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Are the Eagles a QB away from a Super Bowl?

With the help of Madden we take a look at what it would take for the Eagles to win a Super Bowl

What does an Eagles fan do after winning the Super Bowl? He turns the Xbox/Playstation off.”

This is a joke Eagle fans have heard for years, so why not give some life to it? Recently our friends at our parent site did a simulation in which the objective was to see if LeBron James could lead every NBA team to the NBA playoffs and our friends at Pride Of Detroit conducted a similar experiment to that one. After seeing this, I was inspired to apply this concept to the Eagles, and even take it a step further. I wanted to see what it would take for the Eagles to win a Super Bowl, or if Madden even thought it was possible within certain parameters.

The Tweaks

My approach to this was simple and fair — the rosters for each team were updated in correspondence to the latest Madden 17 update, with a few tweaks. I swapped Carson Wentz for each opposing team’s quarterback and tracked the success of both the Eagles and the team Wentz played for. The next thing I did was add Alshon Jeffery to the Eagles roster in each simulation, as I assumed Madden would deem a WR key to a QB’s success. In order to get results of what was reasonable going forward, I sent Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley to San Francisco and Mike Glennon to Chicago. The reason I did this is because even though the rosters don't reflect the moves made by teams in free agency, the ratings of players reflect Madden’s interpretation of what they accomplished during the 2016 season. Before getting into each team’s results, I want to explain what I did. I simulated each season all the way to the playoffs, and then simulated week-to-week if the Eagles or the team Wentz was playing for made the playoffs. Each team played through their 2016 schedule, as this was the most efficient way to conduct this experiment. The final parameter set for each simulation was that the injuries were turned off on every simulation.

The Results

Bengals: 8-8 (Missed Playoffs)

Eagles: 8-8 (Missed Playoffs)

Andy Dalton: 28 TDs/18 INTs

Carson Wentz: 36 TDs/16 INTs

In the trade of two gingers, the Eagles and Bengals both came up short in the playoff race. Wentz won AFC OROY while wide receivers Tyler Boyd and AJ Green both posted 1,000 yards receiving for the Bengals. For the Eagles, Dalton was efficient but the real surprise was Dorial Green-Beckham posting 900 yards receiving while catching 11 touchdowns. Alshon Jeffery posted 1,111 yards receiving, but only caught three touchdowns.

Bills: 9-7 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 9-7 (Lost in the Divisional Round)

Tyrod Taylor: 25 TDs/10 INTs

Carson Wentz: 26 TDs/16 INTs

This was one of the more interesting scenarios for the Eagles, as they finished in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East. Due to tiebreakers, Philadelphia represented the NFC East over Washington and Dallas. Ryan Mathews rushed for 1,500 yards and the Eagles upset the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round. The Packers were led by Aaron Rodgers who won the MVP in this simulation, but it wasn't enough to win in Philadelphia. The Eagles were eliminated 28-24 the following week by the Falcons.

Broncos: 8-8 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 5-11 (Missed Playoffs)

Trevor Siemian: 24 TDs/8 INTs

Carson Wentz: 0 TDs/0 INTs

This was one of the worst simulations in both instances. Despite Wentz being rated higher than Paxton Lynch, Lynch won the starting job in Denver. Siemian posted efficient numbers, but the 5-11 record was a disaster.

Browns: 6-10 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 8-8 (Missed Playoffs)

Cody Kessler: 29 TDs/13 INTs

Carson Wentz: 29 TDs/19 INTs

There are two conclusions that can be drawn here, either Browns were right and Wentz isn't a Top 20 QB (In Cleveland) or the Browns are cursed and there is no helping them. I subscribe to the latter, but six wins is an improvement on one.

Buccaneers : 9-7 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 5-11 (Missed Playoffs)

Jameis Winston: 19 TDs/18 INTs

Carson Wentz: 31 TDs/14 INTs

I suppose moving from a vertical system in Tampa Bay to short pass system in Philadelphia didn't help Jameis at all. I was disappointed by this simulation as I expected the Eagles to do well with Winston. Alshon again had over 1,000 yards receiving and Ryan Mathews rushed for an additional 1,400.

Cardinals : 7-8-1 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 7-9 (Missed Playoffs)

Carson Palmer: 29 TDs/8 INTs

Carson Wentz: 22 TDs/13 INTs

If we’ve learned anything so far, it’s that Madden doesn't care about stats or apparent efficiency. If a QB posts a stat line of 29/8, you would assume that’s good enough for a playoff berth. In this instance that’s not the case, but Wentz did beat out Ezekiel Elliot for OROY.

Chargers : 8-8 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 10-6 (Lost in NFC Championship Game)

Phillip Rivers: 32 TDs/10 INTs

Carson Wentz: 23 TDs/16 INTs

This was probably the most exhilarating simulation for the Eagles, or close to it. The Eagles were second in the NFC East, finishing behind the Cowboys who compiled an astounding 15-1 record. During their regular season matchups, the Eagles lost to the Cowboys by double digits in Weeks 8 and 17, but the Eagles destroyed them in the Divisional Round 42-25. The fun would come to an end the following week, as Seattle put up 45 on the Eagles, ending their run. Phillip Rivers leading the Eagles on a deep postseason run was one of the last things I expected to see.

Chiefs : 12-3-1 (Lost in AFC Championship Game)

Eagles: 6-10 (Missed playoffs)

Alex Smith: 21 TDs/11 INTs

Carson Wentz: 29 TDs/12 INTs

The surprising thing in this simulation wasn't the Chiefs advancing deep into the playoffs behind a rookie QB, but Alshon Jeffery posting 1,000 yards with Alex Smith. Andy Reid retains his reputation of simplifying a QB’s room for error, but it’s not enough as Touchdown Tom and the made-up Patriot coach obliterated the Chiefs.

Colts : 9-7 (Lost in the Divisional Round)

Eagles: 6-9-1 (Missed playoffs)

Andrew Luck : 26 TDs/13 INTs

Carson Wentz: 29 TDs/8 INTs

This wasn't at all what I expected in this simulation. Andrew Luck was unable to propel the Eagles to a .500 record, meanwhile Wentz appeared in the MVP race for the first time, finishing 4th. Wentz led the Colts to a thrilling 37-34 win in the Wildcard game before losing to the Patriots 42-28 in the Divisional round.

Cowboys : 10-6 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 6-10 (Missed playoffs)

Dak Prescott: 20 TDs/17 INTs

Carson Wentz: 47 TDs/16 INTs

This settles the Dak/Wentz debate, Wentz killed it with Dak’s supporting cast. A disclaimer with this simulation, and all simulations, is that I failed to check on Tony Romo. Romo was still rostered by Dallas and was tied with Prescott with an overall rating of 85. There was only one simulation in which Dak won the starting job over Romo, which we’ll get into later. In order to ensure Wentz would get a fair shot with the Cowboys’ supporting cast, I made sure to release Romo. The results were insane as Wentz threw 47 touchdowns and Dez Bryant posted 1,800 yards receiving. Wentz won OROY and finished 3rd in MVP voting, but none of this was enough to win a division that was controlled by the 14-2 Redskins.

Dolphins: 8-8 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 9-7 (Lost in the Super Bowl)

Ryan Tannehill: 26 TDs/7 INTs

Carson Wentz: 38 TDs/8 INTs

Anybody who follows (or isn't blocked by) Cian Fahey knows he values Tannehill higher than most evaluators, while valuing Wentz less than most, which is fine, to each their own. Madden shared that same belief with Fahey, as Tannehill led a remarkable postseason run. The Eagles defeated the Saints, Falcons and Packers in the NFC playoffs before losing to the Bengals 28-27 in the Super Bowl. The unfortunate thing about simulating is that you get no context as to what happened during a game. I bring this point up because backup QB Chase Daniel threw a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl, and it wasn't due to an injury to Tannehill. Wentz’s inflated TD/INT ratio would've ideally yielded better results for the Dolphins, but again, Madden doesn't care about your stats.

Falcons : 11-5 (Lost in the Divisional round)

Eagles: 10-6 (Lost in the Wildcard round)

Matt Ryan: 27 TDs/12 INTs

Carson Wentz: 42 TDs/13 INTs

Matt Ryan had a solid season threw the air, but the real story on offense was Ryan Mathews rushing for 1,700 yards. Wentz won OROY and finished third in MVP voting. Both the Eagles and Falcons had their seasons ended by the Seahawks and it wasn't close. The Seahawks beat the Eagles 55-32 before advancing and beating the Wentz led Falcons 35-17.

Giants: 8-7-1 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 12-4 (Lost in divisional round)

Eli Manning: 31 TDs/13 INTs

Carson Wentz: 33 TDs/12 INTs

The Eagles’ defense was spectacular in this simulation. Brandon Graham and Jordan Hicks both finished in the Top 3 for DPOY, with Graham winning it. This was the first simulation in which the Eagles received a playoff bye, but it didn't matter as the Packers knocked them out in the Divisional round 33-27.

Jaguars: 8-8 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 9-7 (Lost in the Wildcard Round)

Blake Bortles: 20 TDs/12 INTs

Carson Wentz: 32 TDs/18 INTs

The Eagle defense was outstanding in this simulation, only giving up 13.6 PPG in the regular season. This trend eventually ended when the Falcons defeated them 38-31 in the opening round of the playoffs.

Jets: 4-12 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 4-12 (Missed playoffs)

Chase Daniel: 17 TDs/14 INTs

Carson Wentz: 23 TDs/19 INTs

You know the movies where the main characters travel to an alternate reality and inevitably visit the worst one? This is that reality. Bryce Petty was so bad as an Eagle that he didn't win the job from Chase Daniel. Things weren't well with Wentz either as this was the first AFC simulation where he won the starting job, but did not win OROY.

Lions: 9-7 (Lost in the Divisional Round)

Eagles: 7-9 (Missed playoffs)

Matt Stafford: 28 TDs/17 INTs

Carson Wentz: 24 TDs/15 INTs

Alshon Jeffery had another 1,100 yard receiving season but it ultimately didn't matter as the Eagles fell short. Carson Wentz was able to lead the Lions to a 39-38 victory over the Redskins in the Wildcard round, before losing to the Vikings in the Divisional round.

Packers: 9-7 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 12-4 (Lost in the NFC Championship Game)

Aaron Rodgers: 28 TDs/9 INTs

Carson Wentz: 33 TDs/7 INTs

I was surprised by Rodgers’ lack of numbers, but Alshon had an outstanding year! Jeffery had 1,200 yards receiving and 10 TDs. Wentz’s Packers didn't make the playoffs, but he had three receivers finish the year with 1,000 yards. Statistically speaking, this was the best group of receivers Wentz played with. This was the second time the Eagles had a first round bye, and they capitalized on it, winning in the Divisional round. The playoff run would end with a 28-17 loss to the Seahawks. I assumed that this simulation would provide the best results for the Eagles, but it didn't.

Panthers: 9-7 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 10-6 (Lost in the Wildcard round)

Cam Newton: 24 TDs/16 INTs

Carson Wentz: 17 TDs/9 INTs

This was an interesting simulation. Again, because everything is simulated we don't get much context as to what’s going on, but I'm assuming that the run heavy offense in Carolina dipped Wentz’s numbers. Cam wasn't spectacular, but he was efficient enough to get the Eagles to the playoffs where they were bounced in the opening round by Minnesota. This was also one of the few times Wentz did not win OROY, as Zeke took home those honors.

Patriots: 10-6 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 11-5 (Lost in the Divisional round)

Tom Brady: 26 TDs/6 INTs

Jimmy Garoppolo: 37 TDs/10 INTs

Another unique simulation with a bit of irony in it. Wentz was unable to beat out Garoppolo, showing that regardless of what your draft pedigree is or whether or not Bill Belichek is actually in the game, the Patriots will find a way to win. Garoppolo was unable to lead the Pats to the playoffs though as the Dolphins had a 13-3 campaign. Now to the irony. The Eagles actually tied the Giants, who have been the biggest thorn in Brady’s side, for the NFC East title, but again, due to tiebreakers the Eagles came out on top. Brady wasn't enough to power the Eagles to the championship as the Packers knocked them out in the second round. This was the first simulation in which Jeffery led the team in catches, as that accomplishment belonged to Jordan Matthews in every previous simulation.

Raiders: 8-8 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 11-5 (Lost in the Divisional Round)

Derek Carr: 33 TDs/8 INTs

Carson Wentz: 20 TDs/21 INTs

When the regular season ended I couldn't contain my laughter. Dorial Green-Beckham led the Eagles in receiving yards, cracking 1,000. This was the second time Wentz failed to win AFC OROY, losing to Kessler. Carr had an outstanding year for the Eagles, but they lost to Arizona in the opening round.

Rams: 10-6 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 11-5 (Lost in the Wildcard round)

Jared Goff: 20 TDs/17 INTs

Carson Wentz: 29 TDs/6 INTs

It’s largely understood that if the Rams had the opportunity to re-draft, they'd select either Wentz or Prescott with the top pick in the 2016 draft, but Madden doesn't quite agree. Despite Wentz’s superior statistics, Goff ended up a win better and in the playoffs. Goff’s introduction to the postseason was short lived as the Eagles were eliminated by the Packers 31-28 in the opening round. This was another NFC simulation where Wentz didn't win OROY, but Zeke did. Goff finished third behind those two.

Ravens: 11-5 (Lost in the Wildcard round)

Eagles: 12-4 (Lost in the Divisional round)

ELITE: 21 TDs/10 INTs

Carson Wentz: 30 TDs/14 INTs

Both Carson Wentz and Joe Flacco had efficient regular seasons, winning 11 and 12 games respectively. The momentum did not carry over as both QBs were bounced in their first game. This was the third time the Eagles had a bye and the first time Zach Ertz led Philadelphia in catches.

Redskins: 8-8 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 14-2 (Lost in the Divisional Round)

Kirk Cousins: 25 TDs/10 INTs

Carson Wentz: 34 TDs/12 INTs

This was the only simulation in which the Eagles secured the NFC’s top seed, but it didn't matter. A 14-2 campaign ended in heartbreak as the Eagles were defeated in the divisional round.

Saints: 7-9 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 11-5 (Lost in the Super Bowl)

Drew Brees: 30 TDs/6 INTs

Carson Wentz: 31 TDs/21 INTs

If any Falcon fans are reading this, they'll find humor in the Saints finishing 7-9 again (they've done so for three straight years). The Eagles rolled all the way to the Super Bowl, winning playoff games against the Seahawks and Falcons by double digits before Andy Reid delivered another playoff coaching performance that crushed the Eagles, with the only difference being he wasn't wearing midnight green on the sideline this time. Reid’s Chiefs crushed the Eagles 38-14, with Alex Smith throwing four touchdowns en route to a 158.3 passer rating. Drew Bree's is a national treasure.

Seahawks: 5-11 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 11-5 (Lost in the Divisional round)

Russell Wilson: 26 TDs/9 INTs

Carson Wentz: 21 TDs/13 INTs

This was a shocking simulation. Even if Wentz was terrible, I expected the defense to keep Seattle in it, but they finished 5-11. Wilson led the Eagles to a wildcard berth with Jeffery as his top target. Wilson’s offense put up 43 points in their lone playoff game, but it wasn't enough as they lost 46-43.

Steelers: 13-3 (Lost in the AFC Championship game)

Eagles: 10-6 (Lost in the Divisional round)

Big Ben: 26 TDs/8 INTs

Carson Wentz: 37 TDs/10 INTs

Carson Wentz won best QB in the AFC in this simulation, but the Steelers couldn't beat their division rivals in the AFCCG. Ben was good in Philadelphia, with his top target being Alshon, but the Eagles were edged by the Packers 31-30 in the Divisional round.

Texans: 7-9 (Lost in the Divisional round)

Eagles: 7-9 (Missed playoffs)

Tom Savage: 22 TDs/18 INTs

Carson Wentz: 26 TDs/23 INTs

Not Wentz’s best year, but the Texans won their division while finishing below .500 and upset the Raiders 34-10. The Cinderella story would end there as the Steelers ended Wentz’s tenure in Texas with a 42-33 victory.

Titans: 10-6 (Lost in the Wildcard round)

Eagles: 8-8 (Missed playoffs)

Marcus Mariota: 23 TDs/17 INTs

Carson Wentz: 35 TDs/15 INTs

Eagle fans had their dreams from 2015 realized when Marcus Mariota suited up in an Eagles jersey in this simulation. Unfortunately, Wentz was better than Mariota, leading the Titans to a Wildcard berth where they lost 52-42. In this simulation Alshon Jeffery recorded his highest yardage total at 1,204.

Vikings: 10-6 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 10-6 (Lost in the Wildcard round)

Sam Bradford: 28 TDs/9 INTs

Carson Wentz:

You'll notice Carson Wentz’s stat line, or that there isn't one. Much like I goofed on Romo/Dak, I did so here. Teddy Bridgewater is still rated higher than Carson Wentz, and won the starting job after Bradford found his way back to Philadelphia. Sammie Sleeves wasn't terrible as he posted efficient numbers and guided the Eagles to a playoff berth. As Bradford did during most of his 2015 tenure in Philadelphia, he came up short, losing 35-28 in the Wildcard round.

Bears: 3-12-1 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 5-11 (Missed playoffs)

Mike Glennon: 24 TDs/19 INTs

Carson Wentz: 22 TDs/22 INTs

Good luck Mitch!

49ers: 3-13 (Missed playoffs)

Eagles: 3-13 (Missed playoffs)

Colin Kaepernick: 27 TDs/16 INTs

Carson Wentz: 11 TDs/11 INTs

This was the worst swap on both ends. Kaep’s statistics indicate he's still a starter in the league, but there was no winning in this situation. I noted above that I sent Hoyer and Barkley to SF, and neither were any competition for Wentz. Madden apparently treats the 49ers as a virus that just destroys everything it touches. Keep was infected with this virus and spread it all over the Eagles’ roster.

Eagles: 12-4 (Lost in the NFC Championship Game)

Carson Wentz: 27 TDs/8 INTs

So I waited until my last simulation to see what it would be like to add Alshon to the Eagles roster with Wentz, and the results were everything that Eagles’ fans wanted them to be. I mentioned earlier that there was only one simulation in which Dak Prescott won the starting job in Dallas and this was it, so I suppose this scenario just rebalanced the world. Wentz favored Alshon, as Jeffery recorded his highest catch output in any simulation with 83. Ryan Mathews rushed for 1,650 yards and Darren Sproles rushed for 20 touchdowns, yes the smaller Sproles was the goal line vulture. Despite the 12-4 record, the Cowboys won the division at 13-3. The Eagles won road playoff games against the Panthers (31-24) and the Cowboys (25-22) before Seattle crushed them 43-21. The cherry on top of all of this for me was Jordan Hicks coming away with an interception in the playoff game against Dallas. You can't make this stuff up.


  • Dallas failed to win the Super Bowl in any of these simulations. The most frequent winners were the Seahawks and Patriots.
  • Despite the All-Madden difficulty, the game seems to inflate QB numbers and there is no direct correlation between stats and wins.
  • Wentz failed to win the MVP, which again came as a shock based on the numbers.
  • Ryan Tannehill is the closest the Eagles came to winning the Super Bowl...
  • One part of the Eagles success that wasn't mentioned often was Brandon Graham. Graham won the DPOY award three times and produced the sacks to back it up.
  • Madden was very fond of Vinny Curry, as he often finished with over 11 sacks.
  • I’m still stunned Dak was unable to win the starting job until the final simulation. This may come across as obvious, but he didn't win OROY at all.
  • Cody Kessler and Carson Wentz were the only rookies that won OROY in the AFC.
  • Alshon never broke the 1,400 yard mark, while DGB contributed more than you could imagine.
  • Ryan Mathews was a 1,000 yard rusher in every single simulation, but again there was no correlation between stats and team record when it came to offense. It’s also important to remember that injuries were turned off.


By Madden’s current standards, the Eagles are more than a quarterback away. Again, these simulations didn't factor in Torrey Smith, Tim Jernigan or any other acquisitions the team has made outside of Alshon Jeffery. This project took 4-5 hours of simulating across two days to complete, and it was fun, but as you'd imagine it’s also fun to see Carson Wentz or the Eagles hoisting a Lombardi. I guess I don't get to turn off my Xbox just yet.

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