Carson Wentz is playing phenomenal and so far appears to be everything the Eagles hoped he would be. Doug Pederson has been excellent in the play-calling/scheming department. Jim Schwartz has energized the defense and they are playing lights out football. The special teams have been solid.
The Eagles are playing well in all three phases of the game, are 3-0 and just put a whoopin’ on one of the NFL’s better teams. They are in sole possession of first place in the NFC East as they head into their bye week.
They’ve recouped the 2017 first round draft pick they gave up to get Wentz and have added picks to their 2018 allotment that pretty much makes up for the second-rounder they gave up in the Wentz deal (they have two extra 4th’s that can turn into a 3rd or 2nd).
So here we are starting a prized rookie QB, playing great defense and still have a future of decent draft picks to use. Nobody — except yours truly here — expected much from the Eagles this year.
In that aspect, the Eagles are truly playing with house money this year. Do the expectations change now that we’ve started 3-0? Perhaps, but if the Eagles still end up 8-8 or 9-7 and miss the playoffs will you actually be “mad” or feel more optimistic about the future?
I’m betting that the average fan would likely lean towards the “I didn’t expect them to make the playoffs anyway and our future is bright with Wentz” type of mindset.
Make no mistake, the sledding will get tougher after the bye week. They still have to play all their division games plus games against Minnesota, Seattle, Green Bay, Cincy, and Baltimore. Weeks 7 through 13 look particularly tough.
Hell, our next game is at Detroit and they shouldn’t be taken lightly either. Actually, I don’t see any other “cupcakes” on the remainder of the schedule. Pittsburgh was not a cupcake matchup, obviously, but the Browns and Bears were.
There are no more Browns or Bears on the schedule. The division games are the big ones but the Eagles will not only need to win the majority of those, they will also need to beat a couple other conference rivals that they could ultimately end up competing with for a playoff spot (tie-breakers).
It’s still early in the season and as we know, the wheels can fall off for any team that looks promising early on. Just ask the 2013 Bears and Dolphins as well as the 2012 Cardinals. They all started 3-0 only to implode down the stretch.
Hell, the 2014 Eagles started out 3-0 and missed the playoffs. They did, however, finish 10-6 but lost the games they needed for tie-breaking purposes.
With that said, the Eagles have been very impressive through the first three games. They have the look of a team that should compete with any of the teams left on their schedule. Tougher tests await, but I fully expect the Eagles to be firmly in the race.
For now, enjoy the euphoria of starting off 3-0. The Eagles have not only looked good, they have dominated. Truly good teams dominate inferior opponents and what they did to the Steelers is even more impressive.
That’s why I’m saying to just enjoy the ride. We have a team that is better than most people expected, they have what appears to be a stud QB in Wentz and they’re winning.
Entering a season with low expectations also has a way of relaxing a team while at the same time perhaps giving them an edge.
At the least, it will be exciting to watch.