Eytan Shander: Forget being deadline sellers, Eagles must go for division title

Here we are, Eagles fans. Locked in a miserable division and facing a quick turnaround on a short week. It seems like even with Andy Dalton showing his true colors, there is a sense of giving up that’s permeated some of the fanbase. That will not be me. I see no value in tanking – mainly because you can’t tank in the NFL – to improve draft status. Not with this team, and certainly not with this current division.

I’d be utterly embarrassed to route for the team that had a shot at the NFC East, but decided to pack it in. It’s one thing to be Washington or the Giants, just miserable from the jump with no hardened expectations of providing a winner. Dallas might have backdoored themselves into a built-in excuse, especially if Monday night was any indication of what to expect from Dalton moving forward.

No, the Eagles should not be sellers approaching the trade deadline. Howie Roseman did not need to dump Zach Ertz (before injury) because of some stupid notion that the team needs more draft picks, or simply because they can’t win.

Are you serious? Can’t win this division? We aren’t talking about Baltimore or Green Bay, or even Minnesota. Three teams remain in the East that have serious issues at the QB position. The only one that stands alone is Philadelphia because of Carson Wentz improving his play.

We have the only QB in the division who is trending in the right direction, no matter how slow or painful of a process that trend may be. To give up on this team and trade any remaining talent away would be another punch in the gut to Wentz.

I’m angry just typing this.

The guy you get up for every week and yell and scream for each Sunday deserves more than a bad team trading people away. Travis Fulgham remains the best sports story in the city, but also serves as a lesson to this team and its talent evaluators. If you put the right people in charge with any proven track record of mining talent like Fulgham, you don’t need to panic every year at the deadline.

Again, you may want this team to go full Sixers and drop every game, but you would be a moron. I can’t tell you what happens in the playoffs if they do win the East, but it’s one more game for the QB to get in the postseason. One more run that Wentz can lead — even if it falls flat, he needs the experience. Just like Ben and Jo do.

I honestly can’t fathom how disrespectful it would be to us – as fans – to pack in a season where the division is historically bad. What message does that send outside of, “Well, we don’t have the confidence to compete with one team, really, and that team is on their backup QB for the rest of the year.” My goodness, no.

Roseman has no other choice but to sniff around the market and be an aggressive buyer. Selling anyone of value at the deadline would be a costly mistake, one that would have at least me calling directly for a replacement. I can’t take anyone seriously who thinks the best mode of attack is to retreat into the hills.


Instead of playing down to some of the worst teams in the history of the league, pick yourself up and show some damn pride. Make a deal – even if it’s for someone like Fulgham. Identify a guy who simply has too many people above him on the depth chart, someone who won’t cost you two future first-round picks. This shouldn’t be that difficult.

Eagles Bet of the Week

Each week I’ll provide one big bet I like for the Eagles game. It can be a simple line bet or a more specific prop. Find everything you need at TheLines.com.

The line is down to -4 right now, according to TheLines.com, and that’s the play. Pound it. Double the units on this one. It will probably move back up to 5, maybe even 6 with enough sharps jumping on Philadelphia. The reality is – as sad is it appears – the injuries to Sanders and Ertz don’t matter on Thursday. New York is that bad. Go ahead and place your wager before that value is gone!

The Middle w/ Brooks, Mayes and Eytan

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Props & Locks 

Catch Props & Locks on FOX29 Thursdays at 7 p.m. with myself, Scott Grayson and the always entertaining Sean Bell! We will be loaded with props for the Eagles game and break down other big value matchup.

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This content and the links provided are sponsored by thelines.com and playpennsylvania.com, PhillyVoice.com’s Official 2020/2021 Betting Odds Partner, independently created by PhillyVoice.

Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

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