If I had told you before last week’s Eagles – Cowboys game that the Cowboys would score only 17 points, many in the Delaware Valley would have bet their house, their 401K retirement savings, and their kids’ college fund on an Eagles win. But as a certain commentator on ESPN always says, “That’s why they play the games!”.
For the last game and a half, Nick Foles had been as accurate and steady as they come while filling in for the injured Michael Vick. But at approximately the stroke of midnight Monday morning Kazakhstan time (1 PM EST), his “accuracy carriage” turned into a pumpkin, as he looked disillusioned and just plain disoriented while running the Eagles offense, resulting in a 17-3 loss that may be looked at three months down the road as the game that kept the Eagles out of the playoffs in 2013.
Come to think of it, even Kazakhstan’s favorite son, Borat, while being offensive to some, could have led the Birds to at least one offensive touchdown, causing Eagles fans to cry out “VERY NICE! HIGH-FIVE!”
To add injury to insult, Nick Foles, who usually makes wise decisions, chose to hold the ball and get sacked on one particular play instead of throwing it away or running out of bounds, resulting in a concussion which will keep him out of Sunday’s game and possibly cause him to lose his starting job, which was his for the taking.
Rookie Matt Barkley came in to try and rally the Birds in the 4th quarter, but his three interceptions would probably have had Borat (and Eagles fans) spewing obscenities that I cannot repeat in this PG rated blog.
As Broad & Pattison turns, so does the Eagles quarterback carousel, as Michael Vick, suddenly healthy once again, gets his chance to win back the job he supposedly never lost as the Birds face the Giants this Sunday at the Linc.
Much has been made about the Eagles nine-game home losing streak, with many suggesting that the venue is to blame for the lack of a home-field advantage. But while the rugged, blue-collar environment of the old donut-like Vet has been replaced by the wifi, the solar panels, and the EZ-Pass like concession stands at the Linc, it’s not as if the fans are sitting on their hands discussing Obamacare, the recent government shutdown, and the rise in their small-cap mutual funds while the Eagles are going for it on 4th down.
No, the reason for the Eagles woes at home is twofold – after they beat the Giants at home on Sept. 30th, 2012 to go to 3-1 on the season, they managed to win only one game the rest of the season as the team felt apart and finished 4-12. Simply put, they were just a bad team last year…home or away.
This season, all three of their wins have come on the road but just look at the schedule and the picture is clear. The three teams they beat this year have a combined win total of three….an average of one win each between them.
Contrast that with their three home losses, which are against teams that are averaging five wins on the season so far. Simply put, the Eagles have faced better competition at home.
A win against the Giants this Sunday would not only snap the home loss hex, but would put the Eagles at 4-4 at the halfway point of the season…just where many thought they would be. It’s hard to say about this game…I think the Birds will prevail, but I speak more with my heart than my head. Birds win 24-20, but it’s not easy. With this team, it never is.
Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):
Cowboys at Lions 1:00 PM FOX – Perhaps they should bring back Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders for this showdown in Motown.
Dolphins at Patriots 1:00 PM CBS – The Pats are leaking oil with all of their injuries so this may be a chance for the Dolphins to steal one.
Jets at Bengals 4:05 PM CBS – The Jets have two of their four wins on last-minute field goals after “gift” calls from the officials. The Bengals may actually win their division this year.
The Last Word: In the “weird stat” department, the last time the Eagles won a home game, none of the coaches of the four major sports teams in Philadelphia (Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Flyers) held their current jobs.