Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, your 1ST PLACE, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES!
Yeah, I know…it sounds better than it actually is. If this was the NFC West, a 2-3 record gets you seated in the back of the classroom and facing the wall with a “dunce” cap on. In the NFC East, a 2-3 record means you’re the valedictorian of the class.
But for years, the NFC representative in the Super Bowl came from our division, and a 10-6 record didn’t even guarantee you a playoff berth. So if we are the “NFC Least” for a few years, so be it.
Last Sunday’s game, a barnburner featuring two teams with a combined 1-7 record going in, didn’t seem like much of a contest on paper, but by the end of it, there was enough intrigue to go around, especially when it came to the Birds and their quarterback situation.
Most of the Eagles’ offense in the first half was predicated by the running of LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick, while the passing game was as ineffective as a drive from Center City to Manayunk on the Schuylkill in rush hour traffic. But when Michael Vick’s hamstring injury forced Nick Foles to come in cold off the bench, the passing game seemed to come to life, even though Foles running ability might be on par with a hermit crab race on the Ocean City boardwalk.
Foles doesn’t have the natural athletic ability of Michael Vick (very few do), but he has a strong, and more importantly, accurate arm, and gets rid of the football quickly, while Vick seems to hold on just a tad bit too long.
Foles will likely get the start this week against Tampa, which is a team in chaos and ready to implode any minute. Bucs head coach Greg Schiano is most likely near the end of his coaching tenure, as his “RA-RA” attitude may have worked when dealing with wide-eyed college kids at Rutgers, but won’t work with grown men who are professional athletes and getting paid handsomely to play football.
But while Tampa may be winless on the season, they still have a very good defense, especially with Darrelle Revis anchoring one of the corner spots, and this game will be a good test for the young Foles to see if he is capable of facing more dominating defenses in the league with some level of success.
Birds win this game but it’s a close one (23-17) due to taking the Bucs too lightly, and fans look forward to the following week and a showdown at home with the hated Cowboys for 1st place in the NFC Least.
Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):
Packers at Ravens 1:00 PM FOX – One of four intriguing intra-conference marquee matchups on this week’s docket.
Lions at Browns 1:00 PM FOX – You are not hallucinating….the Browns ARE one of the marquee matchups this week. J.M. (a reader from Cleveland) will be thrilled.
Titans at Seahawks 4:05 PM CBS – The Titans are on the way up with head coach Mike Munchak at the helm, but this game, being played in the Pacific Northwest, is definitely a loss.
Cardinals at Niners 4:25 PM FOX –The “Cactus” vs the “Kaepernick”
Saints at Patriots 4:25 PM FOX – Brees vs. Brady…what more can a football fan ask for??
The Last Word – Last year at this time, the “grizzly veteran coach” award as the longest tenured coach in Philadelphia went to Andy Reid, who was in the middle of his 14th season with the Eagles. With the firing this week of Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, that award now goes to current Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, who has completed (drumroll please) a whole ONE-QUARTER OF ONE YEAR with the Eagles.
Kinda tells you how bad things are on the Phila. sports scene. Broad & Pattison isn’t turning out champions or even winners these days…it’s on a recessionary track with no bailout in sight. Except for Ed Snider’s quick handed bailouts, which are causing more pain than gain…