The SB Nation NFL team sites will be doing theme weeks all throughout the 2017 NFL season. This week’s theme is: “Who is the best and who is the worst team in your division?”
The answer to this question is fairly obviously when you take a look at the NFC East standings.
Best team = Eagles.
Worst team = The New York Giant Dumpster Fire.
Now, there’s still a lot of football left this season and things can always change. But for now, it’s hard not to feel good about the Eagles’ chances of winning the division this season. Take a look at the updated playoff odds.
Football Outsiders gives the Eagles a 66.9% chance of winning the division. They also give the Eagles a 22.4% chance of being the No. 1 seed in the conference — the best odds of any NFC team right now.
And are you ready for this? Guess which NFL team currently has the second best odds to win the Super Bowl?
That’s right, it’s your Philadelphia Eagles — at 9.3%.
Now, the Eagles still have a lot to prove before we start seriously thinking about a Super Bowl trip for this team. But at the very least, the playoffs seem within reach.
The Eagles’ biggest threats to the division crown the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. I’d say Dallas is less intimidating at this point. Washington is the better team, which shows in the No. 2 overall DVOA ranking.
Speaking of that ranking, by the way, I don’t want to hear how “the Eagles haven’t beaten anybody good” this year. The Eagles beat Washington, who likely would’ve beaten the Chiefs if Josh Doctson doesn’t drop a game-winning touchdown in the final minutes, by 13 points on the road in Week 1.
Washington’s had the Eagles’ number in recent years. But that fortune might be starting to turn around. The Eagles will face them again in Week 7. The Birds will have 10 days to prepare for that matchup after playing on Thursday Night Football this week. Washington will be without starting corner Josh Norman in that game, which is a big loss for them.
Washington sure had to deal with a lot of off-season drama, but it’s been a relatively quiet week for them since they’ve been on the bye. The same can’t be said for the Cowboys and Giants.
Check out what’s going down in Dallas as the team has lost three out of their last four games.
Cowboys team meeting. Reports of angry players. Hmmm. This is a surprise only to Jerry Jones, who shoved players into untenable situation.— Tim Cowlishaw (@TimCowlishaw) October 11, 2017
And then there’s New York.
The New York Giants are a complete dumpster fire https://t.co/TSV24h82Uh— BleedingGreenNation (@BleedingGreen) October 11, 2017
So far, the Eagles have been able to avoid dysfunction on their way to 4-1. Winning typically cures all of that, so they’re in a good spot right now.
The Birds are off to such a strong start that I can’t help but get ahead of myself and look at their upcoming schedule. Here’s their remaining slate for the season.
Week 6 - at Carolina Panthers (Oct. 12, 8:25 PM ET, CBS/NFLN) Thursday Night Football
Week 7 - vs. Washington Redskins (Oct. 23, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN) Monday Night Football
Week 8 - vs. San Francisco 49ers (Oct. 29, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 9 - vs. Denver Broncos (Nov. 5, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)
Week 10 - BYE
Week 11 - at Dallas Cowboys (Nov. 19, 8:30 PM ET, NBC) Sunday Night Football
Week 12 - vs. Chicago Bears (Nov. 26, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 13 - at Seattle Seahawks (Dec. 3, 8:30 PM ET, NCB) Sunday Night Football
Week 14 - at Los Angeles Rams (Dec. 10, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)
Week 15 - at New York Giants (Dec. 17, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 16 - vs. Oakland Raiders (Dec. 25, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN) Monday Night Football on Christmas
Week 17 - vs. Dallas Cowboys (Dec. 31, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Let’s go through a quick win-loss prediction.
The Panthers game will be tough. I’ll say that’s a loss for now. Then the Eagles come back to play Washington with extra rest. Win. 49ers at home. Win. Broncos at home. Tough game, yet winnable, but I’ll say loss. That would put the Eagles at 6-3 at the bye.
From there, I say they beat the Cowboys after having an extra week of rest to prepare for Dallas. Bears at home is a win. I’ll say they lose both the Seahawks and Rams games out west only to come back to the East Coast to beat the Giants. Then they beat the Raiders at home on Christmas. So that would be 10-5 heading into Week 17, which may or may not be a meaningless game for the Birds.
My point here is that the Eagles could go 6-5 the rest of the way (one game above .500) and still probably be in decent shape. Now, the hope is they’ll exceed these expectations and be in position for home field advantage in the playoffs.
“Relax, BLG. One week at a time.”
I know. You’re right. Again, there’s still 11 games left to be played. Can’t just assume everything is going to be as good as it’s going right now.
But it’s OK to feel good about where the team stands right now. Carson Wentz is playing good football. The offense is clicking under Doug Pederson’s command. Jim Schwartz has the defense being competitive. Dave Fipp’s special teams unit is the best in the NFL.
Let’s hope the good times keep rolling. An Eagles win over the Panthers on Thursday night would be a great way to do just that.