Saturday, October 15, 2016

Eagles Face Their First Must-Win Game of the Season

Before this NFL season got underway the Eagles' projected win total was seven games with the betting odds favoring the UNDER so you would think that a 3-1 start in their first four games would be an unexpected bonus. Very few Philly fans thought that rookie quarterback Carson Wentz would even be playing at this point of the season, let alone playing at a very high level. I guarantee that nobody out there thought that new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz would have this side of the ball ranked second in the NFL in both yards allowed (266.8) and points allowed (12.8) four games into its 16-game run. Even place kicker Caleb Sturgis has exceeded expectations through his first four games with a 10 field goals in 11 attempts including two kicks from 50-yards plus.

All of this early success has been a great ride for die-hard Eagles' fans, but following a gut-wrenching loss to Detroit last week in a game that was basically decided by a late fourth quarter fumble by Ryan Matthews, this Sunday's road game against the division rival Washington Redskins almost becomes a must-win event to keep things from going off the rails. If Philly loses this game, then all of the great things that it accomplished in its first three games will simply be chalked up to beginners' luck. If the Birds win and move to 4-1 on the year, we can then begin to legitimately start dreaming about a run to the NFC East title and a long-awaited return to the postseason after a two-year absence under former head coach Chip Kelly.

I went against our beloved Birds as underdogs at home in an in-state tilt with Pittsburgh in Week 3 and they made me eat my words. I jumped right back on the bandwagon last week against the Lions when they were favored to win on the road and they let me down. Now it is time for this team to live up to the ability that almost everyone underestimated under new head coach Doug Pederson with a big win at FedEx Field this Sunday afternoon.

These are the games that Philadelphia has to win in order to keep things rolling in the right direction and I have all the confidence in the world that Wentz and Co, find a way to get it done this time around. So much so that I have loaded my fantasy team this week with the likes of Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz, Darren Sproules and Caleb Sturgis against my nephew Kevin, who was clairvoyant enough to add Carson Wentz to his roster in Week 3.

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