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July 03, 2015

20 Eagles over-unders

Eagles NFL
070315NelsonAgholor Matt Rourke/AP

Will Nelson Agholor eclipse DeSean Jackson's Eagles rookie receiving record of 912 yards?

It's time to make some 2015 Eagles predictions. Below are 20 over-unders for various player and team stats. Make your predictions now and see how you did in January.

1) Sam Bradford: 11.5 games played

Bradford doesn't just have a pair of ACL tears on his resume. He has suffered a myriad of other injuries as well. Bradford has played more than 10 games in two of his five years in the NFL. Will Chip Kelly's #SportsScience make a difference? 

2) DeMarco Murray: 1250 rushing yards

Murray had 1845 rushing yards a year ago, and part of the reason for that was because Dallas ran him into the ground. In Philly, Murray has a far better complement of running backs around him in Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, so expect his rushing numbers to come down drastically. Still, the Eagles could very well have the best overall rushing attack in the NFL in 2015.

3) Ryan Mathews: 850 rushing yards

I think the Eagles are going to use Mathews more than people perceive. A split of 18-20 carries per game for Murray, 12-14 for Mathews, with a sprinkling for Darren Sproles would be a nice balance, and would keep all three backs fresh through the season. 

4) Jordan Matthews: 1000 receiving yards

Matthews quietly nearly broke the Eagles rookie receiving record last season, falling 40 yards shy of DeSean Jackson's 912 receiving yards in 2008. Expect Matthews' role to increase this season.

5) Nelson Agholor: 912 receiving yards

I expect Agholor to start from Day 1, and I expect him to produce from Day 1. We'll set Jackson's rookie record of 912 yards as the benchmark.

6) Josh Huff: 450 receiving yards

Huff has much higher expectations heading into 2015, but I think that 450 receiving yards would actually be a nice progression for his career, considering the high number of other weapons in the Eagles' offense.

7) Zach Ertz: 850 receiving yards

Ertz racked up 702 yards as a role player a year ago. Please Chip, for the love of God, let this man eat. If Ertz starts and gets the majority of the snaps over Brent Celek, he should eclipse 850 yards with ease. If not, that number will be less attainable.

8) Eagles offense: 87 plays of 20+ yards

In 2013, the Eagles had 99 plays of 20+ yards, which broke an NFL record. In 2013, their explosive plays fell off dramatically, when that number dipped to 75. Let's split the difference for 2015 and set the bar at 87.

9) Fletcher Cox: 6.5 sacks

Cox "only" had 4 sacks a year ago, but he was disruptive all season long. Will his disruption turn into better stats this season?

10) Connor Barwin: 9.5 sacks

Barwin's numbers are a great bet to take a dip this season, after he notched 14.5 sacks a year ago. Barwin does everything from his Jack position -- He plays the run well, he covers, and he can rush the passer. His versatility actually hurts his chances of putting up huge numbers because he is asked to do more things. His 14.5 sacks a year ago were perhaps a bit of an anomaly, and will be difficult to replicate.

11) Brandon Graham: 10.5 sacks

I think Brandon Graham could have a bigtime statistical season in his first year heading into a season as a starter. In the past, whenever Graham has gotten opportunities to get after the passer, he has produced. As long as the Eagles use him the right way (letting him attack the QB), he could have a big year. I was tempted to make this number higher, but let's not let expectations get out of control. 

12) Vinny Curry: 7.5 sacks

Curry had 9 sacks a year ago as a situational pass rusher. With more playing time, I think he could do that again. However, 9 sacks will be hard to equal if his playing time remains roughly the same, as I believe it will. 

13) Kiko Alonso: 130 tackles

Alonso had 159 tackles his rookie season in Buffalo, but has to prove he's fully healthy again. He also has a logjam of ILB talent around him, which could affect his playing time. 130 tackles is an attainable number if Alonso doesn't come off the field.

14) Marcus Smith: 10 tackles

Last year he had none.

15) Eagles defense: 15.5 INT

Last year the Eagles had 12 INTs, which was below the league average of 14. The Eagles' INT total should be higher, as they faced the sixth most passing attempts in the NFL last season. They have a good pass rush, which in theory should lead to more opportunities on the back end. Creating at least one mistake per game by the opposing QB shouldn't be too much to ask.

16) Darren Sproles: 1.5 return TDs

Sproles had two punt return TDs a year ago, but be careful. He's only done that once in his career. We'll set the bar here high because of the Eagles' A+ special teams units.

17) Cody Parkey tackles: 3.5

Most returners will likely lay down in fear before Parkey gets a chance to annihilate them, but Parkey will inevitably get a few Dawkins-esque hits in on kickoff returns.

18) Donnie Jones MVP awards: 1.5

Jones is a near certainly to be the MVP of the league in 2015. The only real question is if the league will make an exception and give him multiple MVP awards for one season.

19) NFC East wins: 4.5

They've won 4 NFC East games in each of the last two years. The Redskins are still a dumpster fire (although the Eagles struggled with them mightily a year ago), the Giants are 13-19 the last two season and don't look much better, and the Cowboys are likely to come down to Earth again. Can the Eagles win five divisional games? If so, they'll be in great position to win the division.  

20) Regular season wins: 9.5

That's the number Vegas most commonly has for the Eagles, and I agree.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski