The Eagles followed the script as expected on Sunday, winning easily, but what no one quite scripted was the start, as rookie Josh Huff took the opening kickoff and managed to run it back 107 yards for a touchdown, giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead before many of the fans had even settled into their seats.
The touchdown not only set the record for the longest kickoff return in Eagles history, but jump started an Eagles team that needed a win, not only to forget last week’s drubbing at the hands of the Packers, but to keep pace with the Cowboys, who defeated the Giants on Sunday night in comeback fashion.
And much like the previous two home games against the Panthers and Giants, the game was over before the “beerman” called last call, with many heading to the exits by the end of the 3rd quarter. With their 43-24 win, the Eagles have now won ten straight at home, ironically after losing ten straight at home, a feat never accomplished in the NFL.
The win sets up a HUGE showdown this week against the Cowboys, which will determine who holds the lead in the NFC East with only a month left to play in the regular season. And just to add some flavor and “seasoning” to the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry, the game will be played on Thanksgiving Day, which is about as rare as a white Thanksgiving in these parts (which we may just have as well).
For Eagles fans, most Thanksgivings revolve around enjoying the turkey and all its trimmings and sides in a “slow and steady” manner; chilling on the sofa talking to your peeps while hopefully watching the Cowboys lose. But this year, an Eagles-Cowboys Thanksgiving showdown will most likely alter plans for most Birds fans.
Much like Chip Kelly’s fast-paced, no-huddle offense, many in the Delaware Valley will be operating a fast-paced, no-huddle turkey food orgy, with the goal of wrapping up in time to absorb every play of the Eagles game.
I can see it now – much like the Linc crowd was chanting “We Want Dallas” on Sunday, the crowd at your house will be chanting “We Want Turkey” just as the ugly bird is placed on the table for carving purposes. While being carved, the crowd begins to shout, “Go, go, go!” as if the first slice was the equivalent of a Darren Sproles punt return.
Without the traditional fanfare of a relaxed sit down dinner, the basket of rolls wrapped in foil is thrown across the kitchen table, hopefully not being intercepted by the family dog as if it was another ill-advised Mark Sanchez or Nick Foles pass.
But let’s be careful to “chew-chew-chew” Eagles fans (as we always say to my two year old niece), or that extra helping of stuffing may end up bottled up somewhere like the 2014 edition of LeSean McCoy behind a makeshift offensive line (somehow Darren Sproles never seems to have that problem).
No, this Thanksgiving, instead of listening to Uncle Jerry asking goofy questions or sharing the same story for the 42nd time, you will hopefully be able to watch your “Iggles” put up 42 points while the other “Uncle Jerry”, owner of Jerry’s world down in Irving, Texas, looks on as if he ate some bad cranberry sauce.
Instead of listening to your Aunt Mildred ask you when you’re gonna “settle down”, you can settle down in front of the tube and watch Tony Romo choke in the closing minutes of the game, as the “Romo-sexuals” look on in stunned disbelief.
Much like the turkey after dinner, there will only be a carcass left in Big-D, as the Eagles win 42-30 and take control of the division.
The Last Word:
Since the Birds will be playing on Thursday this week, I figured it was a good time as any for an edition of “Throwback Thursday”.
The year was 1989, which was the last time that the Eagles played the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The Birds defeated what was then a still up-and-coming Cowboys dynasty handily, winning 27-0, in a game known to many as the “Bounty Bowl”. In that game, Eagles coach Buddy Ryan placed a bounty on Cowboys kicker Luis Zendejas, who was a former Eagles kicker and was cut earlier in the season.
The night before, five inches of snow fell on the Philadelphia area, which resulted in a white Thanksgiving. Ironically, that was the last time we had measurable snow on Thanksgiving, which seems to occur only when we play the Cowboys on Turkey Day.
Thanksgiving morning, George Washington and Archbishop Ryan high school played to a 0-0 tie in the snow in their annual “Turkey Bowl”, the first time that had ever happened.
So there you have it…this year we have one bird on the table and another on the television. Happy Thanksgiving and go Birds!
Amit’s Top 5 Power Rankings (same ranking as last week for all teams):
Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless noted otherwise):
Eagles at Cowboys 4:30 PM FOX (Thurs)
Seahawks at Niners 8:30 PM NBC (Thurs)
Browns at Bills 1:00 PM CBS
Chargers at Ravens 1:00 PM CBS
Patriots at Packers 4:25 PM CBS
Broncos at Chiefs 8:30 PM NBC – Game of the Week