The experts in Las Vegas have spoken and the "over/under" has been set at seven for Philadelphia's projected win total this season. Before the draft, I had boldly predicted a 9-7 run in 2016 that resulted in a NFC East Division title. Quite a bit has changed since then so I decided to revisit the situation to update my projections.
The Eagles still have the overall talent to win nine games in a relatively weak division, but the lack of a solid running game along with a dark cloud of uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position has definitely lowered the probability that they actually reach this suddenly lofty goal.
Team vice president Howie Roseman and new head coach Doug Pederson's decision to move up in the draft to get Carson Wentz as their quarterback of the future has caused a distinct problem for the here and now.
I read somewhere that the "over/under" for how many games Wentz actually starts this season was set at 3.5. In the meantime, a disgruntled Sam Bradford remains penciled-in as the team's starting quarterback for the upcoming season. In scenario one, Bradford lights things up right out of the gate against Cleveland and the Eagles continue to win enough games to stay in the hunt for the NFC East crown deep into December.This would keep Wentz on the bench as long as Bradford stays healthy. The Birds go on to win those nine games and Wentz remains the quarterback of the future for the entire season.
Unfortunately, we have to seriously consider scenario two. Bradford has yet to really prove that he is a starting NFL quarterback that can lead a team to the playoffs. I am still giving Philly the win at home against the Browns in the season opener, but things can quickly go sideways from there. Chicago on the road and Pittsburgh at home could easily end as losses and things do not get much easier from there with four of the next five games on the road. To make matters worse, there is a stretch of games in late November and early December where the Eagles face Seattle and Cincinnati on the road with Green Bay at home sandwiched in between for good measure.
A this juncture, Philly should be ready to raise the white flag and turn to Wentz as its starter for the final four games of the year starting with a home matchup against Washington on Dec. 11. The changeover could easily happen earlier in the year if the Birds lose more games than expected, but no matter how you add things up I am having trouble coming-up with more than six wins this year whether Bradford, Wentz or even Chase Daniel is under center at quarterback.