While Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles had some unquestioned positives, the 2016 season ended on a sour note. Philadelphia went 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
But that’s not doing anything to diminish the team’s current expectations. Wentz told Matt Mullin of Phillyvoice.com that “making the playoffs and winning the division” is the goal in his second year. But is the current Eagles team good enough to achieve that?
“Without a doubt,” Wentz said, per Mullin. “We truly believe we have the pieces in place. And, you know, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us here. It’s early; it’s April still, but we truly believe that. We’re going to put the work in and get it done.”
As is often the case, it needs to be pointed out that Wentz can’t really say anything else. Saying that his team is still well behind its division rivals would be a terrible look for any player, let alone a quarterback.
With that said, we have to look at this realistically. Winning the NFC East will be no easy chore. In 2016, the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Washington Redskins all finished with winning records. Dallas had the best record in the conference, while New York finished tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the second-best mark.
Philadelphia has made some upgrades. For Wentz, none were more notable than the signings of receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Those guys, along with defensive additions like Chris Long and Patrick Robinson should make the Eagles better in 2017 than they were in 2016.
But objectively, Philadelphia still isn’t on par with those other teams. The good news for Eagles fans is that the gap is not far, on paper at least. With a solid draft, Philadelphia can move itself up into the conversation as legit competitors with it’s division rivals, notably the Cowboys and Giants.
But until that happens, we can’t fault Wentz for his words. We also can’t quite get behind them.