High Expectations

Posted: July 9th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Eagles played well down the stretch in 2018. They made strong moves in free agency and then had a good draft. All of this means that expectations are high for the team as they head into the 2019 season.

When Wentz was playing at an MVP-level in 2017, the Eagles were the best team in football. He is healthy once again. He’s got a strong O-line. Wentz has the best group of skill players he’s ever played with (apologies to Paul Turner and Kenjon Barner).

The Eagles have put Wentz in a position to succeed.

If he does, the team should be a juggernaut. Wentz makes the offense really come alive. And when that happens, it helps out the defense. They get to play with a lead. The other team gets predictable and that gives Jim Schwartz a chance to choose how he wants to play.

You could worry about how high expectations will affect a team, but I think the Eagles have the right combination of people to handle this. Doug Pederson is quiet, calm, but also confident. He will embrace the expectations, at least privately. Publicly, he will likely avoid saying anything too strong.

Wentz is comfortable in the spotlight and he’s used to having pressure. North Dakota State might not be the same as Alabama, but NDSU teams are expected to win national titles. Anything less is failure. Wentz won a pair of titles in college and then help the 2017 Eagles to win the team’s first Super Bowl. Nick Foles suited up in the postseason, but if you don’t think Wentz had a significant impact on that team, you have a lot to learn.

Schwartz isn’t scared of pressure situations. He has coached five playoff games for the Eagles and has allowed 20 or fewer points in 4 of the 5 games. Only Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski broke through that barrier when they put up 33 points in Super Bowl LII (the Eagles still won, in case you forgot).

What do fans think about this team?

Expectations are high. Sky high. That’s okay because the Eagles sure look to have the right combination of players and coaches to have another terrific regular season and then to make a run at another Super Bowl.

*****

Peter King is on vacation so he has had guests taking over his weekly column.

Colts GM Chris Ballard wrote this week’s column and it is one of the best things I’ve ever read on the draft and personnel matters. This is must read material for any serious fans.

The NFL can be overly secretive at times. The way some teams act you would think they are protecting the nuclear codes. I’m glad the Colts let Ballard write this column. He shed some light on the pre-draft process, but didn’t give away any key secrets.

It would be great if the rest of the NFL would lighten up a bit and see the value in material like this.

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