Now that the annual bye week has ended, the sight of Birds fans trembling and suffering through withdrawal symptoms due to the lack of an Eagles game this past Sunday should start to subside. And with it, the anticipation of what could become another NFC East title and hopefully at least one playoff victory (or two or three) on the horizon.
But while we had to make do without Eagles football last week, there was more than enough exciting NFL action to go around.
The Panthers and Bengals continued to flounder, the Packers fans are now “relaxed” (as Aaron Rodgers requested), and the St. Louis Rams defeated the world champion Seahawks with more trickery and antics than either David Copperfield or the Barnum & Bailey circus could ever muster.
The Giants came up short in helping us out while Peyton Manning became one of the greatest quarterbacks statistically speaking (though I would still take Tom Brady over him in a big game).
While the Eagles are 5-1, their schedule is not very favorable as they have two consecutive tough road games against Arizona and Houston followed by a Monday night at home against Carolina, which then leads into facing the Packers and the Cowboys on the road two of the following three weeks, including a Turkey Day affair with the ‘Boys. Suffice to say, if you have family members who don’t like football and want to discuss your personal life on Thanksgiving while waiting for dessert to be served, this is not the year to invite them over.
While the Eagles – Cardinals contest is not a Sunday night affair or the FOX game of the week this Sunday (CBS actually has the doubleheader this week and thus, has the “official” late afternoon game of the week), it is indeed a “marquee” matchup and the 2nd best game on the schedule this week (Chargers – Broncos being #1).
The Birds face another 5-1 team which has played surprisingly well since Bruce Arians took over as their coach last year. Hard to believe he was the same guy who coached a woeful Temple team back in the 1980’s when Michael Jackson was creating music video masterpieces and A-Ha was singing “Take on Me” with cool synthesizers playing in the background.
Arians has also revived the career of quarterback Carson Palmer, who looked to be done after he was traded to the NFL “over the hill” retirement community known as the Oakland Raiders.
The Eagles should have starting linebacker Mychal Kendricks back from injury for this game, and the possibility of Darren Sproles playing would be huge, especially on punt returns.
Even so, I think the Birds lose this week on the road, 34-27. But no worries…the season still looks bright.
Amit’s Top 5 Power Rankings:
1. Cowboys (don’t be hatin’)
I know my “Top 5” list is bound to create some controversy. For starters, the Eagles are not on the list, while two teams with records of 3-3 are (Seahawks and Chiefs). But both Kansas City and Seattle have played a murderous schedule to date, while the Eagles are 5-1 on a relatively easy schedule. That should change over the next few weeks as the Eagles face some tough opponents, and some quality victories would help to get them more R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless noted otherwise):
Chargers at Broncos 8:25 PM (Thurs) CBS (Game of the Week)
Seahawks at Panthers 1:00 PM CBS
Ravens at Bengals 1:00 PM CBS
Eagles at Cardinals 4:05 PM FOX
Colts at Steelers 4:25 PM CBS