Back in 2013, the Eagles' offense was first in the NFL in both explosive pass plays (20 yards or more) and explosive touchdowns through the air.
Since that season, the team's last one with a playoff appearance, there has been a steady decline in the ability to beat defenses deep down the field. This past year, the Eagles had 39 explosive pass plays and only four passing touchdowns. Philadelphia was tied for 28th and tied for 29th in the league in those categories, respectively.
The Eagles have the quarterback in Carson Wentz who can sling the ball deep. Now, says Adam Caplan of ESPN, the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith at wide receiver should allow the offense to "take off" in 2017.
"The downfield passing offense was not existent last season. Torrey Smith, still one of the better deep threats in the National Football League. Alshon Jeffery is so physical," Caplan said.
"That is a big difference from last season."
Over the last four years, both Jeffery and Smith rank in the top 20 among all pass catchers for most catches of at least 25 yards. Jeffery is tied for fifth with Julio Jones with 43, while Smith is tied for 18th with 30.
Caplan heard from defensive coaches around the league that teams didn't respect the Eagles' passing game last season.
"Now, they're not just going to be challenged right in front of them, but down the field as well," Caplan said. "This is going to be fun to watch to see how Doug Pederson and Frank Reich call a game because they've got more options."
Go behind the scenes as the newest Eagles arrive at the NovaCare Complex, sign their contracts, and more.