I caught wind recently of something Alshon Jeffery said in a press conference when he signed with the Eagles. He said that he had texted QB Carson Wentz and told him he was going to help him win an MVP. Wentz’s response? He only cares about winning a championship.
That kind of attitude alone should be enough to make most people raise their eyebrows, but it helps that the Eagles have gone and spent some money on getting Wentz some new weapons in free agency. They actually weren’t too bad last year either; they started 3-0, which included a blowout over the Steelers. They slipped after that and finished 7-9, but much of that could probably be attributed to the horrible receiving core last season.
The best receiver on the roster was Jordan Matthews, who kind of regressed a little bit in his third year. Other than that, they had Nelson Agholor and his hands of stone. They traded for Dorial Green-Beckham, who wasn’t bad per se but wasn’t really a game changer either. They still had Zach Ertz around, but he was inconsistent as usual before going on a tear late in the season as is usually the case.
Now they’ve gotten Wentz a bit more help. They signed Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Jeffery had struggled the last couple of years with injuries and a suspension, but he does have extreme big-play ability. People may have forgotten about Torrey Smith, but that could easily be attributed to the fact that he was stuck on a dumpster fire 49ers team with a horrible QB situation. He’ll have the chance to reestablish himself in Philly. With those two added, Jordan Matthews can still contribute greatly in some fashion. Matthews has gotten 800-900 yards his first three seasons, so he is in fact a threat. Dorial Green-Beckham isn’t a bad guy to have either as the fourth receiver; he has big play ability himself. Add in Zach Ertz’s occasional great games and Darren Sproles still being there as a receiving back, and we have a Philly receiving core that is already vastly improved over last season.
But the guy to watch, of course, is Carson Wentz. I mentioned earlier his comment about how he cares more about winning a championship than an MVP (or stats in general); which only helps the reputation he’s built for his devotion to the game, with him constantly studying and watching game film. He passed for 16 TD’s and 14 INTs in his rookie year, but he’s only going to get better from there. Philadelphia seems to actually be moving in the right direction; they’ve drafted a good young QB, they’ve gotten him some weapons, and their defense isn’t too bad either.
Does this mean that Philly is going to be back in the playoffs this year? Not necessarily. The NFC East is tough right now. You have Eli Manning and the Giants, you have Dak and Zeke’s Cowboys, and you have Kirk Cousins’ Redskins. All three of these teams are playoff contenders already. Philly still has a lot to prove on the field. It could happen, but I wouldn’t guarantee it, but I do not believe it will not be long before they become perineal playoff contenders once again. Wentz, with his strong attitude and work ethic, might just be the guy to finally bring a Lombardi trophy to the City of Brotherly Love!