As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #9: Eagles at Raiders

While I’m not at all in favor of the NFL’s desire to start a new franchise in London (sorry Brits), I am totally in favor of the NFL moving the Eagles remaining four home games to London, Mumbai, or even Guam for that matter.  Perhaps that’s what it will take to salvage the season.

What seemed like an anomaly has now grown into a “scarlet letter” of sorts for this franchise…ten straight losses at home, a feat not even accomplished during the lean years of the 60’s and early 70’s when this writer was not even part of the world population.   With each loss, the ire of the fans grows, as the Eagles approach the NFL record of fourteen straight losses at home.

On Sunday, the Eagles continued their offensive ineptitude, moving slower than an automobile trying to meander its way down the hairpin turns of San Francisco’s Lombard Street.   If you’re keeping score, the offense has scored exactly three points in two games, and even that was because of a gift DeMeco Ryans interception that gave the Birds the ball at the Cowboys 30 yard line.

The recent scoring drought not only has Eagles fans frustrated, but has prevented the faithful at the Linc from singing their fight song, “Fly Eagles Fly”, on a regular basis (after each touchdown).  Perhaps we need to follow Jacksonville’s lead (since they rarely score touchdowns either) and come up with a jingle for every first down like “Move those Chains! Move those Chains! Move those Chains, Whoo!”

Yes, that is the actual Jaguars song (whatever Jacksonville marketing guru came up with that should be fired), second only to their “We Are….Jaguars” chant.  No wonder they’re a losing franchise (personally, I’ll stick with my alma mater’s “We Are..Penn State” chant).

But going back to the Birds, what was once a promising situation at quarterback has now turned into a conundrum.  This past offseason, after fourteen seasons with Andy Reid at the helm, the Eagles decided on a “No Reid option”,  vying instead for Chip Kelly and his “read-option” offense.  But over the last two weeks, this so-called progressive offense has morphed into “read-optionless-injured”, with one QB hurt (Michael Vick), one recently concussed (Nick Foles), and one inexperienced (Matt Barkley).

Speaking of Barkley, while I give him a pass for not having much NFL experience, I don’t give him a pass for stating that he played “okay”.  One plays okay when the offense scores 14 or 17 points, not when you score zero points and you’re the quarterback for three quarters…OKAY???

So what happens when the Birds visit the “black hole” that is Oakland’s Almeda County Stadium this Sunday?  Of course, the Birds win with my man Nick Foles at quarterback.

That’s right…even after my whole diatribe above, the Eagles salvage the season and win this Sunday as long as Foles remains healthy enough to start.

Remember, you heard it here first peeps.  Of course, if I’m wrong, it could be a long flight back from the Bay Area for the Green Legion and its members.  At least there’s always Fisherman’s Wharf and some adult beverages from Napa Valley to  help dull the pain…

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

Bears at Packers  8:40 PM ESPN  (Mon) – This is the perfect Sunday to finally rake the leaves that have been building up in your yard, as there is only one marquee matchup on the docket this weekend, and that is not till Monday night.  The Bears started out 3-0 this season but have come back down to earth as of late (don’t they always?), losing three of their last four games.  The Packers, with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, are quietly leading the NFC “Snowbelt” division at 5-2.  My prediction – there will be frost on the cheese.

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #8: Giants at Eagles

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.