Season Expectations for the Eagles
What are the realistic season expectations for the 2018-2019 Philadelphia Eagles season? Even more importantly; if the Eagles don’t at least make the Super Bowl, is this season considered a disappointment? The list of repeat Super Bowl champions is a short one. The list of Super Bowl champions that went on to have a subpar season is much longer.
Over the past ten years, no team has managed to win the NFL championship in consecutive seasons. The last time there was a repeat champion was in the 2004 and 2005 season. The New England Patriots won the first of their three of four in 2002. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won in 2003. The Patriots then went on to win the next two. There has not been another since then as we go on for thirteen years since.
Eagles season expectations
The feeling of being the underdog going into the Super Bowl was nothing new for the Eagles. Since week fourteen when Carson Wentz went down with a season-ending injury, their opponents were favored more often than not. Not counting the meaningless season-ending games after they had already clinched, the Eagles would go on to be the underdog in three consecutive games. They were unbelievably an underdog at home as the one seed against the Atlanta Falcons. They would go on to win that game 15-10 on a nail-biting near catch by Julio Jones.
Entering the NFC Championship game, the Eagles were underdogs yet again. After the opening drive where they gave up an easy touchdown to the Minnesota Vikings, the Eagles went on to a romp, winning the game 38-7. Two weeks later in the Super Bowl, the Eagles defied the season expectations and won a historic game 41-33 against the Patriots.
History speaks for itself
We have established that it is inherently difficult to repeat. We are back to one central question. Is the season a disappointment if the Eagles do not at least reach the Super Bowl? Considering historical precedent, it would be intellectually dishonest to be disappointed considering all that was accomplished last year. Fans, though, do not always deal with fandom in an intellectual manner. Being a fan of a football team is more an exercise in emotion than intellectual thought. Fair or not it would be a huge disappointment if the Eagles do not at least make the final game.
The Philadelphia Eagles do have something going for them to fight against history and odds that they face. No champion in recent history had to overcome the number of odds and injuries stacked against them that they faced. What usually extinguishes the strive to be a champion and to repeat for most teams is a lack of hunger and complacency. There were many key players missing including the franchise quarterback in Wentz. One would have to think that the competitive drive in each one of these players wants to experience helping the team win on the field. This is something that obviously can’t get done while injured.
Eagles fans expectations may not match season expectations or even the team’s expectations. What will match however is the disappointment that most will feel if the team does not at least make the playoffs. Winning last year may have taken the edge off the city of Philadelphia. Rest assured, however, that as we get into the belly of the season, any thoughts of last year will fade as the team strives for history as a repeat champion.
Flickr Photo by Orest Ukrainsky