With Wentz Out, Eagles have Nothing to Lose

Carson Wentz and Nick Foles greet each other on the field. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Eagles

For many Eagles fans, it’s not even a case of the glass being half empty. The way they look at it, the glass is also broken and not only is it leaking all over their new clothes, they cut their lips on the ragged edge and now they’re going to bleed to death. 

Such is life for an Eagles fan and, of course, there are many historical (and emotional) reasons for that gloomy look at NFL life. There have been too many times when this team raised hopes and then dashed them. That happened repeatedly during the Andy Reid regime, when the Eagles always fell short of the ultimate prize, usually in teeth-gnashing fashion. Then Chip Kelly arrived on the scene and Eagles fans were giddy at the bright future under the in-demand and innovative coach. And we all know how that turned out. 

That’s why it’s not surprising that so many fans are depressed even though their heroes have the best record in the entire NFL, and every playoff game except the Super Bowl will be played in the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field. We all know the main reason for that fatalism – Carson Wentz, the quarterback of their dreams, is injured and his replacement, Nick Foles, was terrible in Monday’s night’s 19-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders. 

So, now we’re hearing all the negatives – Foles stinks and coach Doug Pederson is an idiot and the receivers drop too many passes and the defense will fall apart in the fourth quarter and the Eagles’ playoff run will be a short one. 

And there’s a chance some of those scenarios, maybe even all of them, will come true. 

But here’s another way to look at it. Maybe Foles will play like he did against the New York Giants (when he had a passer rating of 115.8) instead of the way he played against the Raiders (59.4). Maybe Pederson will make the right calls at the right time like he did throughout this season. Maybe the receivers will make big plays like they did earlier in the year. And maybe the defense will dominate like it did in most of the regular season games in 2017. 

And there’s also a chance that some or all of those scenarios will come true and the Eagles will make it to Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII (that’s 52 for those not fluent in Roman). 

So, it really comes down to perspective. You can be optimistic or you can be pessimistic. You can be cheerful or you can be miserable. It’s up to you how you approach the Eagles and the playoffs. But here’s one thing to consider – you’re already playing with house money. 

Be honest – in your wildest dreams did you think the Eagles would win 13 games and possibly 14 and cruise to the NFC East championship? Of course not. Most people had the Eagles maybe finishing a game above .500 and sneaking into the playoffs as a wild card. Instead, they were generally ranked as the best team in the NFL when Wentz was healthy. And even though Wentz was the No. 1 reason the Eagles were ranked No. 1, he wasn’t the only reason. 

Still, even though the Eagles have the top seed in the NFC, there’s a chance they could enter their first playoff game, at home, as underdogs. Even if they win that first game, hardly anybody expects them to make it to the Super Bowl, much less win it. So, the pressure is off, for them and for you. If they lose, you can point to the Wentz injury and look forward to next year. If they win, well, that’s an unexpected bonus and they’re usually the best kind. 

So, regardless of what happens, cheer up and enjoy the ride, because it’s already lasted a lot longer and been a lot more enjoyable than you thought it would be.

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About the Contributor

Kevin Noonan

Kevin Noonan

Kevin Noonan has covered and commented on the Delaware sports scene for more than 30 years, everything from amateur recreation leagues and high schools to local colleges and the Philadelphia professional teams. He’s been voted Delaware Sportswriter of the Year multiple times and currently covers the Philadelphia Eagles for CBSSports.com and teaches creative writing courses at Wilmington University.

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