The Philadelphia Eagles were busy making (money) moves in April. Obviously, the NFL Draft was the number one priority for all NFL teams, but looking back on last month, the Eagles were busy. Signing players left and right, releasing and/or trading players, bringing back favorites, and saving money all in the name of defending the championship title.
Yes, I know. Preseason doesn’t matter because it doesn’t count and doesn’t show the true potential of the players because either they’re not playing or because they aren’t giving the game 100% so that they won’t risk injury.
However, with the release of the preseason schedule, it means that we are just that much closer to the 2018 NFL season!
It’s NFL Draft month! Every year around this time, I tend to take a brief break from football because of the draft. I know very little about college football and because of that, I don’t have much to contribute to conversations about who my team should pick up or the countless mock drafts that are drawn up.
I’m a little embarrassed about it and have started to watch NCAAF these last few years so that I can know what everyone’s talking about, but even with its popularity, I can’t seem to find much interest in college sports, in general.
However, in being so focused on my team and following the latest news on the Philadelphia Eagles, I do form my own opinions on what positions they need or should add based on who they’ve let go and what they lacked in the previous year(s).
I met you almost 15 years ago. Donovan McNabb introduced us and it was love at first sight, for me anyway. I thought you felt the same; I was sure of it, especially with the great season in 2004 that resulted in a Super Bowl appearance. I thought that was our moment. I thought that would seal the deal. Alas, what started was a roller coaster of emotions, highs and lows, and major sacrifices were made that tested my love for you, my loyalty to you.
I’ll admit, throughout the years I found myself questioning us. I looked around me and saw so many fans throwing their rings in my face, and yet here we were, ringless, with no sign of that changing in the distant future. After Andy Reidleft, I was so confused. I thought we were happy. But he was battling personal issues and you decided it would be best if he focused on them on his own so we gave him his space. And I trusted you with that. It hurt like hell when he quickly moved on to someone else and found success.
Sunday night’s game could not have gone any better for the Philadelphia Eagles. Quarterback Nick Foles threw for 352 yards, completing 26 passes of 33 with three touchdowns AND had a QB rating of 141.1 by the end of the game.
That’s the Eagles’ backup quarterback, by the way. The same guy who everyone wrote off, including (some) fans. The same guy who everyone doubted and quickly turned away from and refused to take seriously.
Last night, Foles played the best game of his career and despite a shaky and inconsistent first few games as Carson Wentz’s backup, he came through when the team needed him the most and did so beautifully.
I’m sure by now everyone has heard about how the Philadelphia Eagles are the first number one seed to have a higher probability to lose to a number six seed. In this case, the Atlanta Falcons.
There have been so many stats all week about this particular game, that I have toned down my social media usage by a ton because I didn’t want to hear any negativity. I personally don’t like the statistics these sports analysts come up with because most of them are useless, and as I always say “rules are meant to be broken”. Except, in this case, statistics are meant to be broken.
All wins are not equal. Sure, a win is a win and it’s a step closer to the ultimate goal. However, howyou 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.
It’s been said time and time again: defense wins games. The Eagles’ defense has been quite inconsistent these last few games, beginning with the Seattle Seahawks game.
I can understand that chasing after someone like quarterback Russell Wilson can be tiresome, but there’s no way that the game against the New York Giants should have been as close as it was. Five-point differential against a 2-11 team (at the time)?!
Nothing against the Giants, we all know they have a future Hall of Famer in quarterback Eli Manning. The Giants offensive line wasn’t hard to break through and yet the defense struggled for some reason. Allowing a 2-12 team over 500 yards of offense and the Eagles missing tackles is absolutely unacceptable.
Maybe it was the fact that it was a divisional game and those are always tough. Or maybe because it was their third (and final) road game in a row and it’s taken a toll on the players. Whatever the reason was, the Eagles were lucky that they had an amazing backup quarterback in Nick Foles who had a spectacular game back as a starter but luck doesn’t win championships.
The biggest concern, question mark, and complaint NFL analysts and fans alike had leading up to Sunday’s game was the offense. Would it change? Would they perform the same as they did when injured quarterback Carson Wentz was leading them?
I couldn’t stress enough to anyone who would listen was that Foles will bring his own swag to the team. He’s not in the league just to collect money. He even took a pay cut to rejoin the Philadelphia Eagles because he knows just how special this organization is. Foles threw for four touchdowns, and although it wasn’t always pretty, he was able to step-up when it counted the most.
I am more than delighted the Eagles clinched 1st round BYE and a home game for the first game of the playoffs. I’m just not happy with how it was accomplished. It’s been a long season, a grueling season filled with injuries, but it isn’t over yet.
Head coach Doug Pederson should grill them for the lackluster way they played. The Eagles fans went into this game worried about the offense but left this game with questions regarding the defense. Pederson has been asked whether he’s thought of benching the starters for either of the next two games, his answer was a simple “not sure yet”. My answer would have been “Bench them? Bench them?! Our defense didn’t show up today and you think I should bench them?!” Jim Mora-esque style.
Having the best record in the NFL does come with a few bragging rights, but I didn’t feel much like gloating today. The Eagles of old need to come back and finish this season off on a high note.
All week, I was anxious about this game. I knew it would be tough to play against Seattle in Seattle. I just figured it would be more competitive, or at the very least a fun game to watch. As frustrating as it was, though, I’m okay with this loss. Eagles needed to face a playoff caliber team; a team who was desperate for a win, in order to get experience in that type of environment.
Well, they’re #1 in the NFC East. And only as of right now. But I’ll take what I can get—the good with the bad. For example, they have allowed the fewest points in the first three quarters of games so far this season, however, they have allowed the second-MOST in fourth quarters. Meaning, they don’t know how to finish a game and that’s not what wins Super Bowls.
Fortunately, head coach Doug Pederson has been calling more run plays, and according to an article on NFL.com, the Eagles ran the football 39 times on Sunday, the most in three years. THREE YEARS?! But it is only Week 4 and as long as they take advantage of running back LaGarrette Blount, the playoffs will definitely be a certainty.
Anyway, I originally wanted to write this entire article about Philadelphia’s stats against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, but because I actually attended the game, I decided to pen something a bit more personal.