The Philadelphia Eagles are 6-0 heading into the bye week. I will repeat, 6 wins and 0 losses. Just wow. The vibes across Philadelphia are absolutely immaculate. While many thought the team had an easy schedule to start the year, almost no one dared to say that the team would be this dominant. They stand all alone as the division leaders for the NFC East, as well as for the #1 seed in the NFC. However, before the show rolls into the postseason, they have to continue playing at this high level and after this week, things are only going to get tougher for the Birds.
A perfectly timed bye for the Eagles
I think the bye week came at a perfect time. After starting the season with no injury designations, the list has gradually grown over the last few weeks. That’s to be expected, of course, but there are several important players who are banged up that could use a little more time off their feet before the stretch run of the season.
The offensive line, while elite, has struggled to maintain consistent health. At some point through six games, all 5 starters have missed snaps due to various injuries. Most recently, Lane Johnson left the game early on Sunday night with a head injury and has since entered concussion protocol. Jason Kelce, Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, and Landon Dickerson have all either missed plays or whole games within the last 2 weeks.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson also missed some snaps this week and Avonte Maddox had missed the previous few games before returning. Football is a violent sport and everybody’s always going to be banged up, but the bye week helps give players’ bodies an opportunity to reset.
The road ahead
Looking ahead at the schedule, there’s no reason why the Eagles can’t continue to dominate the way they have. Every game on their schedule is winnable. To me, the hardest stretch of games the rest of the way is from weeks 11-14.
In week 11 they play Indianapolis, who have actually rebounded after a horrible start to the season. They play the Packers in week 12, which could be a challenge but Green Bay has not looked like the same team as it has in previous years. I still wouldn’t write off Aaron Rodgers but that game is not as scary as it previously looked. Tennessee is next but they’re very similar to the Colts, good defense but limited on offense. I don’t know when the Eagles are going to lose a game but since I can’t really say they’re going 17-0, I would expect it could be somewhere around here.
The NFC Beast, or NFC Least
The NFC East as a whole will be very interesting coming down the stretch. The Eagles lead the division currently, but don’t hold the kind of lead a 6-0 team usually would. In what is probably the most surprising thing in the NFL this year, the New York Giants are right behind at 5-1! What!?
I don’t think this team is as good as their record is, but they just keep winning somehow. Brian Daboll seems to be a slam-dunk hire as a head coach and seems to be building something up in the Meadowlands.
The Cowboys are behind them with a 4-2 record. I won’t go too in-depth with Dallas since we just saw them but they will be better than they are now when Dak gets back. With 2 games left against the Giants and 1 against the Cowboys, there is sure to be some monumental divisional matchups late in the season.
The Eagles are heading into their bye week undefeated and still have not played up to their potential. It seems like the team has yet to fire on all cylinders for 60 full minutes, but have still managed to snag the NFL’s best record. With more time to rest and practice, I believe the Eagles will only get better and better as the weeks go by. It has been a season to remember so far and I don’t see any reason why the fun should stop any time soon.
AP Photo/Chris Szagola