Eagles look primed to go all the way

The Eagles are good enough to win the Super Bowl.

Yes, of course, that's a dangerous statement to make after three preseason games, especially when the starting quarterback with the dubious medical history has played only four series. On the other hand, if you watched the Eagles play their three preseason games, it is impossible not to consider them among the NFL elite with the "meaningful" portion of these meaningless games behind us.

That is not true just because said quarterback (Sam Bradford) led the Eagles to four touchdowns in his four series and completed 13 of his 15 passes after playing in only seven games the last two seasons. It's not true just because DeMarco Murray's pick-a-hole-and-go style of running appears to be perfectly suited for coach Chip Kelly's fast-moving offense, either.

It is true because there are so many reasons beyond those two big ones to believe that this Eagles team can be the one that Philadelphia has been waiting for since the team's last championship 55 years ago.

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Is it too early to start thinking Super Bowl for the Eagles?

After all the offseason angst with the departures of LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, and Nick Foles, it appears as if the Eagles offense has more weapons than in either of Kelly's first two seasons.

Bradford, in his short time here, has already seen that and made the most of it.

"I think it puts a lot of stress on the defense, especially when you combine our depth and our personnel with the tempo," Bradford said after his first preseason start, against Baltimore. "We can throw a lot of different personnel groupings out there.

"You add the tempo and it just doesn't give them enough time to react to it. I think they're still trying to communicate and we're snapping the ball. It's fun. It's great for a quarterback when you look out there and you know that everyone out there can make plays. It's my job to just get them the ball. It reminds me of the system we ran in college. The quarterback is almost like a point guard."

Murray is Bradford's power forward. Darren Sproles is a shooting guard who can launch big plays from the backfield and in the slot. Ryan Mathews is a sixth man extraordinaire. Jordan Matthews appears ready to take a giant leap forward after a strong rookie season, and rookie Nelson Agholor might be better than Matthews was a year ago.

Even Kelly seemed pleased by his offense after it put up three touchdowns on as many possessions in the first quarter of Saturday night's win at Green Bay.

"We did some nice things tonight," the coach said. "We need to continue to build on it."

Kelly followed up by reminding everyone that Zach Ertz, his best pass-catching tight end, and receiver Josh Huff did not play. He expects them to be a big part of the offense, too.

Last year's team broke the Eagles record for points scored in a season that had been set in Kelly's first season. This year's team looks like a sure bet to break last year's record. It's not unreasonable to think that these Eagles will be the first in franchise history to break the 500-point barrier, a feat that has been accomplished only 17 times.

The combined regular-season record of those 17 teams was 228-44 for a winning percentage of .838. Ten of those 17 teams played in the Super Bowl and four of them won it. Three others reached the conference championship. You get to the final four and you're good enough to win it. You just have to be a little lucky, too.

Another reason the Eagles are good enough to win the Super Bowl is because the defense is better. Sure, it would have been a much bigger and better test if Aaron Rodgers had been under center instead of rookie Brett Hundley for the Packers, but the three men who put their hands down for the Eagles - Bennie Logan, Fletcher Cox, and Cedric Thornton - are all dominating players.

The secondary, with Nolan Carroll and Byron Maxwell at cornerback and Walter Thurmond at safety, is a candidate to be the team's most improved department.

Meanwhile, the special teams still look special.

Are there concerns? Sure. It would be reassuring to see Cody Parkey kicking in the preseason finale Thursday against the New York Jets, and opening-night appearances in Atlanta by Ertz and linebacker Kiko Alonso would be a welcome sight, too.

Season-destroying land mines lie beneath the surface every week inside every NFL stadium. Last year, the Eagles' hopes for a place in the postseason were demolished when DeMeco Ryans and Nick Foles were lost for the season in Houston.

As mentioned before, you need some luck to win it all. First, however, you have to be good enough, and right now it appears as if the Eagles are.


bbrookover@phillynews.com

@brookob