I’m sorry to say this but right now the Eagles are still a question mark. Despite pummeling the hapless New York Giants, you can’t be sure that this Birds team is destined for at least a deep playoff run. Just like most of the teams in the NFL, the Eagles are in the middle. They’re a good team at times, but they haven’t been consistent. Most of the teams in the league are 3-3, 4-2 or 2-4 record-wise. Just like the Eagles — the majority of the NFL teams are a play or two away from 2-4 or 4-2.
“Only three teams in the NFC seem hopeless and they are the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals.”
It seems that each week you don’t know which team is going to show up. Who expected the Cowboys to dominate the Jacksonville Jaguars and who expected the Redskins to grab a 17-0 lead over the Panthers? I can’t say that the Eagles are clearly better than Dallas and Washington yet, because both of those teams have had impressive offensive and defensive line play at times. The teams in the NFC East have not clearly signaled whether they’re going to have a good year or whether they’re going to have a bad year. All you’ve got to do is look at the standings.
Only three teams in the NFC seem hopeless and they are the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals. All the other teams have a legitimate chance at making the playoffs.
I loved what former Giants head coach Bill Parcells said years ago. He said “You are what your record says you are!!” Of course everybody looks at the Eagles this year and says, “Well, they won the Super Bowl last year — so you never know.” That differentiates the Birds from most of the other teams. They do have a track record showing that they can take their game up to another level, but they still have to go out and do it in the 2018-19 season.
“As Wentz continues to elevate his play — it should separate the Eagles from the pack.”
The other factor that allows us to look at the Eagles differently is quarterback Carson Wentz. He showed us last season that he’s capable of playing at an elite MVP level. Most of the other teams don’t have that talent in their quarterback position. As Wentz continues to elevate his play — it should separate the Eagles from the pack.
That’s why it’s going to be so interesting and exciting to sit back and watch this Sunday’s game against the Panthers. It’s a very important game for both teams and the Panthers have their own former MVP at the quarterback position — Cam Newton. He’s capable of beating a defense with his arm or with his legs. He’s an elite athlete especially at the quarterback position and he’s capable of making spectacular runs and/or throws. Newton is a big play waiting to happen — but at the same time he is capable of making the big mistake.
“The defensive line — led by Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett and Brandon Graham must take over some of these games.”
So what would need to happen right now for me to clearly say that the Eagles are a Super Bowl team, or even a playoff team? Well firstly, the offense has to continue to get in rhythm and solidify personnel in specific roles. They need somebody to be a definite first down back, like Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount did a year ago. Somebody else needs to be the definite third down back and I think Corey Clement or Darren Sproles can assume that role. Hopefully second wide receiver Sheldon Gibson can develop his game quickly and give the Eagles offense that legitimate deep threat they need.
Secondly, on the defensive side of the ball, we need to get the changes in the defensive backfield solidified. Avonte Maddox needs to continue to develop his confidence and his understanding at that safety position and the corners will need to continue to play well consistently like they did against the Giants.
The defensive line — led by Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett and Brandon Graham must take over some of these games. If the defensive line dominates, it will take pressure off of the secondary.
There’s definitely a possibility that the Eagles can be an awesome playoff team like they were a year ago, but chances are this Eagles team is not going to have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Rams are 6-0 and sporting a three game lead in their division. Bottom line is that the Eagles still have a chance to develop into a team that can win another Super Bowl — but they’ve got to go out and prove it starting this Sunday against the Panthers.