Thursday evening, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Jets 14-6 to complete a perfect 4-0 record during the 2016 preseason.
Of course, the Detroit Lions completed a perfect preseason in 2008, only to go 0-16. The Eagles completed a 3-1 preseason last year, with Sam Bradford starting the three wins, only to go 7-9 in one of the most disappointing. So a perfect preseason may not be a ringing endorsement as to what is to come in the preseason, though an impressive preseason may have given some more optimism to those who had little hope for the 2016 season when training camp opened.
Following last night's win, if you checked the website of bookmakers William Hill, the Eagles Super Bowl odds sit at 70-1. Given that the team has two winnable games in the first two weeks, strong performances in the first two games could increase those odds. It's also fair to think that the team's odds won't entirely sink at any point this year because of how open the NFC East appears to be.
Even with Tony Romo likely to miss a good portion of the season, the Dallas Cowboys still appear to be the favorite to win the NFC East, especially after a strong preseason showing from Dak Prescott. The New York Giants, who promoted offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to head coach this off-season, seem offensively capable of winning the weak division, with their defense appearing primed to take some sort of step forward after signing a slew of players, including Olivier Vernon. And the Washington Redskins, who added more offensive talent through the NFL Draft, won the division last year and other than recent history of teams not winning back-to-back NFC East titles, there's no reason to think that they couldn't repeat as division champions. Most outlets have the Eagles with the fourth best odds to win the division, and with that, the Super Bowl. The team, especially after the trade of Sam Bradford and potential insertion of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz is one of the NFL's wild card teams in terms of trying to gauge record expectations. That's the life of a team that has a some talent, but was 7-9 a season ago and has a new coach.
Regardless of who wins the NFC East, the idea of any of the four making a playoff run or even winning the NFC seems far fetched. Even with the Vikings losing Teddy Bridgewater for the season, three teams enter the season definitively better than any of the teams in the NFC East. The reigning NFC champion Carolina Panther will get back Kelvin Benjamin in 2016 after a torn ACL cost him the entire 2015 season. The Seattle Seahawks, who won the two previous NFC titles, appear to have an MVP front-runner in Russell Wilson at quarterback. And the Arizona Cardinals, though they got beaten badly in the NFC title game a year ago, will get back Tyrann Mathieu in 2016, a move that could help propel them to Super Bowl 51.
Despite the low odds, the Eagles do still get a chance to play the 2016 season and predictions entering recent seasons haven't exactly been correct.