Philadelphia Eagles: How A Group Of Castaways Run The NFL
The Philadelphia Eagles have a chance Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks to go from worst to first in the NFC East. With a victory, the Eagles can claim the division and a spot in the playoffs. What will this win mean for the Eagles? It means that a year of learning for Carson Wentz last season was just that. It also means that the offseason moves to bring in LeGarrette Blunt, Torrey Smith, and Alshon Jeffery were the best decisions.
With the Eagles riding high this year, Oddsharks has them as the second-favorite to win the Super Bowl at +350 odds. That’s cool if you’re a Vegas buff but the majority of football fans don’t care about those numbers. What the City of Brotherly Love wants is a championship parade down Broad Street.
Critics have attacked the Eagles on what they believe to be a soft schedule but have yet to realize that the NFL is not the NCAA. There is no Alabama Crimson Tide athletic department paying the likes of Mercer University $600k to be blown out by 40 points. There are no cupcake schedules in the NFL, just teams who can’t keep up.
How can one blame the Eagles for not losing to the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, or the San Francisco 49ers? These are professional teams with pro players who make millions of dollars not only to play but to win. But somehow the Eagles are ridiculed for doing their job. It’s a bit understandable as you hate what you don’t understand.
The same reason that one can point the finger at the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, or the Cincinnati Bengals as failures this year, why not show the Eagles some respect? Looking at their roster before the season started, where was the outcry of having too much talent? There is not a Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks or Tom Brady here. Nor is there a Julio Jones or J.J. Watt playing at the Linc. The Eagles are a team of young guys playing their best football. While most teams have annual Pro Bowlers, the Eagles are winning with castaways, a second-year quarterback, and head coach.
#ProBowl voting is open! Can’t decide who to vote for? Here are a few options…
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 2, 2017
The Philadelphia Eagles Have Thrived off “The Next Man Up” Motto
How many teams went after Jeffery when it was clear the Bears no longer wanted him? You heard that correct, the Bears no longer wanted their top receiver. They had given up on him and the Eagles turned that into 43 catches for 619 yards and 7 touchdowns. The same can be said for Torrey Smith. His career was over the moment he signed with the 49ers, however, for the Eagles, he has served as a mentor to the younger guys. Then you have Nelson Agholor. At one point last season, Agholor was benched and was on his way out the door. All he has done this year is catch 33 passes for 458 yards and 6 touchdowns. How’s that for a receiving core nobody wanted?
This is why talk of a cupcake schedule makes no sense. According to other teams, these players were not good enough. Then you add the injury aspect. Do you remember Caleb Sturgis? Well, he was the starting placekicker but his injury opened the door for Eagles hero Jake Elliott. Where is Jordan Hicks, Jason Peters, and Darren Sproles? While all are sidelined with injuries, the Eagles have not missed a beat with the “next man up” motto. So why hate on that?
For a team that wasn’t supposed to do anything, they sure have made a statement this season by winning with less.