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Eagles' Championship Window is Open

The sense or urgency to take advantage of Jalen Hurts' rookie deal is officially here

PHILADELPHIA - Business has picked up in Philadelphia.

A 2-0 start and an impressive performance on the national stage by the Eagles have many buying high on Nick Sirianni’s team.

According to BetOnline.ag Sirianni himself is up to No. 2 when it comes to Coach of the Year odds at 5/1, Jalen Hurts is 10/1 to be MVP behind only Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, and Darius Slay has been added to the Defensive Player of the Year mix after his stifling play against Justin Jefferson.

The team itself has gone from 45/1 at the end of March to 10/1 to win Super Bowl LVII, second in the NFC to Tom Brady and Tampa Bay (8/1), and fourth in football behind the Bucs, and Buffalo and Kansas City from the AFC side.

Whether that indicates sharp money getting behind Philadelphia or the squares who don’t understand just how poor Vikings center Garrett Bradbury is at pass protection will ultimately be decided on the field but it’s fair to say that there is an opportunity here for the Eagles.

Part of that is about the talent Howie Roseman has assembled and perhaps the schedule is an even better signifier because there is a real possibility that Philadelphia will be favored in every game for the rest of the season.

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The only potential underdog scenarios barring a complete collapse by the Eagles are at Arizona on Oct. 9, which is still early enough to default to the home team unless the wheels are coming off for the Cardinals, at Indianapolis on Nov. 20, a date that gives the Colts enough time to get past their inauspicious start, Green Bay coming to Lincoln Financial Field on Nov. 27, and the Eagles at Dallas on Christmas Eve.

The two most likely favorites against the Eagles are the Cards and at the Cowboys, if Dak Prescott is healthy and clicking on all cylinders by the holiday season.

More so, even if Aaron Rodgers’ latest relaxation reminder comes to fruition for the Packers and the Colts look a whole lot better than they have to start the season by November, that would still leave the only hurdle between Philadelphia and double-digit wins looking like the injury bug.

The ceiling for this Eagles team is clearly rising. 

Think running away from a bad NFC East and a No. 1 seed and the road to Glendale having to go through the Linc, a familiar recipe for success.

The pressure here is the calendar because Hurts’ evolution as a player is matching up with the third-year quarterback’s ability to start taking extension and a second contract.

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Ironically, Sirianni talked about pressure last week when discussing his then-embattled defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.

"As far as the pressure, this is the NFL and this is Philly," the coach said. "We know what the expectation is and the expectation is to win football games. That's our job as coaches to figure out how we can put the players in a position to win as many as we possibly can.

"Confidence level, super high. Pressure is nothing new to us. That's what the NFL is all about."

READ MORE: Ten Day-After Observations from Eagles' Monday Night Victory

That clock starts on the Hurts extension after the 2022 season, meaning that the impressive roster Roseman has built will have to take on a different look starting next season if Hurts continues to play at this kind of level and puts pen to paper.

Right now, as a 2020 second-round pick, Hurts is making just over $1 million this season, easily the biggest bargain in the NFL over the first two weeks.

The only way that dynamic doesn’t change this offseason is if Hurts falters and is no longer in a position to demand an adjustment, something the Eagles obviously don’t want to happen.

More success means the bill is not only coming due, but the payment date is arriving in a quicker fashion, speeding up the sense of urgency.

There is no fifth-year option here so the only hardball route available is allowing Hurts to play out his rookie deal in 2023, which is not the way the Eagles typically do business because it could create ill will. 

For argument's sake, the organization could then rely on the franchise tag for leverage which would still result in a huge payday anyway come 2024 due to the exploding QBs contracts in other cities.

This is it.

The real championship window has been cracked and the Eagles need to prove their bullish betting markets are spoilers, not pie-in-the-sky predictions.

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Sports. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talker Jody McDonald, every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube.com and JAKIBSports.com. You can reach John at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen