The stakes are high for the Eagles in 2019, but are they still underdogs?


There’s something brewing in the Novacare complex these days. You can feel the energy simmering in just the first few days of OTA’s. It all started with a report that came out a couple of days ago stating that there would be no limitations on Carson Wentz. Then, Head Coach Doug Pederson came out on Tuesday and stated that he will not be holding Wentz back at all, which was a complete breath of fresh air.

All offseason the question to most unbiased Eagles fans or media alike has been, ‘can Wentz stay healthy?’ It seems as if the first day of OTA’s put that talk to rest…for now, which brings us here, Wentz looked pretty good on Tuesday by all accounts. Without a knee brace limiting his mobility, the franchise quarterback looked fluid once more. When asked about the brace, he stated that the brace won’t be showing up for the season either. All of this has the pot brewing in Philadelphia.

Now, on paper, we know what this team is possibly capable of. There are household names all across the board. See last year, many felt as if the defense was continuing to let this team down but that wasn’t the case at all. In 2017, the Eagles had a great balance of defense and offense. The offense put up numbers like they couldn’t be stopped. The defense had averaged almost two takeaways per game during that season. All was uniquely balanced for the former world champs.

Last year, the offense took a huge step back, but it was mostly due to injuries. The team never really looked like the defending Super Bowl champs. But looking ahead to brighter times and there’s more potential on this team this year than there was back in 2017. There’s also a secret ingredient in the pot that gives this team the edge.

See, this team is rightfully full of underdogs but they can’t use that theme again. It just doesn’t fit well since that slogan was already used. So what do you call a team that has a franchise quarterback who’s been labeled injury prone, selfish and egotistical? What about a rookie running back who is being placed in the shadow of Saquon Barkley? How about a 32-year-old wide receiver that’s being told he may not be the same player due to his age? Or an offensive coordinator that was ripped for the lack of production this offense had last season? The list goes on.

All of these tag lines have led to this offense being swept under the rug. Once again, somehow someway, the Eagles have flown under the radar as if the team has no business in this league. Just like when Alvin Kamara came out and said if the Saints had beaten the Vikings then they would’ve destroyed the Eagles.

Every single member of this offense defines Philly. The grit, the grind, the fight and now they walk into the 2019 season with a chip on their shoulder. The team has one of the best offensive minds in football at the helm of unlimited potential. They have a QB who’s willing to put it all on the line day in and day out. Now, as they stand. Wentz and Pederson have the offense that they’ve been trying to put together since 2016. They won it all in 2017 with a team that laid the blueprint out for this seasons squad. Barring any major injury, this team may not be invisible to the league for long.

The stakes are high in Philadelphia, but the chips on their shoulders are heavier. The new norm may actually be coming into fruition this season and this may possibly be the birth of a new dynasty.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports