Coach Doug Pederson even suggested this season's team had more talent than the crew that won the Vince Lombardi Trophy two years ago.

Halfway through the regular season, they haven't come close to living up to the hype.

At 4-4, they are tied for ninth place in the NFC. They are only 2-4 against NFC opponents, however, which could prove costly if tiebreakers come into play to determine playoff spots.

There is reason for optimism. Despite their troubles, the Eagles are still just a half-game behind Dallas (4-3) in the NFC East standings.

I picked the Eagles to win the division at the start of the season, and I'm going to stick with it. It's hard to imagine them going very far in the playoffs, though.

Midseason grades

Quarterback: Carson Wentz has yet to return to top form. He's shown flashes of the player who was a MVP candidate in 2017, but there also have been games where he's struggled with his accuracy, completing 62.1% of his passes. To be fair, he's gotten little support from his supporting cast, but great quarterbacks find a way to overcome adversity. Grade: C

Running backs: Jordan Howard and rookie Miles Sanders have become an effective 1-2 punch after a slow start to the season. Howard has made the most of increased opportunities and become the team's bell cow. Sanders, the team's second-round draft pick, has been a dynamic playmaker as both a receiver and a runner. Boston Scott could get a few carries going forward. Darren Sproles has been slowed by a quadriceps injury in what likely will be his final season. Corey Clement never got a chance to prove himself and is now sidelined for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury. Grade: B

Offensive line: Right guard Brandon Brooks has enjoyed an incredible comeback after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in last year's playoff loss at New Orleans. He not only returned in time to start the opener but is playing at a Pro Bowl level. Left tackle Jason Peters may never get his job back with the way rookie Andre Dillard is progressing. The group needs to do a better job of protecting Wentz. Grade: B-minus

Wide receiver/tight end: They've been hard to stomach since DeSean Jackson suffered his abdominal strain. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery seems to have lost a step. Nelson Agholor seemingly has dropped more passes than he's caught. Mack Hollins has no receptions in the last four games yet is still playing ahead of rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Tight end Zach Ertz has 20 fewer receptions than at this point last season. Tight end Dallas Goedert has been OK. Grade: F

Defensive line: Injuries at tackle have really hurt. Malik Jackson, who was supposed to be a force in the middle, is out for the year, as is Hassan Ridgeway. Tim Jernigan also has missed time. Fletcher Cox played his best game against the Bills after being a nonfactor for much of the year. End Brandon Graham has been the best defensive lineman. He has five sacks. Derek Barnett has been inconsistent. Vinny Curry has been invisible for much of the year. Grade: C-minus

Linebackers: Nigel Bradham has had trouble staying healthy. Nate Gerry has been a surprise. He's vastly underrated. Zach Brown, another member of the band, was sent packing. Kamu Grugier-Hill is starting to round into shape. Rookie T.J. Edwards has a nose for the football. Grade: C

Secondary: Injuries also have decimated this group. Cornerbacks Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Avonte Maddox and Cre'Von LeBlanc all have been sidelined. Rasul Douglas has been so-so. Sidney Jones hasn't played anywhere close to his potential. Orlando Scandrick had one great game, then was gone. Safety Malcolm Jenkins is off to a slow start. Safety Rodney McLeod has made an impressive comeback from last season's knee injury. Safety Andrew Sendejo is OK. Grade: D

Special teams: Place-kicker Jake Elliott hasn't gotten enough credit. That missed extra point against the Bills in swirling winds was his first missed kick of the season. He's 9 for 9 on field goals and 18 for 19 on PATs. Punter Cameron Johnston is enjoying another terrific season. The Eagles really miss Sproles on punt returns. Sanders replaced Clement on kickoff returns. Grade: B-plus

Coaching: Pederson has been taking some heat. Slow starts have been a serious problem. The team has yet to hit its groove. His play-calling has been questionable, though he had a great game plan against the Bills. Defensive coordnator Jim Schwartz is doing his best with an injury-riddled group. Grade: C

Midseason awards

Offensive MVP: Howard

Defensive MVP: Graham

Special teams MVP:  Elliott

David Weinberg's Extra Points column appears Wednesday and Sundays in The Press.

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DWeinberg@pressofac.com

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