The700Level

Eagles now have 4th-best odds to win Super Bowl

us-carson-wentz-zach-ertz.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles now have 4th-best odds to win Super Bowl

After Sunday's dominating 34-7 victory against the Cardinals, the Eagles are now tied with the Seahwaks for the fourth-best odds in the NFL to win Super Bowl LII.

In Bovada's Week 6 odds, which were released on Wednesday, the Eagles trail just the Patriots (9/2), Packers (5/1) and Chiefs (13/1) with 10/1 odds to win the Super Bowl. 

The Eagles' odds of winning the NFC (11/2)  and NFC East (4/9) shortened as well, and they are the favorites to win the NFC East, ahead of the Cowboys (7/2), Redskins (9/2) and Giants (50/1). Despite their higher Super Bowl odds, the Eagles sit behind the Packers (3/1), Seahawks (7/2) and Falcons (9/2)  to win the NFC.

After Carson Wentz threw four TDs Sunday against Arizona, his odds to win MVP improved from 16/1 last week to 7/1. He trails Aaron Rodgers (3/1), Tom Brady (5/1) and Alex Smith (16/1).

Brian Dawkins gives Eagles fans a pep talk on Twitter after Wentz injury

ap-dawkins-bicep.jpg

Brian Dawkins gives Eagles fans a pep talk on Twitter after Wentz injury

Sunday was tough for football fans in the city of Philadelphia. Carson Wentz exited the game, walked off the field and into the locker room, and the mood was somber.

It didn't take long for reports to swirl that the Eagles feared the worst, that their MVP-caliber quarterback could be lost for the season.

The Birds went on to win the game but it was bittersweet without the prospect of Wentz leading them to the Super Bowl.

Star athletes from all of sports shared messages of support. From fellow star quarterbacks lost for the season like DeShaun Watson to brothers in the city who have dealt with injuries of their own like Joel Embiid, everybody hated to see Wentz go down.

You could feel the negativity oozing through the city.

Monday came and Doug Pederson confirmed what we already believed. Wentz was gone for the year and Nick Foles takes the job of leading the Birds to the promise land. Hope was dim but not extinguished.

Then Eagles Nation got the pep talk (tweeted) it needed from the one person who would never lie to them and only inspire them, Brian Dawkins.


Birdgang, Take Heart! Don’t bye into the neg emotions. @JordanHicks @DarrenSproles @ChrisMaragos Jason Peters & now @cj_wentz r leaders that continue 2 help us win by giving of themselves. WE will rally behind a confident #9 Do me a huge favor.. Rally & BELIEVE!!#FlyEaglesFly

I'm still bummed but Weapon X has me feeling a little better. The Eagles season isn't over just yet. It's time for Nick Foles to write a storybook ending.

*

Respected writer applauds Ron Hextall, Dave Hakstol

Respected writer applauds Ron Hextall, Dave Hakstol

Remember those "Fire Hakstol" chants?

They were belted out by some fans at the Wells Fargo Center during the Flyers' ninth straight loss, a miserable 3-1 finish to the Sharks on Nov. 28.

What felt like the real low of this season so far forced general manager Ron Hextall to issue a state of the union address for his hockey club less than an hour after those chants were spouted into the air.

Including that moment, Hextall ever since has firmly defended and endorsed his head coach Dave Hakstol.

Hextall, a man of immense patience and a stay-the-course mentality, was not about to waver because of a group of disgruntled fans.

“If we were playing poorly, I’d be the first to say, ‘We’re playing poorly,’" Hextall said that night. "I would be. We are not playing poorly and to look objectively at our team right now and to say we’re playing poorly, no."

A day later, on NBC Sports Philadelphia's Philly Sports Talk, Hextall made himself especially clear regarding Hakstol's job security.

"He's the guy," Hextall said. "Dave Hakstol is our coach and he's going to remain our coach."

Maybe it wasn't what some fans wanted to hear, but Hextall didn't care.

And one well-respected writer, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, has been impressed with how both Hextall and Hakstol have responded. Here's what Friedman had to write Monday in his 31 Thoughts, a popular read among hockey people:

You’re always curious to learn how a new GM will react to a difficult situation, but I really liked the way both Ron Hextall (and Dave Hakstol) handled the “Fire Hakstol” chants and pressure in Philadelphia.

That organization has a historically short leash for coaches, but Hextall made it clear he wants to change that. He showed up in the dressing room to defend his coach, and, days later, passionately informed the media Hakstol wasn’t going anywhere. (The only thing missing from that burst was Hextall chopping down reporters with a goalie stick.)

Hakstol said he knows what he signed up for. The Flyers don’t admit it, but privately, word is they feel one year away from a true assessment of how good they are. Second, Hextall worked hard to convince Hakstol to leave North Dakota three summers ago, luring him to Pennsylvania with what is believed to be a six-year contract. He’s invested in his coach.

The Flyers fired Peter Laviolette three games into the 2013-14 season. They axed John Stevens 25 games into the 2009-10 campaign. And they got rid of Ken Hitchcock eight games into the 2006-07 slate.

There's definitely a history of short leashes, as Friedman mentioned.

But Hextall is not a guy that gets easily rattled by outside pressures. It probably makes him trust his evaluation and gut even more.

After the losing streak hit 10 games, the Flyers won three straight by sweeping their Western Canada road trip. Now they're back at the Wells Fargo Center for five games in a row, starting Tuesday.

A little more pressure at home sweet home.

h/t to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Tom Dougherty.