One of the most anticipated days in an Eagles fan’s year, is in April when the league reveals our favorite team’s schedule. Just like all Eagles fans do, we go down the list and mark off all the projected wins and losses based primarily on last season’s performance.
Then after a free agent signing or two, the draft and preseason, that win-loss total goes up or down depending how encouraged we are…or not. But what never ceases to amaze me, is how there are always a few national pundits, that seem to continually pick the Eagles to be in the Super Bowl. Granted the Eagles always seem to make a big splash during the off-season that gets everybody jacked up, but why is it that they never break through and win it all. And still some pick them to win out over teams that have proven they can win. Even though they have done nothing to deserve it.
The more I thinks about it, the more I’m convinced that the national media has had their pants charmed off them by Andy Reid. Just as grouchy and ornery as he is in a post game press conference after a loss to the local media, he’s just as affable and convivial when you hear him interviewed by a national outlet. They love him and his record and admonish those of us who point out his many flaws. I love those warnings of ..”be careful what you wish for”..if he’s no longer your head coach.
But I’ll only go back to the last 3 seasons, starting with the last of Donovan McNabb from ’09. That season they finished 11-5 culminating in back to back losses to the Cowboys, including McNabb’s ‘guitar hero’ entrance in the first- round of the playoffs. Now looking back on that season, all their losses were to teams that had winning records, except one. And that was a miserable 13-9 loss to the hapless Raiders in Oakland. They lost both regular season games to the Cowboys and loss to the Chargers and the Saints, who went on to win it all. My point here is that they lost to the teams that went to the playoffs (the good teams) and found a way to blow a game they shouldn’t against the Raiders. If they had won this game and one of the Cowboy games, they would’ve been 13-3 and had an easier path to the Super Bowl with a first-round bye.
Same type of scenario in ’10, two terrible losses to end the season to the Vikings and Cowboys, who both finished 6-10, further showed their inability to be an elite team. By the way, the also had bad losses to the Redskins and Titans, who also ended at 6-10. The Eagles were 10-6 that year and were on their way to a first-round bye until they flew into a wall against teams that were going nowhere.
And we all know what happened last year, with all the expectations and the ‘dream team’ comparisons. 8-8 with a lot of ugly losses and all they needed was one win against either the Cardinals or Seahawks and they would have made the tournament; then anything can happen. Just ask the Packers and Giants, but with this track record, the Eagles may not have the intestinal fortitude to pull that kind of run off.
I hear all the time from fans that say the Eagles play down to their opponents. But I see, that while they struggle more than they should against lesser teams, like Cleveland in week 1 and supposedly, Arizona last week, they don’t fair that well against the elite teams. Granted they played well vs the Ravens, our Eagles could very easily be 0-3, if it were not for a questionable pass interference call, that nullified a Jacoby Jones TD. As well as John Harbaugh channeling his inner-Andy by deciding to throw 46 times, instead of running Ray Rice, who was averaging over 6 ypc. And don’t forget Browns LB, L.J. Fort’s dropped interception the play before Michael Vick’s game-winning TD pass.
So, if the Eagles are to be taken seriously as a Super Bowl contender, they better show they’re worthy by playing up to expectations, starting Sunday night against the defending champion Giants.