By Roxaan Herrera
Eagles 19 – Raiders 10
All wins are not equal. Sure, a win is a win and it’s a step closer to the ultimate goal. However, how you win does say a lot about a team. Monday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders was one of the most embarrassing wins I’ve witnessed in my fourteen years as an Eagles fan. Have there been some prior to 2003? Of course, but I didn’t see them so it doesn’t count. We’re talking about my feelings here.
Last week, quarterback Nick Foles scored four touchdowns and played like the Foles of 2013 that all Eagles fans loved. But on Christmas Day, he wasn’t his usual self – or maybe he was. I mean, there is a reason he left a few years ago after all. Maybe it was cold and it’s hard for some players to play in that kind of weather. Living in Southern California, I really have no basis on what cold actually feels like but I still imagine that cold weather isn’t the problem. Foles did play in the Snow Bowl just a few short years ago (that was a fun game to watch, wasn’t it?) which means he knows how cold it can get in Philadelphia.
Foles’ flaws were on display on Christmas. His lack of agility and athleticism makes him an easy target. He’s no quarterback Carson Wentz, but I don’t want him to be Wentz. By the way, it was nice to see Wentz at the game. He’s such a leader. Foles needs to learn that he can run
the ball if there’s an opening. There were plenty that he missed. I want Foles to read the field better and not force throws, which he did a few times. I also want Foles to stop holding the ball for so long. Nothing is more frustrating than when your QB holds onto that ball only to miss plays or lose yardage.
Eagles’ defense definitely stepped up this game and made all fans rejoice. That’s the kind of defense they need to bring postseason. They kept the offense in the game. It was clear to see how tired they got at the end of the game, but they didn’t give up. That kind of resiliency and dedication wins games. They had a late start but it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. They finished this game with yet another hell of a play. This defense is something special and I, for one, am glad to be able to be part of it.
Monday night clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. This came with a bittersweet victory. As a fan, I’m relieved that the hard work the players have put it in is paying off. That gives the Eagles the opportunity to rest the starters, who can potentially get two weeks off to tend to injuries. They can also get more practice with Foles. This will give them time to gel a bit more before playoffs begin. There is so much pressure riding on him that I don’t think getting more playing time will hurt him, even if it’s just the first half.
Outside of a few players, the Eagles have little to no playoff experience. One thing I hope they take to heart is that the playoffs are a different monster. It’s a win or go home situation and playing the way they have that past three weeks or so won’t cut it. I’m sure head coach Doug Pederson will clean it up. I refuse to give up hope on this team.
Talk Eagles with Roxaan on Twitter @rxnlzbth