October 15, 2017
A day after the Eagles went into Charlotte and beat the 4-1 Panthers on Thursday Night Football –in the process becoming the first team in the NFC to reach five wins – the city of Philadelphia was flying high.
But with a long break before their next game, head coach Doug Pederson instead talked about staying grounded, and how he planned on keeping his players from buying into all the hype suddenly surrounding the Birds.
“It's tough. It's a fine line because the players are – they're going to read and they're going to listen to all the media outlets on TV and stuff and just hear how people are talking about them and saying how good and how great they are,” Pederson said.
“But [we have] to keep it real, too. That comes from me. Yeah, we're winning these games, but there is a lot to fix, a lot to correct as well. It's never perfect. Bottom line – we want to win the game. But at the same time, I've got to keep them focused and grounded, even with some of the situational stuff still.”
Staying focused prove difficult, as it’s not just the media who is hyping up this team, it’s the fans as well. And Eagles fans are everywhere – and they’re all-in. On Friday, I was talking to my dad, a huge-but-typically-pessimistic Eagles fan and longtime season-ticket holder. In his opinion, 10 wins are all but guaranteed at this point. When the season started, that would’ve been considered a very optimistic prediction.
Now, it’s not hard to imagine them surpassing that number.
With the Eagles having the day off on Sunday, let’s take a look at some of the praise Pederson mentioned on Friday that’s been pouring in for his 5-1 team:
It’s not all opinion-based praise. One of the reasons the Eagles are in such good position is because of the way their schedule sets up.
Philadelphia’s schedule only gets easier the rest of the way, meaning that even if the Eagles don’t play quite as well over their last 10 games as they have over their first six, there are a lot of winnable games left on the schedule. The Eagles only play three games the rest of the season against teams that currently have winning records. [profootballtalk.nbcsports.com]
The guys over at BGN Radio dropped a bonus episode of their podcast on Saturday. Among their topics – How many games do you see the Eagles winning the rest of the way?
With expectations soaring, there’s even talk of the Eagles playing well into January.
The Eagles have played themselves into position to be a serious contender in the NFC Playoffs, and why not? Things are clicking with this team on both sides of the football and the special teams unit remains as steady as ever. Maybe they don’t sniff the Super Bowl, but if the Eagles can continue to win games and grow together, the postseason experience regardless of what the result may be is a valuable step forward. The Eagles could be in prime position to lock down the NFC East and get a home playoff game, but the way this season is going right now, the Eagles could be looking to get a first-round bye. [thecomeback.com]
Making the playoffs is one thing, but even teams with first-round byes aren’t guaranteed to survive their first game. Can the Eagles possibly make a run with a second-year quarterback and coach who, before last season, had never been a head coach beyond the high school level?
One of the big reasons for the Eagles success is the play of Carson Wentz. And its turns out our own Jimmy Kempski isn’t the only one who thinks the 24-year-old quarterback is a legit MVP candidate…
The last two weeks, Wentz has blossomed. He's got seven TDs, one interception, 526 passing yards and passer ratings of 128.3 and 110.7.
The Eagles are 5-1, winners of four straight, and their 24-year-old quarterback is a legitimate MVP candidate.
Wentz has won games before, but this felt different. This felt like a young player genuinely elevating himself into the pantheon of elite NFL QBs. [nbcsports.com]
And there’s plenty more where this came from…
The evolution of a franchise quarterback is a nonstop process.
The Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz has faced plenty of doubters since being selected second overall during the 2016 NFL draft. However, the second-year signal-caller's improved play now places him among the NFL's best instead of the league's lower tier. …
The remaking of a top talent from an FCS program has been nothing short of astounding. His play peaked the last two weeks with seven touchdowns passes—including a three-touchdown performance during Thursday's 28-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. [bleacherreport.com]
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports