When many sit back and reflect on their current situations in life, they oftentimes say to themselves “What a difference a year makes,” whether that be a good thing or a bad thing. In the Eagles’ case, it’s more like what a difference a month makes. Largely due to a busy personal schedule, and partially due to a lack of words or answers, it’s been a nearly a month since I posted on this site. My last post is a recap of the opening Monday Night game against the Redskins when hopes in Philadelphia were sky-high and it felt more like 2004 than 2012.
A month later, the Eagles have (to put it mildly) tumbled back down to earth. The Week 2 loss to San Diego was certainly a disappointment, but fans were able to move on because the offense looked just as good as it did Week 1. When Andy Reid and the Chiefs came to town Week 3, the Eagles’ offense was turnover-prone and nonexistent aside from a long LeSean McCoy touchdown run and a 61-yard run by Michael Vick. Then, with ten days to prepare for Peyton Manning and the near-unstoppable Denver Broncos, the Eagles hung in the game until the third quarter. Then, the bottom fell out in the blink of an eye and the Eagles were suddenly down by 39 and limping out of Denver at 1-3.
In the span of 11 days, the Eagles went from being 1-0 and the talk of the NFL to 1-3 and feeling like 2012 all over again. Since beating New York 19-17 on September 30 of last year to improve to 3-1, the Eagles have won just 2 of sixteen games. That’s right, 2-14 with 8 straight home losses. The fans are tired of the losing. While it was reasonable to expect the Chip Kelly regime to take time to build, the fans are just sick of losing, and rightfully so.
Like most situations, there is a light at the end of the tunnel here. Dallas leads the NFC East with a whopping record of 2-2. Behind the Eagles are the 1-3 Redskins and the 0-4 Giants. The Giants team that the Eagles face this Sunday is an utter mess. They can’t protect Eli Manning, they can’t run the football, and they can’t defend. All bets are off when the Eagles and Giants collide, however, as the two teams know each other so well. Also, the Eagles have already played their hardest part of the schedule. They just faced two unbeaten teams and could have beaten one if they didn’t turn the football over. They face two winless teams in their next two games and do not face another team that currently has a winning record until the Lions (3-1) on December 8.
So, what to expect Sunday? An interesting game, for sure. No Eagles-Giants game is boring, and this game should continue that trend with both teams fighting for their seasons. With their offensive firepower and lackluster defense, the Eagles find themselves in shootout after shootout. If they can pull out the road victory in New York and the Cowboys lose to Denver, the Eagles will tie for the lead in the NFC East.
The hardest part of the equation here is winning in New York. The Eagles need to take care of business and win for just the third time in the last seventeen games. Just typing that statistic makes me cringe. This may turn out to be nothing more than a rebuilding season for the team, but with the state of the division and the current offensive pieces in their prime, the Eagles could still make a run at the postseason. It would be fun for the fans, fun for the team, and a great start for this new era in Philadelphia.
The fans are tired of losing. The team has to be as well. Last week’s blowout loss in Denver was the perfect opportunity to completely forget about the previous game and completely focus on the New York Giants. It’s time to start winning games and get the lifeless feeling of 2012, one that’s lingered far too long into 2013, away from this team once and for all. With tempered expectations, I see the Eagles pulling out a win this Sunday. They can’t afford to wait any longer, it’s time to get the season back on track right now.
Eagles 34, Giants 23