With everything going right for the Eagles, it’s easy to let the mind wander.
How many games can they win? How far can they go?
Can they, you know, do the thing?
(Disclaimers: This presumes there will not be a catastrophic injury, or a series of catastrophic injuries. And, the Eagles’ season is only six games old.)
Being from Philadelphia, it’s also a civic birthright to think *this* way: What will make this a disappointing season for the Eagles? Best to be prepared, you know.
When a team starts a season 6-0, expectations change. They are ramped up. They are sky-high. What was fine before, is considered underachieving now.
This team has sailed through preseason expectations, when a 10-7 record and a wild card spot were acceptable. The over/under was 8.5 wins through the summer and jumped to 9.5 wins at Caesars right before the season opened.
How would you feel if the Eagles win the NFC East, get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, win a home playoff game, then lose in the NFC title game at the Linc?
Can you imagine this Eagles team, with maybe 12 regular-season wins under their belt, losing in the NFC title game to the Cowboys? Or the Vikings? Or the Niners? Or anybody?
The city would be apoplectic. Losing to Dallas anytime is devastating. How about with a Super Bowl berth on the line? Frankford and Cottman would not be a happy place.
Those 12 regular-season victories wouldn’t be very soothing. How do you think the Dodgers feel as the World Series starts Friday? Those 111-win Dodgers? How much comfort are those 111 wins providing?
Because of what the Eagles have accomplished so far this season — and looking so good in the process — anything short of a Super Bowl appearance is going to be considered an unsuccessful season.
Big trophies aren’t given to teams that win bunches of games in the regular season. Postseason football is when good teams become legendary.
It is asking too much of a team that hasn’t won a playoff game together to win two playoff games and advance to the Super Bowl? No, it isn’t.
It’s not unfair because of what this team has done. This isn’t an 10-7 team playing above its head. This is a team that has trailed once in six games — by 7-0 in the opener at Detroit. This is a team that has enjoyed two-score leads in every game.
This is a team with a top-five ranking on offense and top-four ranking on defense, with an MVP candidate in quarterback Jalen Hurts. This is a team built for serious success, not a wimpy divisional playoff exit — or title game disappointment.
DRAFT PROMISING FOR EAGLES
For the Eagles, even next year looks good this year.
The Eagles traded a first-round pick in 2022 to the Saints. In return, the Eagles landed the Saints’ first-round pick in 2023 and their second-round pick in 2024.
If the draft were held today, the Eagles would have the fourth overall pick, the one acquired from the 2-5 Saints, and their own first-rounder.
If you look at the rest of the Saints’ schedule, how many more wins do you see? Three or four? Here is the schedule:
- At Steelers
- At 49ers
- At Buccaneers
- At Browns
- At Eagles
So you’re potentially looking at the NFL’s only undefeated team in position to land one of the top college players next spring — plus their own first-round pick.
NFC EAST STRENGTH
The Eagles, Cowboys and Giants are in the top five of The Athletic’s NFL Power Rankings this week.
The Eagles are No. 2, behind Buffalo. Kansas City is third, Dallas fourth and the Giants fifth.
Washington is ranked 27th.
About the Eagles, The Athletic wrote:
If you’re looking for a reason the Eagles might regress from their hot start, two are glaring. The first is turnover differential …
The second elephant in the room for the Eagles is their injury luck so far. They have a league-low two players on injured reserve, one of whom is reserve defensive end Janarius Robinson, who was a healthy inactive Weeks 2-5.
- Hurts has won nine consecutive regular-season starts, the NFL’s longest active streak.
- Hurts ranks fourth in total yards per game (301.2), behind Buffalo’s Josh Allen (372.8), Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (324.6) and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow (318.1).
- The Eagles lead the league in three-and-out percentage at 20 percent. Their offense has had only 13 three-and-outs in 65 opportunities.
- The Steelers are ranked 30th in total offense and 28th in total defense. They are 31st in points scored and 22nd in points allowed. The Eagles are fourth in points scored and fourth in points allowed. Still, expect a tight game Sunday.