Philadelphia Eagles 2019 season preview: Can Carson Wentz stay healthy?

The Philadelphia Eagles are ranked No. 5 in ESPN's preseason Football Power Index. Here's everything you need to know about the Eagles heading into the 2019 NFL season:

The big question: Can QB Carson Wentz stay healthy?

After suffering significant injuries in back-to-back seasons, Wentz overhauled his diet and workout regimen this offseason and plans to be smarter about the number of hits he takes. He hasn't felt or looked this good since making an MVP charge in 2017, but he needs to prove he can make it through a full 16-plus games. -- Tim McManus

Offseason in a nutshell

The Eagles signed Wentz to a four-year, $128 million extension, and made him an even happier man by trading for wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back Jordan Howard, and drafting RB Miles Sanders. On defense, they added veteran DT Malik Jackson to pair with Fletcher Cox. Philly lost its two most productive defensive ends from a year ago in Chris Long and Michael Bennett, however, and needDerek Barnett and Vinny Curry to step up. -- McManus

Inside the Eagles' schedule

Most important game: Dec. 22 vs. the Dallas Cowboys. The Week 16 showdown features what should be the top two teams in the NFC East. It's conceivable the division title will be decided here.
Toughest stretch: The Eagles play the Bears, Patriots and Seahawks in consecutive weeks in November. The good news for them is all of those games are at home. But they'll be coming off a three-game road swing through Minnesota, Dallas and Buffalo, and will have their hands full when they return to Lincoln Financial Field.

Over or under 9.8 wins? Over. Wentz is healthy, the offensive line is legit and the only issue at the skill positions is there are so many options, it will be hard to feed them all. The defense enters the season with injury concerns and might have to be carried a little bit early, but this roster is stacked with talent and has the potential to do big things. -- McManus

Schedule ranking: No. 30

They might be only three spots apart in these rankings, but there's a big difference between the Eagles playing Atlanta and Seattle, and the Cowboys getting New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams. Plus the Eagles get the Patriots at home and the Cowboys have to face them in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Those differences will give the Eagles a leg up on returning to the top of the NFC East. -- Football Outsiders | See the full 1-32 ranking

Breakout fantasy star: RB Miles Sanders

The Eagles overhauled their running back room during the offseason, trading for Jordan Howard and selecting Sanders in the second round of the draft. The Penn State product was one of the most elusive backs in the FBS last season, evading one tackler for every 6.4 touches. The versatile Sanders has a path to a substantial rookie-season role in a good offense, although he might start slow with Howard and Darren Sproles soaking up a chunk of the snaps. -- Mike Clay | More fantasy coverage

The view from Vegas

Super Bowl odds:14-1 (opened 20-1)

Over/under: 10 (O -145/U +125)

Playoff odds: Yes -230, No +190

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook as of Sept. 2.

Most interesting player prop

Over/under 886.5 receiving yards for Zach Ertz:

  • McManus: Over. It will be hard to match his astronomical 2018 numbers (116 catches, 1,163 yards, eight TDs) but he's right in the smack of his prime and is one of Wentz's favorite targets.

Bold prediction: Philly is driving the playoff bus

The NFC playoffs will run through Philadelphia.

The Super Bowl hangover was real in 2018, and the fact Wentz was dealing with a bad back for much of the season didn't help. There is a renewed energy around this team entering this season. General manager Howie Roseman has helped assemble a group of talent that can rival any in the NFL. If the veteran-laden roster, including DeSean Jackson, can hold up health-wise, the Eagles will be in the driver's seat. -- McManus

Where the Eagles landed in NFLRank

Speed reads before the opener

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Louis Riddick believes Carson Wentz is being set up for success in 2019 and will end up being the league MVP. For more of The Fantasy Show, sign up here for ESPN+
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