Why all the experts were wrong about the Eagles


Philadelphia entered the season as a mid-level team with cautious optimism to make the playoffs. Most experts pegged Philly to end the season while missing the playoffs. Of course, the Eagles blew past all reasonable expectations and are 12-2 on the year with their last two games at home. The Eagles need one win or one Vikings loss over the next two weeks to secure the number one seed in the NFC.

Four things stand out in the Eagles turnaround from a 7-9 record a year ago. Carson Wentz’s ascent into superstardom. Howie Roseman adding talent to the roster. Jim Schwartz getting the defense to play out of their minds and Doug Pederson improving and learning from his coaching mistakes.

So let us see what the experts had to say before the season started.


Sports Illustrated

Predicted Record: 7-9

“The Eagles play 13 games against teams with reasonable playoff aspirations. They also get the unenviable trip out west, where they face the Seahawks and then stay to play the Rams in L.A. the next week. I believe the arrow is pointing up for Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz, but this is a really tough schedule.”- Jonathon Jones, May 10, 2017.



Predicted Record: 9-7

“Quite a few QB tiers voters thought Carson Wentz could ascend to the second tier and eventually threaten Tier 1, but they had him eighth out of 12 QBs in Tier 3 for now. That’s an interesting spot for him as the Eagles prepare to play a league-high eight games against Tier 2 QBs, including four within the division, not counting games against Dallas (Dak Prescott sat atop the third tier).”- MikeSando, September 6, 2017.


Bleacher Report

Predicted Record: 6-10

“These moves make the Eagles better. The problems will stem from potential inconsistencies from a young quarterback and a division in which the other teams are more established.”- Brent Sobleski, May 2, 2017.

Predicted Record: 9-7

“That would be a respectable couple of steps forward from last season’s 7-9, while giving the front office and coaching staff plenty of areas for improvement going into 2018. And who knows; if the NFC playoff race shakes out in a favorable manner, 9-7 just might be enough to get the Eagles into the postseason.”- Steven Cook, September 5, 2017.

Clearly, most writers were skeptical on the Eagles’ 2017 season. Just like the Saints, Jaguars, Rams, The NFL had its fair share of surprises this season. Perhaps the most interesting point was Sports Illustrated’s Jonathon Jones who pointed out the difficulty of the Eagles schedule… Even though the main argument against the Eagles was their easy schedule, but that’s none of my business (sips tea).


However, there was one writer who was almost bang-on about how the Eagles season would shake out:

Philly Sports Network

Predicted Record: 11-5

“By this point, I expect the Eagles to be gridlocked with the Cowboys in a win-and-in scenario, just as they were in 2013. I think that in this scenario..at home..to their biggest rival in a game that means so much more than a playoff berth, the heart and soul that was injected back into this team through the culture embedded by Doug Pederson will come to fruition..and the Eagles will go on to secure the NFC East.”- Liam Jenkins, April 27, 2017.

Finally, a writer who predicted the Eagles would dominate the season and walk away with the NFC East crown. Clearly, it was quite the shock to see the Eagles rise to the best record in the NFL this year. Howie Rosman looks like a major candidate for Executive of the Year after his additions of Jernigan, Jeffrey, Darby, Smith, Foles, Ajayi, Blount, and Robinson. While Doug Pederson could also very well win coach of the year with is improved playcalling and limited mistakes this year. As for the players,  Carson Wentz looks like one of the new faces of the NFL after his MVP-like season. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they’ll have to enter the playoffs without Wentz, but fortunately for the Eagles, they’ll have one of the better back-ups in the league under center for the playoffs in Nick Foles.


Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports