The Eagles schedule opens the regular season at Detroit on Sept. 11.
Yawn. The Lions, right?
Last year, the Eagles won at Ford Field, 44-6. This year, the Eagles are a popular pick to win the NFC East. The Lions are the Lions — 3-13-1 last season.
But maybe not this year. The Lions are a surprising pick for great success, as reported by The Morning Sun, of Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
More than 61 percent of bettors are picking the Lions to go from last place to first place in the NFC North, according to BetMGM, reports The Morning Sun.
The NFC North remains populated by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who are a -175 favorite. The Lions have +900 odds to win the division.
As a former Michigander, I’ll believe it when I see it regarding the Lions. But it’s interesting that so much money — in these inflationary times — is on Detroit.
MINSHEW RANKED FIFTH AMONG BACK-UPS
CBS Sports HQ ranked the top veteran back-up quarterbacks and the Eagles’ Gardner Minshew ranked fifth.
He was one spot behind Super Bowl 52 champion Nick Foles, now with the Colts.
Here is the list:
1. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
2. Baker Mayfield … this might change since he was traded to Carolina and will be battling for the starting job against Sam Darnold.
3. Teddy Bridgewater, Dolphins
6. Taylor Heinicke, Commanders
7. Case Keenum, Bills
8. Jacoby Brissett, Browns
9. Andy Dalton, Saints
10. Tyrod Taylor, Giants
PICKING THE NFL EAST
ESPN’s NFL Nation predicted the NFC East standings and, let’s see, the Eagles are favored to win. Picking the Eagles is more common than not in the 2022 offseason. Interestingly, Dallas is picked for third place.
From NFL Nation:
- “Let’s start by putting the Giants last. They have the worst roster of the bunch. The Commanders are the wild card. They are better than most want to believe, especially if [Carson] Wentz can be steady.
- “The Eagles crushed the draft and traded for receiver A.J. Brown, and the Cowboys’ offensive line is on the decline. So it’s Philadelphia, Washington, Dallas and the Giants.
RANKING THE DIVISIONS BY QUARTERBACKS
CBS Sports ranked the NFL divisions by the quality of their quarterbacks. Writer Cody Benjamin ranked the NFC East sixth (out of eight). He called the NFC East the “prove-it posse.”
- “Everyone in the NFL’s most unpredictable division is out to earn something,” Benjamin wrote. “Dak [Prescott] wants to go from good to great by translating borderline top-10 pocket passing into a big-game delivery.
- “[Jalen] Hurts wants to secure permanent QB1 duties by growing not only as a running back-like scrambler but confident thrower.
- “[Carson] Wentz wants to seize maybe his last shot at an unchallenged job. [Daniel] Jones wants to redeem himself under new management in New York.
- “Prescott is the most reliable here, while Hurts offers a high floor. Wentz still has the tools to lead a playoff team, so long as the decision-making falls in line.
- “Jones, meanwhile, gives [coach] Brian Daboll athleticism, but is that enough?”
The top quarterback division? The AFC West with Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr.
BALDINGER NOT BUYING WENTZ STATS
NFL analyst Brian Baldinger, a former Eagle, criticized Twitter user “NFL Stats” over a tweet. The user is not affiliated with the NFL.
NFL Stats tweeted this, which irked Baldy.
In 2019, Carson Wentz became the only QB in #NFL history to have 4,000+ passing yards without having a 500-yard WR.
Baldy delivered his response that resembled a straight jab to the ribs.
He has played 9 snaps in the post season in his career. Keep spitting meaningless stats
MCLAURIN SHOWS LOVE FOR WENTZ
Meanwhile, newly re-signed Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin has connected with his new quarterback Carson Wentz.
McLaurin called Wentz “a very personal guy,” according to Pro Football Talk.
“We’ve connected on a very personal level since he’s gotten here,” McLaurin told PFT. “And even throughout the process [of contract talks], he was reaching out to me, checking in on me.
“I was asking how practice was going and things like that. And that’s why I can’t wait to get out there and start throwing with him, because now we get to put the football together and we get to start to form that connection on the field. But personally, I’m really excited to see what he does.”
McLaurin also believes Wentz did get enough recognition for his play with the Eagles.
“And his toughness in the pocket, I don’t think a lot of people give him enough credit — he stands back there until the last moment, which really helps receivers get that extra separation or that time to finish their routes off,” McLaurin said.
Of course, standing in the pocket too long was one of the criticisms Wentz faced. Analysts said he needed to get the ball out of his hand much quicker.
A.J. BROWN: PHILLY GUY
The best part of the rumors about Jalen Hurts not performing well at OTAs? A.J. Brown’s defense of his quarterback.
Here’s what Brown posted on Twitter:
In a 10 play series
Jalen threw 3tds to Me.
Donovan Mcnabb and T.O. fought the other 4 plays . Vince papale came out of retirement and had the other 3 receptions. #FlyEaglesFly
I love that Brown knew about Eagles fan favorite Vince Papale and referenced him. Nice work.