Watching last Sunday’s Eagles-Redskins game was nostalgic if only for the fact that it seemed like the days of Buddy Ryan had returned.
Boisterous Buddy on one sideline with Joe Gibbs on another. Randall Cunningham at quarterback for the Eagles with Mark Rypien at the helm for the ‘Skins. A close, down to the wire game with two teams who’s disdain for each other was not hidden. And a fight near the end just to add to all the drama.
While there was no Andre Waters playing safety for the Eagles, all of the injuries made this game eerily similar to the famous Monday night “bodybag” game in which the Eagles knocked out three Washington quarterbacks, until finally, ‘Skins running back Brian Mitchell came in as the emergency 4th string quarterback and led Washington to a touchdown in garbage time.
And while no one would ever confuse Chip Kelly’s demeanor with Buddy’s, the one commonality they share is that they both have formed a close knit unit on one side of the ball (Buddy’s on defense, Chip’s on offense). Wonder what would happen if Chip’s offense went against Buddy’s defense? There’s an idea that Madden 2020 could steal. Feel free to send me royalties though…
Adding intrigue to a classic game was the cheapshot that Nick Foles received from Redskins defensive end Chris Baker that wouldn’t have been considered a cheapshot back in the day, but is in today’s “save the quarterback” NFL. The irony is that former Eagles defensive lineman Hugh Douglas did the same exact thing to Bears quarterback Jim Miller in a 2001 divisional playoff game in Chicago, resulting in a road playoff win for the Birds and their first NFC championship appearance in 21 years.
With the victory, the Birds are 3-0 on the young season, and while the other three Broad & Pattison inhabitants have left us short on interest and viewing pleasure, it looks like the 2014 edition of the Eagles will keep us glued to our televisions into January. Let’s keep our fingers crossed…
Another strange twist after yet another Eagles comeback win was cornerback Cary Williams complaining that the Eagles tiring practices have been resulting in weary Eagles players during the tail end of games, which seems strange when the team seems to look stronger than their opponent in the 4th quarter ever since Chip brought his psedu/new age training techniques to the City of Brotherly Love.
Cary Williams is an intriguing figure in that he can “talk the talk” like Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. The bad news for the Eagles is that more often, he plays cornerback like fitness guru Richard Simmons – a lot of bouncing around but very little contact, which worked well for DeSean Jackson on Sunday as he flew past Cary for a 81-yard touchdown to tie the game and then performed his own “gyrations” in the endzone.
Williams once again apologized for his remarks (just as he did for calling the Patriots cheaters in the preseason) but one suspects he may be apologizing for another team come 2015. But right now, he’s unfortunately the best thing we got folks.
This week, the Eagles jet off to the Bay Area to face the San Francisco 49ers in what should be dubbed the “Amoroso vs. Sourdough bowl”, even though it’s played in a stadium named after jeans (don’t ask).
The last two consecutive weeks, I picked the Birds to lose and they won both times (don’t be hatin’). And the Niners, three games in, are on the verge of season extinction and a loss would have the locals crying in their Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or their Napa wines (based on your adult beverage preference).
The Eagles also come into this game dangerously thin on the offensive line, which doesn’t bode well for LeSean McCoy’s rushing stats or his ego.
But even though all signs point to a Niners victory, there is something uncanny about this Eagles team….something different. It’s as if Chip has them moving at another level, with no one able to stop them.
The Niners play to stop the run and the Birds take advantage through the air, winning 38-30 in a competitive game till the end. To celebrate afterwards, Chip treats them to an “In-N-Out” burger at Fisherman’s Wharf before the charter flight home.
Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all games in EST and on Sunday unless stated otherwise):
Bills at Texans 1:00 PM CBS
Panthers at Ravens 1:00 PM CBS
Eagles at Niners 4:25 PM FOX
Saints at Cowboys 8:30 PM NBC
Patriots at Chiefs 8:30 PM ESPN