As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #11: Redskins at Eagles

The Nick Foles “magic carpet ride” continued last Sunday, and while Foles did not match his record breaking performance from the previous week, he still went 12 for 18 on the day and threw three touchdown passes, as the Birds defeated the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, 27-13.

On the season, Foles now has 16 touchdowns without an interception, which is tied for 2nd in NFL history when it comes to touchdowns thrown to start a season without throwing an interception (some guy named Milt Plum did it back in 1960) and only four behind Peyton Manning’s record of 20, accomplished last season.

But while Foles’ numbers have been eye-popping, Eagles fans still have their doubts as to whether he is the answer and the future at quarterback.  It’s almost as if we are waiting for the day when he comes crashing back to earth and has a serious of awful games similar to the Cowboys game at home.

Why is it that in “Foles we do NOT trust”?  Here are my five theories:

1. Michael Vick dazzled us for 11 games in 2010 until he came back down to earth for good.

2.  Donovan McNabb, while the best quarterback in modern Eagles history, generally fell short in conference championships and his one Super Bowl appearance.

3.  Bobby Hoying had three gangbuster games to start his NFL career in 1997 before he became just an “average Joe” and disappeared into the crowd of working stiffs.

4.  Randall Cunningham was a human highlight reel, but looked like Clark Kent in the playoffs, going 1-4 during his time with the Eagles.

5. Ron Jaworski, while a solid NFL quarterback with the Birds, chose Super Bowl XV against the Raiders to have one of his worst games, much to the delight of Raiders linebacker Rod Martin.

The quarterback in Philadelphia is like the woman whom you get a great vibe from when you’re being aloof.  But start showing interest in her and boom…you’ve got no shot.

So perhaps that’s it…perhaps, as Eagles fans, we find it hard to trust, to BELIEVE, that maybe, just maybe, Nick Foles is not just another quarterback riding the magic chariot before the stroke of midnight arrives, and he turns into a pumpkin (a.k.a clipboard holding backup).

Perhaps the thought of having a mid to late round draft pick who becomes the next Russell Wilson or even the next (gulp) Tom Brady is something that we feel is never meant to happen in Philadelphia?  Perhaps it’s our recent sports history that creates a lack of confidence in our teams?

We are usually the ones that give up on talent in error or can’t seem to get the lucky lottery pick.  There’s Nic Vucevic’s success with the Orlando Magic, the inability of the Flyers to draft Patrick Kane, or giving up on young players such as JVR, Jeff Carter or Mike Richards (in hindsight too early).  Surely, if anyone can screw it up, it’s our “four for four”( to borrow an Anthony Gargano phrase) sports teams right??

If only the Eagles had chosen to go 4-12 in 2011 instead of 2012, maybe we would have acquired Andrew Luck or RG3.  And if only the Phillies had never traded a guy named Ryne Sandberg…

Being sandwiched between New York and DC, we as Philadelphians already have an inferiority complex.  But add to that only one championship in a span of thirty years, while the New Englanders and their clam “chowda” have celebrated eight just in this decade doesn’t help matters any.

But maybe this time will be different.  Just as the curse of Billy Penn was broken in 2008 because of a six-week magic carpet ride by the Fightin’ Phils, perhaps Nick Foles will turn out to be a real “franchise” quarterback, and not just a quarterback who advertises for a franchise on Broad Street but can’t bring a parade down it.

But first things first, there is still the matter of the “elephant in the room” known as the Eagles losing streak at home, which must be overcome.

The Redskins come into Lincoln Financial Field this weekend at 3-6, which was exactly their record last year at this point before they ran off seven straight victories and won the NFC East (ironically, they started that streak by beating the Eagles at home).  Robert Griffin (RG3) is healthier than he was in the Monday night opener, but the Eagles defense is also an improved bunch from that first game as well.

If the Eagles are to make a run at the NFC East, the home losing streak has to end this week.   And it will – Birds finally prevail at home, 27-20, and Eagles chants once again prevail on the Broad Street line heading home…

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Niners at Saints  4:25 PM FOX – The Niners laid an egg last week at home against the upstart Carolina Panthers and must now travel to the Big Easy, where this game will be anything but.  The good news?   Po-Boy sandwiches and Hurricanes to wash them down are in walking distance…

Chiefs at Broncos  8:30 PM NBC – “Whoa Nelly…this one’s gonna be a dandy” (as former ABC college football announcer Keith Jackson used to say) as this game features two teams with a combined record of 17-1.  But while the Chiefs, at 9-0, are the only remaining undefeated team left, truth is, they haven’t beaten a single team with a winning record.   This game will be a good benchmark for “Big Red” and his squad, not only because of the quality of the opponent, but because of 80,000 screaming Broncos fans in the light air of Mile High.

Patriots at Panthers  8:40 PM  ESPN – What looked like a “dud” a few weeks back is now a Monday night marquee matchup, featuring the Panthers defense against a potent Patriots offense.  Anyone know the over/under on compliments that Jon Gruden will throw out to both teams?

The Last Word – They needed to go shopping for a monster at the plate and a cheetah on the basepaths.  Instead, the Phils brought home an aging Byrd???

 

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #4: Eagles at Broncos

Last Thursday, a guy was talking to an attractive woman in a bar, and she was giving him every hint that she would gladly give him her number, and he never took the bait.

Did this really happen?  No (at least not last Thursday), but it’s the best analogy I could use to describe last week’s Eagles – Chiefs game, which resulted in a 26-16 Eagles loss, leaving the Birds at 1-2 on the young season.

The Chiefs were basically GIVING the Eagles the game, but the Birds just wouldn’t take the bait.  Early on, Kansas City couldn’t move the ball on offense, and the Eagles were moving it against a team with an above average defense.  Yet the Birds would constantly shoot themselves in the foot, be it a bad pass, center snaps hitting players’ body parts, or the inability to make a fair catch on a punt.

During the 1st two weeks of the season, it looked like Michael Vick had donned a red cape to play the role of Superman, but he was much more like Clark Kent against the Chiefs, as his ability to make accurate decisions was greatly diminished due to the unrelenting Chiefs pass rush and some bad decisions on his part.

Add to that the pomp and circumstance at halftime, when, instead of the fans having to wait in long lines in the stadium concourse for food, they were treated to a helping of extra value meal #5 – One D-Mac, a side order of pretentiousness, and one large ego…make that super-sized.

I have no argument that Donovan McNabb’s number should be retired – McNabb was the greatest quarterback in Eagles history in my opinion.  But after his “rousing” halftime speech when he was basically preaching to the crowd about how “#5 loves you”, I am now lobbying to change Whitney Houston’s 1992 hit song “I Will Always Love You” to “5 Will Always Love you”, (as mentioned by McNabb in the 3rd person, which was strange in itself).

At least for Donovan’s sake, he had Brian Dawkins as the MC, who is easily the most revered Eagle in modern history, and his presence helped to mask any boos that may have rained down from the crowd when McNabb was introduced.

As for the Birds, they now head to Denver, where Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will be looking to zip passes past them in the thin, light air of Colorado without much interference.  The difficult job of covering Manning’s receivers will fall on the shoulders of the Eagles secondary and much-maligned safety Nate Allen, who couldn’t cover a hoagie tray with saran wrap.

Having said that, I don’t think it will be a blowout the way many are predicting.  The Eagles have played two straight sloppy games and still had the chance to win both in the 4th quarter.  And while the Broncos may be a superior opponent than both the Chargers and the Chiefs, their defense is very suspect.

The Eagles will put points on the board against the Denver defense, their defensive line will put enough pressure on Manning to mask the deficiencies of the secondary, and with ten days to prepare, they will SHOCK THE WORLD!   Birds win 37-34 in a nail-biter.

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Seahawks at Texans  1:00 PM FOX – If this game was played between utilities, it would be a clash of “gasoline against green energy”.  A possible Superbowl preview?

Bears at Lions  1:00 PM FOX – A showdown of two teams in the NFC “Snowbelt” division…pre-snowfall that is.

Jets at Titans  4:05 PM CBS – Hard to fathom that one of these teams will be 3-1 as of Sunday night, barring the ever popular overtime tie.

Dolphins at Saints  8:40 PM ESPN (Mon) – A showdown of two 3-0 teams as South Beach invades the French Quarter.

The Last Word – Speaking of Miami, am I the only person who thinks of “Miami Vice” (the TV show, not the movie) whenever a Phil Collins song from the ’80’s comes on?

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #3 2013: Eagles vs Chiefs

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #3 2013:  Eagles vs Chiefs

The Honeymoon is Officially Over….

Chip Kelly and the Eagles fans were on a week-long getaway to a remote resort island which included sun and fun, a plethora of activities, dinner and dancing in the evening, and romance at night.  Then, after returning home, Chip forgot to clean the dirty dishes left in the kitchen sink overnight, and chaos ensued.

Talk of a long and joyful union turned to frustration on a sun-soaked Sunday afternoon, as the Birds lost in the closing seconds, 33-30.

While the offense ran up and down the field, scoring on six drives, their three field goals that couldn’t be converted to touchdowns eventually sealed their fate due to a porous defense that couldn’t stop the Chargers for most of the day.

In Week #1, the Redskins began to mount a comeback but eventually ran out of time.  The Chargers, showing no signs of rust, ran roughshot up and down the field from the 1st quarter, as if there were only plastic tackle dummies standing in the secondary.

The good news is that the Eagles won’t have to let this loss linger in their minds for long, as the Chiefs come into town for a Thursday night affair.  The bad news is that there might not be enough time to figure out exactly what went wrong.

Not only will Thursday’s game feature the return of former coach Andy Reid, but also a ceremony to retire former quarterback Donovan McNabb’s number, which will no doubt add some intrigue to Reid’s return.

When Terrell Owens returned to Philadelphia as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, the slogan was “Get your popcorn ready”.   So perhaps this week’s slogan should be “Get your cheeseburgers ready”?

When Andy Reid was the head coach in Philadelphia, he never hid his affinity for an all beef patty on a bun, invoking memories of Wimpy from the Popeye cartoon.  And while the Birds had a great run for most of their fourteen years with Reid at the helm, whenever it came to the NFC championship, it seemed that the opponent was eating Popeye’s spinach to bypass the Eagles on the way to the Super Bowl.

And while Donovan was one of the greatest quarterbacks in Eagles history, perhaps it was the “special sauce, lettuce, cheese” that caused him to get sick during the two-minute drive in the Super Bowl, which seemed more like a five-hour drive to Boston in rush hour traffic.  Either way, those two will forever be joined at the hip, as Reid drafted McNabb and both enjoyed success together during their early years in Philadelphia.

As for the game itself, the Chiefs come in at 2-0 and are much improved from their 2-14 season of a year ago.  The Eagles have an offense that is capable of winning the Super Bowl, but a defense that is capable of going 0-16.  With only four days to prepare, the Birds will score a lot of points but will fall short, losing 37-34 to “Big Red”.  Andy Reid heads back to KC with his team at 3-0 and celebrates by enjoying some Kansas City barbecue.

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Packers at Bengals  1:00 PM FOX – The Cheeseheads invade the Queen City in a intra-conference matchup.

Texans at Ravens 1:00 PM CBS – The Ravens probably won’t repeat as Super Bowl champions, but at least the number of statements made by a Ravens player that make absolutely no sense will decrease significantly now that Ray Lewis has retired.

Falcons at Dolphins 4:05 PM FOX – Buckhead vs South Beach.  Miami is usually a favorite hotspot for fans of the road team, but not sure if that applies to Atlanta, where Georgia Tech and any SEC team is more popular than the Falcons.

Colts at Niners  4:25 PM CBS – The coach of the 49ers plays against the team that he almost guided to the Super Bowl as a quarterback.

The Last Word:  Chris Berman of ESPN, who seems to have a “man crush” on Andy Reid, went out of his way last Sunday to mention that Chip Kelly should thank Reid for all of the playmakers he has on offense.  Berman conveniently forgot to mention that Kelly has no playmakers on defense due to a series of bad drafts when Reid was the coach of the Eagles.