Philly Front Office - Eagles

PFO Eagles Roundtable #1

The Eagles’ season has been disappointing to say the least. Coming off of a Super Bowl, our euphoria has been brought back to Earth. Being seven games into the season and with a pivotal week 8 matchup one deck tomorrow in London, now is a good time to take a pulse on how people are feeling about the Eagles’ season. With that in mind, the Philly Front Office staff took part in a roundtable discussion based on the following question:

“Do you still have faith in the Eagles ability to win the division and what are realistic expectations now? After what we’ve seen so far, what do you think the Eagles record will be?”

Chris

(@mrcrockpot on twitter)

Zero faith. This is not the same team as 2017/18, and it’s not nearly as good. Yes, it is easy to point the finger at the injuries, but the blame starts at the top. At this point last season, Doug Pederson made adjustments that moved the Eagles in the right direction. The loss of Reich and Defilippo cannot be stated enough, as both were huge parts of last year’s team. The hunger from last season is gone, and so is the depth. Just take a look at the Birds’ special teams, which was arguably the best in the NFL the past few years. The special teams unit has been horrendous this year, and the absence of Chris Maragos is glaring. On the defensive end, the biggest strength of the team (defensive line) is only getting worse. Honestly, I completely forgot Tim Jernigan was on this team until a couple of weeks ago. Jason Peters is washed up, and watching his play deteriorate is like watching Ryan Howard during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. It’s incredibly painful.

Everything rests on the shoulders of Carson Wentz. As great as he is, this gives me countless nightmares. Due to the lack of pass protection and an actual running game, Doug Pederson will continue to rely on Carson throwing the ball 40+ times a game. This is not a winning formula and not how the Eagles got to the Super Bowl last season.

Realistic expectations – The Eagles will remain within arm’s length of winning the NFC Least due to the excellence of Carson Wentz. The Eagles will be on the cusp of winning the division until late December, but they will ultimately fall short due to their lack of defense and playmakers on offense. The Eagles will finish with 8 wins, and Carson will make incredible plays to keep us in games. Ultimately, the Eagles will fall just short.

The truth is the Eagles caught lightning in a bottle last season and overachieved. Our underdogs ate, ate, and ate so much this offseason that they are now too fat to make a run into this year’s playoffs. I’ll NEVER forget how great last season was, but there are major concerns moving forward. So many decisions to make, so little cap space. I’m still waiting for this “new norm” that Dougie P spoke about during the parade. It clearly wasn’t about our players staying healthy.

 

Wayne

(@wayneterrymedia on twitter)

I do not have faith in the Eagles to win their division without some help from the Redskins. They just seem to not have it this year. It very much reminds me of 2016. They will beat some good teams, but lose to some terrible teams.

I think they finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs because of two losses to the also 9-7 Redskins.

 

Eric Marturano

(@TheEMart on twitter)

Even at 3-4, I think the Eagles will win the NFC East. Not because the Eagles have been good, but because the division is terrible and this team remains talented. I also have no faith in the Redskins to maintain their 1.5 game division lead. While the Eagles have tough out-of-division games coming up (Saints, Rams, etc.), they have five division games left and a home game vs. the Texans. I think they’ll go from 3-4 to 10-6, winning those six games plus one against the Jags, Saints, or Rams. That record should be good for the division crown and a home game for Wild Card Weekend. This team has the talent to win the Super Bowl again, but needs to execute cleanly & consistently in the coming months to get there.

 

Steve Starkins

(@fansince09 on twitter)

Looking at the remainer of the schedule, I really think 10-6 is a strong possibility. Assuming the Eagles beat Jacksonville, which I think they will, the Eagles would have to win their remaining five against an extremely week NFC East and a Houston team that probably will have nothing much to play for to get there. There’s no question that they’ll lose to NO and LA, but I think their glaring weaknesses won’t really come into play with Dallas, Washington, and NY. The Eagles have no secondary, and that’s a problem, but Dallas has no QB – unless you think adding Cooper makes Dak an all-pro. Washington hasn’t really blown folks away and ranks low in passing numbers. The Eagles have lost relatively close games, including a game to a ridiculously talented Minnesota receiving corps and to a dynamic QB in Cam Newton. No other team in the East has those kind of weapons.

Losing to the Jaguars, however, would be a disaster that would wipe all of this out and make the road to the playoffs almost impossible.

 

Bryant

(@Bryant_Baker on twitter)

I personally do still believe that the Eagles can win the division. Obviously, the thing they have most going for them is the relative ineptitude of the division as a whole. On top of that, while I hated hearing Pederson use it seemingly as an excuse to let his team off the hook, he’s right in that the Eagles control their own destiny. Every team in the East is extremely beatable, and if they just take care of business there, they can and will win the division. That being said, barring a major turnaround, that appears to be the best we can hope for at this point. Of course, it’s the playoffs and anything can happen once you get in. After all, we won a Super Bowl with a backup QB last year, in case anybody forgot. But this isn’t last year. So I expect them to sneak into the playoffs by winning this crappy division, but then have an early exit from this year’s postseason.

Eagles’ final record, I’ll say, is 9-7, enough to place them atop the NFC East.

 

Shane

(@guschiiggens on Twitter)

This year’s NFC East reminds of the years under Andy Reid. Where 8-8 or 9-7 was good enough to win the division. I think the Eagles finish 9-7 this season, one game better than Washington and on top of the NFC East. As others on the staff have mentioned, the Eagles clearly don’t have “it” this season. Whatever magic Doug Pederson conjured a year ago is not there today, at least not yet. What we do have, though, is Carson Wentz. I know he’s coming off maybe the worst red zone drive of his career last week against Carolina, but he’s still Carson and as long as we have him, we have a chance. Injuries have crippled us and may end up being a deciding factor, but there’s nothing the team can do about that. The coaching staff, however, does have control over a few things. Doug Pederson has to find the groove he was in last season and stop getting complacent with leads. On the other side of the ball, Jim Schwartz needs to realize that the defensive backs giving 10 yards of cushion to receivers hasn’t been working very well.

If the coaching staff gets their mojo back from a season ago and works through the deficiencies of the current team, finishing 9-7 and winning the division is a strong possibility despite the nightmare 3-4 start. It all starts with Jacksonville because a loss in London would almost certainly take the division title out of reach. Assuming they can take of business there though, we’re looking at a schedule that outside of New Orleans and LA contains very winnable games. Carson Wentz is going to continue to blow us away, and his next step toward becoming a top of the league QB is willing this team to some victories. Once the Eagles do finish 9-7 and get into the playoffs though, I only expect them to win one game. Going back-to-back was always a reach, but they’ll have the chance to plug the holes in their team for next season to make another championship run.

 

Breakdown

So, as you can see, most of the staff is still pretty optimistic about the Eagles’ odds of winning the division and turning the ship somewhat around (except Chris…he’s a real debbie downer). We all generally felt that 8-10 wins can be accomplished, and that even as low as eight can have them right there at winning our not-s0-great division. Here’s a chart below breaking down the staff’s record predictions, and as always, we’d love to hear from you on social media. Feel free to answer the roundtable question on our pages, and let us know what you think the realistic expectations are for the Eagles now!

 

Shane Sullivan

Recently graduated from the establishment formerly known as Philadelphia University. Diehard Philadelphia sports fan who was regrettably pessimistic about Nick Foles (I'm sorry, Nick) and was thankfully optimistic about The Process (thank you, Sam Hinkie). Movie lover, book nerd, and horror game enthusiast. I would've eventually won on the show WipeOut if it didn't get cancelled.

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