Approaching the second year of the Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz era, what are the realistic expectations?
When your team is coming off a 7-9 season, most fan bases would be highly disappointed. In the Philadelphia Eagles‘ case, record isn’t everything. If you think about it, the Eagles were semi-successful in 2016. They were able to maintain a decent record with a new head coach and a rookie quarterback. Aside from a few games, the Eagles didn’t lose by more then seven points. In a league where experience is key, that’s pretty good for such a young and inexperienced team. Heading into the second year of the Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz era, what are some realistic expectations for the 2017 season?
In case you haven’t heard by now, Football Outsiders have projected the Eagles to have the toughest schedule in 2017. That seems a bit unfortunate considering the Eagles are in the middle of a re-build stage. So as a fan base, how should Eagles fans approach 2017 knowing they might have the toughest schedule? The simple answer is to have patience and to take it game-by-game. It’s understandable that the re-build is frustrating, considering everything that happened through the awful Chip Kelly era. But this is finally the time to start believing in what the Eagles are putting together.
For the longest time now, Eagles fans have been known to get carried away. Which is understandable considering all the heartbreak they’ve experienced throughout the years. There have been 3-0 starts going into the bye week, and undefeated pre-seasons that had Eagles fans yelling Super Bowl in early September. The major off-season signings haven’t helped with keeping reality in check much either. This is the season that anything better then a 7-9 record is a success. Sure, making the playoffs and winning the division championship would be great, but there is a lot more then wins and losses to focus on this season.
So should the schedule strength cut the Eagles some slack? Not at all. In fact, the Eagles should embrace the toughness of the opponents and show the NFL what they have coming for the future. I’m sure you have heard the saying ‘any given Sunday.’ Great words to remember throughout the weeks of the 2017 season. Disappointing seasons in Philadelphia have happened more often then not, but this season should be taken with a different approach.
The strength of schedule would be a true test to how much this team is ready to compete and stick together. Although some games may not result in a win, it will be interesting to see how well the team competes throughout the game, and how well they compete in the game following a loss. The key to this season for the Eagles is to simply improve. Any sort of improvement is a success to this season.