By Caroline Sweeney
The reigning Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, kicked off the NFL season on Thursday Night Football against the Atlanta Falcons.
Going into the season opener, the Eagles were only favored by three points; however, once the Eagles announced they would be starting Nick Foles, they instantly became four-point underdogs.
The Super Bowl champions started the Super Bowl MVP and were calculated to be underdogs.
National media outlets like ESPN and the NFL Network seem not to be treating the Eagles like the Super Bowl champions. Nevertheless, Eagles fans and football analysts agree on the idea that the Eagles will win the National Football Conference East, the NFC East.
After that, the predictions begin to differ.
In the offseason, NFL teams are making roaster moves, trading, signing and releasing players to improve their team.
Certain moves by NFC East rivals, the Washington Redskins, were expected to push them to the top of the division
The Redskins, acquired Quarterback Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs and brought in veteran Running back Adrian Peterson. The Redskins also toughened up their defense, led by Cornerback Josh Norman.
By their week one win against the Arizona Cardinals, these moves seem to be paying off. The Washington Redskins look to be the biggest threat to the Eagles in the NFC East.
Looking at the NFC as a whole, the Washington Redskins are not the only team that made some changes to improve their team. The Eagles are also facing threats from the Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saint and even the Atlanta Falcons despite already losing to the Eagles in week one.
Those from outside of Philadelphia think that the Eagles winning the Super Bowl was a fluke. Commentators and analyst spent the 2017-18 season picking out different aspects of the Eagles they thought would not compare to their opponents.
The Eagles should not be discredited so soon. In past seasons when teams win the Super Bowl, they are considered a top tear team even if they do not compete to the level that they once did.
Consider the New Orleans Saints. The Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010, and even though they have not always had a winning record between then and now the media still speaks well of the team, always referring to them as a contender.
It is understandable that there is a little doubt in the Eagles. The Eagles did lose several players from the Super Bowl roaster like Mychal Kendricks, Trey Burton, Vinny Curry, and Brent Celek just to name a few.
But many of their franchise players returned to the Eagles, some with new big contracts.
Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles, signed a two-year $11 million contract with the Eagles, guaranteeing his place in Philadelphia until 2020. Along with Foles, Eagles head coach, Doug Pederson is also staying in Philadelphia through the 2020 season, the Eagles used the fifth-year option on Pederson’s contract.
The national sports media has never liked the Eagles or any Philadelphia team, for that matter. So, it is no surprise that the media is not giving the Eagles the credit they deserve.
The Eagles may not be the same as they were last year, but neither is any other team in the NFL.
Still, the Eagles are a good team. According to ESPN statistics, they have ranked number one in power rankings going into week two.
Eagles still have a top of the line defense and that defense kept them in the game against Atlanta. Their offense is rusty, but that does not define an entire season. The Eagles spent all of last season proving the critics wrong, and they will do it again this season.
The Eagles will make another run at the Super Bowl.
Contact Caroline Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org