the division or even make the playoffs this season.

NFL.com has six different experts chiming in with Eagles predictions. Two predict 10-6; two predict 9-7; one predicts 8-8; and one predicts 5-11.

Vic Carucci has the Birds winning just five games:

Kevin Kolb will eventually be a good quarterback. This year, however, he isn't ready to carry the load and the team will feel his growing pains.

None of the experts have the Eagles winning the NFC East. Three have them finishing second; two have them finishing third; and Carucci has them finishing last.

Jason La Canfora gives the Eagles 10 wins:

Kevin Kolb is going to be a star. If the OL was more settled I'd like their chances more. Dick Jauron should bring consistency to secondary.

CBSSports.com's Clark Judge predicts a third-place finish for the Eagles. He has the Cowboys first, the Giants second and the Redskins last:

This is one of the most intriguing teams out there because after eight playoffs and five conference championship games they had the guts to cut loose the quarterback who took them there. Now, I'm not sure what to make of them, other than it's never wise to underestimate Reid. He admires Kolb and believes he's a better fit for what the Eagles do with their passing game than McNabb ... and maybe he's right. But one problem: McNabb had over 10 years of starting in this offense; Kolb has two games. So expect mistakes borne from inexperience, which means expect more losses than last season.

In case you missed it from earlier this week, here's what Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski think about the Eagles.

And Phil Simms' take on the Birds.

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