I can hear the LMAOing in Philly all the way in Chicago.
The Eagles, disparaged, mocked and written off, are (checks notes) in SOLE POSSESSION OF FIRST PLACE.
To be clear, the Eagles are not good. Much of the blame has been placed at the happy feet and shaky arm of Carson Wentz, but Doug Pederson and GM Howie Roseman deserve most of the blame.
First-round pick Jalen Reagor, out for the season with a ligament tear in his thumb, may still become a good player. But the Eagles had the chance to move up in the draft, ahead of the Cowboys, and take CeeDee Lamb — regarded as the best WR in the draft — or Justin Jefferson, selected by the Vikings one pick after the Eagles. Both Lamb and Jefferson are already impact players.
But you got the sense that the Eagles, particularly Roseman, liked Reagor because of his Swiss Army Knife skills, as a receiver or to run gadget plays, instead of just taking a vanilla impact receiver. You can see that the team values slash guys with the Jalen Hurts pick. The pick was widely criticized by a fanbase that sees a roster that needs immediate help, but last season’s playoff hopes came down to Josh McCown.
The problem is he’s not playing QB. It’s not a quarterback factory, it’s a slash factory. Roseman and Pederson definitely think they’re the smartest guys in the room.
Carson Wentz hasn’t been good this season, but he’s getting zero help from the rest of the offense. Last year Wentz became the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards without having a 500-yard wide receiver. In an offseason, in which DeAndre Hopkins went for a bargain price and guys like Lamb and Jefferson were available in the draft, the Eagles went for the quantity over quality approach, adding as many guys with good 40 times as they could this offseason. But Marquise Goodwin opted out, Reagor got hurt, and the decrepit corpses of DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery aren’t currently suiting up. Meanwhile 2019 second-round draft pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside can’t get onto the field while someone named Travis Fulgham made the biggest play by an Eagles wide receiver in what seems like forever.
Miles Sanders, the Eagles’ only big-play threat the past two seasons, STILL isn’t in game shape. Or at least, Pederson is using him as if he’s not.
The offensive line is a disaster, as the Eagles are playing project Jordan Mailata, a rugby player, at the most important OL position because Jason Peters finally got old and the guy they drafted to replace him, Andre Dillard, is out for the year.
And while Pederson managed to rediscover his Big Balls with an early two-point conversion that made a huge impact in the Eagles’ 25-20 win over the 49ers, his game plans haven’t inspired since Frank Reich left town.
But while the Eagles are not good, we have more than two decades of proof that Jerry Jones cannot run a football team that’s not benefitting from Jimmy Johnson pulling off the greatest trade in NFL history and Dan Snyder is only good at running a sexual harassment factory.
Those two guys alone should disabuse anyone of the notion that billionaires actually provide any value to humanity. The Giants might be in worse shape than the Jets, which is really saying something, but hey, at least Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t around to complain, right?
1-2-1 is a funny-looking record, but it’s better than the 1-3 marks of the Cowboys and Football Team, and the 0-4 record of the Giants. The entire division is 2-11-1 against the rest of the NFL.
I don’t think anyone in Philly is expecting a title this season, if it even finishes, but it looks like the real treasure is the laughs we’ll have at the expense of the entire NFC East along the way.