It’s hard to think of a bigger disappointment than the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles. Entering the season, the Eagles were supposed to have one of the most balanced, complete, and well-constructed rosters in all of football. For fans and analysts alike, the Eagles were supposed to be on the short list of Super Bowl contenders.
Instead, the Eagles currently own a 6-7 record and are currently tied with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East. Alshon Jeffery is done for the year, the secondary can’t stop anything, and FiveThirtyEight.com currently gives the Eagles less than a 1% chance to win the Super Bowl. The Eagles are far from the favorites to win it all, but all hope is not yet lost. It’s admittedly a long shot, but there are a few reasons to believe in the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles heading into the home stretch.
The 2019 Philadelphia Eagles Are Not Done Yet
They Control Their Own Destiny
As bad as things look for the Eagles, they actually control their own playoff destiny. The NFC East collectively imploded in 2019, leaving it as easily the easiest division in football. The only team standing between Philadelphia and hosting a playoff game is the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas, like the Eagles, sit at 6-7 but currently have a 52% chance to win the division, per FiveThirtyEight.
The Eagles and Cowboys face off in Week 16 for what will likely be a winner-take-all affair. While it is possible for the losing team to still win the division, there’s no denying the importance of this outcome. Philadelphia lost the first matchup in an embarrassing 37-10 blowout but has the chance to extract revenge on their home field.
The playoffs are a total crapshoot, and if any team should know that, it’s the Eagles. Back in 2017, Philadelphia lost MVP candidate Carson Wentz and had to roll into the playoffs with backup quarterback Nick Foles. Instead of rolling over and giving up, Foles caught fire and ended up delivering a Super Bowl victory over Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots. In fairness, that 2017 team was considerably better than the current iteration of the Philadelphia Eagles and Foles didn’t have to do as much then as Wentz does now. That said, the Eagles can hope to get hot for a four-game stretch, however unlikely that is.
Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert Are Good
The Eagles don’t have any good options at wide receiver, but they do have two fantastic tight ends in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Ertz is one of the best tight ends in the league and one of the most dangerous receiving weapons out there. Goedert isn’t quite on that level, but he has the talent to be one of the five or ten best tight ends in football.
With Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson sidelined for the foreseeable future, the Eagles should try to play to their strengths and build the passing attack around their two stud tight ends. According to Sharp Football Stats, the Eagles have a 49% passing success rate when operating out of 12 personnel, which is slightly better than their success rate in 11 personnel. Their success rate in 11 will probably decrease without Jeffery, which means that building the offense around Ertz and Goedert is the best shot for success.
Carson Wentz is the Quarterback for the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz isn’t playing up to his 2017 form, but he’s still one of the better starters in the league. As of this posting, Wentz currently ranks ninth in ESPN’s QBR and 12th by Pro Football Focus. He’s not prime Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but worse quarterbacks than him have managed to drag their teams to postseason success.
Wentz doesn’t have much to work with in the passing game, but the offensive line remains one of the best in the league. Wentz is going to have time to make plays if head coach Doug Pederson can scheme some players open. Carson Wentz still has the ability to make all the throws and can read defenses at an above-average level. The margin for error is low, but the Eagles can still create a functioning offense out of their remaining pieces.
Will the Eagles win the Super Bowl? Probably not. However, there are still a few reasons to believe in this team. It would take a small miracle, but all hope is not yet lost for Carson Wentz and company.
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