They've been decimated by injury. They've been beleaguered by poor play calling. They've been bemoaned by uninspired play.
Yet through it all, the Philadelphia Eagles find themselves sitting atop of the NFC East standings with a not so lofty record of 2-4-1. On Sunday night, the Eagles will play host to the Dallas Cowboys (2-5) at Lincoln Financial Field. It will be a prime time matchup for two downtrodden teams.
Nevertheless, Eagles fans have several reasons to root for the Eagles.
1. The Eagles are the defending NFC East champions and are coming off a big 22-21 come-from-behind victory over the New York Giants. Wins like those, especially over a division foe, can be inspiring.
2. Several injured players are making their return. Left tackle Jason Peters, who undoubtedly will be enshirned in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, is slated to return from injury. Wide receiver Jalen Reagord and tight end Dallas Goedert, both of whom are desperately missing from the Eagles offense, could also see action against the Cowboys.
Football is a game of youth and attrition. Injuries can cripple a team but with the wounded healing quickly, especially at this point of the season, the Eagles may be in a good place.
3. The coaching of Doug Peterson, while still a work in progress, is improving week by week. His players play hard and they haven't quit on him. That's an excellent sign and something many teams in the National Football League can say.
Whatever he's saying in the locker room is inspirational because it shows on the field. Now while his game calling remains suspect, Pederson has evolved and appears to learn from his mistakes. And in the end, as long as owner Jeffrey Lurie likes what he sees every week, Pederson's job is safe.
4. The Eagles play in the worst division of professional football, the NFC East. The conference boasts 13 Super Bowl champions — the Cowboys lead with five, followed by the Giants with four, the Redskins with three, and the Eagles with one — but this hasn't been a banner season. None of the teams in the division has a winning record and it's possible that the division champion may have an overall losing mark.
But that's the beauty of the 2020 season, where the bizarre has become the norm. Anything is possible and that's why the Eagles have a chance to make the postseason.
5. The best reason to root for the Eagles is because they are in Philadelphia. None of the other teams in the NFC East play their games in the city the represent. The Cowboys play in Arlington, Texas. The Washington Football Team plays in Landover, Maryland, and the New York Giants call East Rutherford, New Jersey, home.
The Eagles represent the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. The Eagles represent the city that is the nation's birthplace. The Eagles represent Philadelphia.