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The Eagles Are Fun, Enjoy Them! NFL Unfiltered: Week 4

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For Philadelphia Eagles fans, it doesn’t get any better than this.  

At the National Football League’s quarter pole, the Eagles sit atop the NFC East at 3-0, while Washington, Dallas and New York look eminently beatable. 

They seem to have a capable quarterback, an above average defense and a head coach who just might have good sense.  Not one of those factors were clear a month ago.  Photo: Bleedinggreennation.com

Yet, fans and media types throughout the Delaware Valley already have visions of a division championship and a deep playoff run.

To entertain those thoughts is understandable.  Carson Wentz might become the best quarterback in Eagles history and Doug Pederson could someday make Andy Reid look like Marion Campbell.  

But all that early optimism serves to rob you of enjoying this for what it is; the only season devoid of expectations for the rest of Wentz’s career.  

Think about it.  Because of Wentz’s stellar beginning, particularly his dominance of the Pittsburgh Steelers—whose defense always seems better than it is because of history—every year after this that ends with a loss, will feel disappointing.  

Why bother with expectations in week four of Wentz’s career?  

In sports, you’re either contending for a championship or you’re interesting.  And the 2016 Eagles are interesting in a way that is incredibly rare.  

Consider, in addition to his personal demons and insecurities, one of the main reasons Donovan McNabb isn’t lauded more in Philly, is the fact he never met our expectations. 


RELATED: We Hate Bill Belichick, and It's His Fault: NFL Unfiltered Week 3

 

Conversely, Wentz wasn’t even supposed to begin the year as the starter.  Had it not been for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater nearly becoming an amputee, Wentz would have begun his career on the sidelines watching Sam Bradford lead the offense.  

There is no way anyone could have predicted all of this on August 15th, so why not simply have some fun?  Why rob yourself of this season’s purity by thinking about home field advantage in January, or a Super Bowl appearance?  

The time for expectations and the disappointment that invariably follows each season, begins next year and continues every year Wentz is the starting quarterback.  

Until then, sit back and relax, for you are in the midst of a NFL rarity.  A year in which every victory is like the feeling you get when a store clerk tells you an item costs 50% less than you thought.  

This Eagles season is all gravy, enjoy it.  

 

THINGS THE PUNDITS CAN’T OR WON’T SAY: Week 4

-It is certainly professional football, but these games are barely watchable.  

-In my next life, I hope to find out why otherwise intelligent men make so many obviously bad decisions.  Cleveland’s Hue Jackson actually tied his job security to quarterback Robert Griffin III.  

-It is so strange watching Oakland’s defense surrender so many yards and points with a defensive head coach in Jack Del Rio.  

-It is equally odd to see Houston struggle to score, despite head coach Bill O’Brien’s knowledge of offense.  Do you see why I question the overall value of NFL head coaches?

-Gone are the days of assessing entire teams.  It makes more sense to look for dominance on one side of the ball or the other.  For example, Minnesota and Denver have championship level defenses.  

-If Julio Jones makes it through the entire season upright, the Atlanta Falcons won’t disappoint their fans until the playoffs.  

-San Francisco linebacker Navorro Bowman tore his Achilles tendon Sunday.  That’s two brutal injuries in four years.  He deserves respect for coming back and playing at a starter’s level but unless he wants to spend the rest of his career falling on piles just before the whistle, he ought to retire.  

-To review, the three most important people in any organization are the general manager (or person responsible for acquiring talent), the quarterback, then the head coach, who is a distant third.

-Has any head coach in recent history had more lives than Buffalo’s Rex Ryan?  With a win over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots, Ryan is 58-60, including playoffs.  Imagine how hard it is to coach 118 NFL games without distinguishing yourself in any measurable way.  

-Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano still has his first gig, so he hasn’t survived as long as Ryan.  But Pagano is another reason I believe the value of an NFL head coach is vastly overrated.  After a loss to the woebegone Jacksonville Jaguars, Pagano is 44-26 and has three more playoff wins than Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis.    

-Only once since 2009 have the San Diego Chargers made the playoffs, despite having a really good quarterback in Philip Rivers.  General Manager Tom Telesco is probably a very smart guy, he just isn’t a very good talent evaluator. 

Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area. He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention. His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

 

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Photo: Bleedinggreennation.com