Welcome to the Super Bowl week. I can’t imagine any of us are rooting for Tampa Tom. Three years ago feels about thirty years ago...
Anyway, time for this week’s questions!
@The_Shiva_Champ: What do you think the over/under is for Eagles’ wins in 2021?
Let’s look at history.
The Chargers had the sixth pick in the 2020 NFL draft, as the Eagles do this year. Their O/U number was eight. That’s way too high. The Panthers, who had the seventh pick, had an O/U of 5.5. As for NFC East teams, Washington went into last season with an O/U of five and the Giants’ number was at 6.5.
I’m going to say 6.5.
It’ll depend on the quarterback situation, right?
If Carson Wentz proceeds and is the guy in 2021, the betting public could bank on a bounce-back season for the one-time MVP candidate under a new head coach in Nick Sirianni. I wouldn’t bet the over, but I can envision the rationale behind doing so. There is still a bit of Super Bowl shine on this team as long as Wentz is at QB.
If it ends up being Jalen Hurts, I could see it at six or 5.5. Hurts is more of a mystery box. He could end up with some Lamar Jackson-type sophomore year explosion or he could be nothing more than a competent backup.
Besides their obvious divisional games, here are the teams the Eagles will play in 2021:
(If the NFL adds a 17th game, as they’re expected to do, the Eagles would play the Jets at an undetermined location).
Do you see a lot of wins there? I sure as hell don’t. That home schedule is BRUTAL. Detroit on the road? The Panthers if they don’t have a new quarterback? I’d say the Broncos if the game was at the Linc, but Denver can be a tough place to play.
Not feeling great!
@PatGallenCBS3: If Carson Wentz was a former Sixer, who would he be?
Some people replied to Pat’s tweet on Twitter saying Markelle Fultz or Michael Carter-Williams or Andrew Bynum. I mean, come on, everyone. I know I’ve been critical of Wentz over the last several months and writers on the site have gotten blowback for that, but to say he’s one of those dudes is kinda outrageous.
I get Fultz from the strange off-the-field issues, but he sucked from the first minute he was on the court for the Sixers. He was never good. Wentz looked transcendent at one point in time. Again, I’m pretty out on Carson at this point, but those comps are egregious.
The first name that popped in my mind was Jerry Stackhouse. The Sixers drafted Stack with the third-overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft. He averaged 19.2 points per game in his first season and was a First Team All-Rookie selection. Stack looked to be a promising two-guard in the league, but when the Sixers landed the top pick in the following year’s draft, they had no choice but to draft Georgetown guard Allen Iverson.
Stackhouse averaged 20.7 points per game in his sophomore campaign while sharing the court with Iverson, but things never quite meshed and he was traded after just 22 games the following year, unquestionably making the Sixers Iverson’s team.
Over the next five years, Stackhouse averaged 23 points per game and made two All-Star teams. He was pretty good in Philly, but the fit wasn’t there as the franchise drafted players around him.
That feels pretty fair to Wentz, no? There’s certainly a scenario where he leaves Philadelphia in a trade to make room for Hurts or another young quarterback and makes a couple of Pro Bowl teams elsewhere, but things just ended up souring in the first stop of his pro career.
@vroomrags: What gives you the most hope for this Eagles team, coming into this next season? Who should the Eagles target via trade/free agency this year? Should we be buyers or sellers?
In terms of this being an enjoyable season, regardless of who is at quarterback, I’m really holding out hope for improvements from the young guys at the skill positions. Miles Sanders was an efficient beast as a runner in 2020, but regressed as a pass-catcher and his hands don’t seem too reliable. The Colts’ offense last year had an emphasis on incorporating running backs into the passing game, so I’m banking on Sirianni helping him turn into a multi-dimensional threat.
Then there are the wideouts. Jalen Reagor battled injuries and was underwhelming when he was on the field as a rookie. Making matters even worse is how productive several receivers who were drafted after him performed. I need to see him rebound in a big way. Can Sirianni unlock him? Nick does have history as a wide receivers coach...
The same can be said for Travis Fulgham. He looked like a legitimate future starting receiver in October, but fell out of favor and saw his snaps dwindle as the season wore on. I still believe!!!
If the Eagles grab one of Devonta Smith or Ja’Marr Chase early in the draft too, all eyes will be on that dude to help revitalize this agonizing offense.
As for players to target this offseason, they really, really have little wiggle room to make free agent signings. They’re going to need to be sellers, whether they really want to or not, to free up some cap space. I wouldn’t hate a Darius Slay trade...
@rynej__: Would you give up every Marvel product for the rest of your life (print + film + tv) to get Howie Roseman replaced as GM?
Good question from friend of the mailbag Ryne. If you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure you’re aware I’m a huge Marvel nerd. Comics, the movies, the new TV series, etc.
I’m going to surprise some and say no.
Getting rid of Howie doesn’t mean that the next general manager will be any better. If we’re beginning to call into question some of Jeffrey Lurie’s decisions as owner, why are we supposing the next front office hire will bring a different result?
My personal life and career have become so intertwined that I can rarely find something that truly feels like escapism and a hobby, so that’s where the comics fan in me shines through (though I did just start a pop culture podcast entitled Capes & Tapes). It’s really the only thing that allows me to detox from Philadelphia sports momentarily.
If the hypothetical said the Eagles would replace him with the best GM in the sport or that it would guarantee that Wentz or Hurts would be a top-five quarterback for the next half-dozen years, I think I’d have to say yes. I could always become a DC Comics guy and just go all-in on Batman and the Teen Titans, plus read some independent comics and their adaptations (The Boys, The Walking Dead, Invincible, The Umbrella Academy, etc.).
So... for firing Howie alone, no. If you’re gifting me another magnitude of greatness behind center or in the front office, then we’re having a conversation.