With all the free agent acquisitions, Dream Team rhetoric and Michael Vick hype, you'd think the whole world was picking the Eagles to win the Super Bowl this season. Ah, but you'd be wrong. Very wrong. In fact, a closer look at all the Super Bowl picks from supposed experts shows that NO ONE is apparently picking the Eagles to win it all.
Check it out: Eleven of ESPN's experts have the Eagles winning the NFC East, but only three of them have the Eagles advancing to the Super Bowl (Ashley Fox, James Walker, Pat Yasinkas), and none of those three have the Eagles winning it. The majority choice to win it all at ESPN? New England, which gets five of the twelve experts' endorsement. The ever-lofty Peter King, who correctly picked the Super Bowl participants last year, also picked the Eagles to win the NFC East, but has them falling to New Orleans in the divisional round (He has Atlanta over San Diego in the Super Bowl).
Then you have the seven experts from NFL.com, none of whom picked the Eagles to win even the NFC. One of them, Mike Lombardi, picked the Redskins to the win the East (probably because Bill Belichick told him to). Four of those seven NFL.com folks had the Saints winning it all. Pro Football Weekly had six experts making Super Bowl picks, and none of them picked the Eagles to win the NFC either.
There are plenty of reasons to be wary of the Eagles going into 2011: Vick's tendency to be injury-prone, the o-line, Andy Reid doing Andy Reid things. But I think the fact that none of these big prognosticators picked Philly to win it all was more a matter of backlash to the hype than anything else. The Eagles had such an impressive, headline-grabbing offseason that everyone's first instinct was to turn away from them and pick someone ELSE to win it all, because picking Philly would be too obvious, too predictable. I really think that's what's at play here, because this team is about as talented and deep as you could ask for right now.
You should take heart in these predictions, Eagles fans. Maybe you thought this team was being overhyped going into 2011, but now it appears that no big-name media folks like them to actually win it all. That almost always works in a team's favor, believe you me.