Eagles

A look at Eagles' final odds to win Super Bowl LII before 2017 season begins

A look at Eagles' final odds to win Super Bowl LII before 2017 season begins

The Eagles' odds of winning the Super Bowl have improved.
 
But they still aren't looking too great.
 
Bovada on Thursday released its final future team odds before the 2017 season begins and had the Eagles at 40/1 to win the Super Bowl, a shortening from 50/1 since Bovada's last update. Still, the Eagles are tied with the Titans and Colts for the 16th-longest odds of capturing the Lombardi Trophy. 
 
The Patriots (13/4) and Packers (9/1) were given the best odds of winning the Super Bowl. 
 
The Eagles' odds of winning the NFC (20/1) and NFC East (11/4) have shortened as well, but they still are tied for the 10th-longest odds to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl and trail both the Cowboys (9/5) and Giants (2/1) to win the division. 

Bovada's final over/under on the Eagles' 2017 win total came in at eight. The odds of the Eagles finishing with above eight wins have shortened from -130 to -150, while the odds of them finishing below .500 have lengthened from even to plus-120.

Carson Wentz's odds of winning MVP have shortened as well. Wentz has gone from 100/1 to 33/1 to win the MVP. He has the same odds as Marcus Mariota, Andrew Luck and Cam Newton.

So while Bovada's view of the Eagles has improved over the course of the offseason, the sportsbook still isn't expecting them to be serious contenders in 2017.

5 things Dave would have been watching in tonight’s Eagles preseason opener

5 things Dave would have been watching in tonight’s Eagles preseason opener

In a normal offseason, in a normal summer, we’d be preparing to watch a football game tonight. The Eagles were scheduled to be in Indianapolis tonight for a 7 p.m. kickoff of their preseason. 

Alas, this is not a normal summer. The entire preseason was canceled. 

So instead of watching the Eagles take on the Colts in Indianapolis tonight, Reuben Frank and I are left thinking about what we would have been watching. 

Here are five things Roob would have watched.

While some players won’t miss the preseason, I will. I love every bit of training camp and the preseason. There were plenty of things I wanted to watch too. 

Here are five: 

Jason Peters at right guard 

This would have been our first chance to see an experiment in game action. Obviously, if games were being played, Peters would have had practice time before them, but playing a new position in game action is much different. It really is a fascinating experiment with Peters this year. He’s 38 and has had a Hall of Fame career as a left tackle. But an injury to a great right guard forced the Eagles to bring Peters back at a different position on a different side of the line. I can’t wait to see how this works. But we’ll now have to wait for the regular season. 

Does the offense really look different? 

No, it’s unlikely the Eagles would have given away all their secrets in the preseason. But I really wonder what kind of changes we’ll see on offense after plenty of turnover on the offensive coaching staff. The Eagles have downplayed those changes and most of what they do in preseason would have been vanilla anyway … but maybe there would have been some hints tonight. I at least would have watched Carson Wentz closely to see any changes. 

Jalen Mills at his new position 

Like Peters, Mills is switching positions this season. He’s going from a cornerback in Jim Schwartz’s scheme to a safety and is pretty much replacing Malcolm Jenkins. That’s a big ask. No one expects Mills to be as good as Jenkins but based on how much Jenkins meant to the Eagles’ defense over the last several years, it’s fair to wonder how they’ll fare without him. Mills’ success or failure in this role will go a long way in determining that. 

The young running back battle 

As long as they’re healthy, I expect Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Corey Clement to be on the roster. But the Eagles traditionally keep four running backs, which leaves a three-man competition for that last spot. Elijah Holyfield is a second-year undrafted player who got here late last winter. And Mike Warren and Adrian Killins are undrafted rookies this year. Killins is a speed demon, so his skills should show up in practice. But Holyfield and Warren are more known for their between-the-tackles running style. It’s awfully hard to replicate that style in practices. 

The linebacker rotation 

Sure the Eagles drafted two linebackers and they added Jatavis Brown. But Brown retired, Davion Taylor is raw and Bradley was a 6th-round pick. So that means all their additions might not amount to a ton in 2020. And they lost Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill to free agency, so they return a group of Nathan Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley and Alex Singleton. We have a lot of questions about this group and we would have seen the rotation start to come together tonight. As it is, we’ll just have to watch closely in training camp. 

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5 things Roob would have been watching in tonight's Eagles presason opener

5 things Roob would have been watching in tonight's Eagles presason opener

I love preseason games. 

There, I said it.

Blowouts, scoreless ties, endless fourth quarters in empty stadiums? 

I love every minute of it.

Because those games are our first, best and in some cases only chance to see a lot of the young players that we've spent the last few months talking about.

Preseason games might not be great football, but to the truly hard-core football fans, they're always fascinating and revealing.

The Eagles' preseason opener would have been tonight in Indianapolis against Frank Reich's Colts, but for us preseason fans, we'll have to wait another year.

If the Eagles did play tonight, Dave Zangaro and I would have been at Lucas Oil Stadium soaking it all in.

Instead, we figured we'd share our top five things we would have been looking out for if there were a game.

Here's Dave's

And here are mine:

Davion Taylor

I would have been interested in Taylor, the rookie 3rd-round pick out of Colorado, even before Jatavis Brown retired. Now, there's even more of a spotlight on the Eagles' young linebackers. Taylor and Brown don't play the same position, but there will definitely be more reps to go around, and if Taylor looks like he belongs he'll be in the mix for playing time. Taylor just hasn't played much football and losing the preseason doesn't help, but you'd want to see how comfortable he looks in coverage, which is where he's most likely to make an impact here.

Jalen Hurts

Whether it's Randall as a rookie, Donovan as a rookie, Nick Foles or Carson Wentz at rookies, you always love seeing the young quarterbacks play in the preseason. Not so much the stats they put up but just how they carry themselves, how they lead the offense, how comfortable they look in game situations, how they bounce back after mistakes. Hurts doesn't project to play QB this year, but he's one guy who really could have used four preseason games to get some valuable reps that the Eagles hope he doesn't get during the season.

Shareef Miller

The return of Vinny Curry raises some questions about Miller, questions he could have gone a long way toward answering in the preseason. He was one guy I really would have liked to see after he sat the entire 2019 season. The preseason games would have shown whether he developed more moves, how he held up against the run and what kind of energy he brings to the defensive front. It's been a long time since Miller played any meaningful snaps, and it might be a long time until he plays anymore. 

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

This is an obvious one. JJAW's rookie year was awfully disappointing, and we all would have wanted to see him go out in the preseason games and use his frame to get position against corners and secure the football, get yards after the catch, and most of all just show confidence and a connection with whichever quarterback he's out there with. I would have expected a guy like JJAW to get a ton of reps in the preseason games and work against some 2nd- and 3rd-team d-backs where he'd have a huge advantage, catch some passes and feel good about his performance. It's a shame he won't get that chance.

John Hightower and Quez Watkins

It's never easy for rookie wide receivers to flourish in the preseason games. They're often just over-matched making that leap from college to the NFL, where cornerbacks can be so tough and physical and keep you from getting releases off the line of scrimmage. We all know Hightower and Watkins can motor. But like most young NFL receivers, the big question isn't how fast they are, it's how well they adjust to the NFL game, and it would have been fun to see if these two rookies could translate their blazing speed into getting open down the field and making plays.

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