The Eagles won that Lombardi Trophy without their starting quarterback (Carson Wentz), Pro Bowl left tackle (Jason Peters), middle linebacker (Jordan Hicks) and Pro Bowl return specialist (Darren Sproles) because of injuries. All are back in 2018.
The Packers missed the playoffs last season with a 7-9 record in large part because their perennial MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers missed nine games with a fractured right collarbone. He’s healthy and back on the field in 2018.
The Eagles sent a fifth-round draft pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson to the Seahawks for Michael Bennett, who has gone to the Pro Bowl each of the last three seasons. His best season was 10 sacks in 2015 but he turns 33 in November.
The Carolina Panthers selected Star Lotulelei with the 14th overall pick of the 2013 draft and he supplied the wide body in the middle that helped Carolina finish in the Top 10 in run defense in four of his five seasons there.
The 2017 Rams had sacks and takeaways, finishing in the top five in both categories with their 28 takeaways and 48 sacks. But Los Angeles lacked a slam-the-door element to their defense, still allowing too many yards (19th in the NFL) and too many points (329).
Jordy Nelson was the favorite receiver of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He caught 85 passes with eight touchdowns in 2013, 98 passes and 13 touchdowns in 2014. After missing the 2015 season with torn knee ligaments, Rodgers returned in 2016 to catch 97 passes with 14 touchdowns.
Jordy Nelson caught 98 passes in 2014 and 97 in 2016 but slipped to 53 in 2017 when his quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed nine games with an injury. But, like Michael Bennett, he’s 33 this season so the Packers released him.
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