The Eagles are a study in finding new lows. They supposedly had bottomed out already for 2011 on more than one occasion and then came Sunday against the downtrodden Cardinals. An Arizona team that is utterly incompetent on the road, and was featuring John Skleton at QB. Their main running threat, Beanie Wells was banged up, and if the Eagles could somehow contain Larry Fitzgerald–the game had the potential to turn into a laugher.
The laughter came, but mostly from Eagles fans who were probably afraid that if they didn’t laugh, they might start to cry. A lot of people had already given up on the season before Sunday, but that didn’t mean they expected to lose to Arizona. That’s different. Even the most pessimistic fan was probably thinking, “OK, beat Arizona then the Giants can perform the official burial this coming Sunday.” Not so fast. No 4th quarter lead is safe for the Eagles. In fact, the only way I’d be nervous against the Birds is if they didn’t jump out to an early lead. You don’t want to break the pattern.
The end result yesterday was a new low for Philadelphia teams in my lifetime. Not in terms of actual talent, results, or anything like that, but the Eagles have become the joke of the city. It’s been a quick journey. They’ve burned through all their goodwill, and if you thought things turned ugly in the stands on Sunday, wait for the last few home dates of the year. If the losses keep piling up, it’ll be a controlled mutiny, or at least I hope it will be controlled. Think about the plight of the Eagles season-ticket holder. They’ve seen one win in their last 8 trips down to the Linc. That’s a lot of days centered around football that end in disappointment.
Factor in the relentless and repetitive drone of Andy Reid and Co. after the losses and fans have to be wondering what they’re witnessing. Has a team ever imploded like this? It’s one thing to have a terrible owner. It’s one thing to be burdened by a small-market, to be stuck in a rebuilding phase, but the Eagles are supposed to have everything in place. Big Market. Plenty of money, plenty of talent, an owner we think(?) wants to win, and yet there’s nothing present in town among the fans other than a sense of doom. Might Andy Reid actually keep his job? How long will the fans be subjected to this particular spectacle.
I’m sure this has happened in other cities, but it’s one of those predicaments that you have to be right here to see. A national person doesn’t care, or hasn’t taken the yearly beating to the point where they have any perspective. Oh, the Eagles are having a down year? Who cares. I’d love to hear some other examples, but here in Philadelphia, at least this morning, it feels unprecedented. Sure, the Flyers haven’t won in 35 years, but it at least always feels like they’re trying something new. It’s wrong, it’s always the wrong personnel, but they’re not afraid to pull a trigger. The Phillies have been to unprecedented lows in terms of results, but that was with a miniscule payroll and incompetent leadership. Since they’ve changed personas, they’ve been successful. And, in the NBA you just have to wait around and hope to get one of 5 or 6 franchise players, so what difference does it make?
The Eagles though have hit this point where the difference between expectations and results has reached historic levels. Throw in no real accountability and a fan base who has finally had enough, and you’ve got perhaps the worst sports season I’ve seen in my lifetime. It feels but hyperbole, even as I type it, but I’m not sure that it is.
Quickly around the League:
1. Teams are getting exposed. Buffalo, Detroit, teams of this nature. The NFL season is a constant boiling down process. In a few weeks we’ll be convinced that only 4 teams can win the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the teams like Buffalo, Detroit, maybe Cincy and the like are forced to wonder what to do when they miss they playoffs and don’t have a top draft pick.
2. Are Denver fans happy they’ve won 2 straight? I mean, are they really? Tim Tebow is gonna set records. Stinky, smelly, putrid record that hopefully no one will ever attempt to break.
3. Why can’t the Jets figure out the Patriots offense? Or at least they can’t for 4 quarters. New England had been shackled by two straight opponents, but they’ve hung about 70 on the Jets this year. With the Jets’ defense, that doesn’t make a ton of sense. And, is this the year Mark Sanchez plays like himself in the playoffs? Assuming they make it…
4. Why can no one win in Seattle? Or, why can’t good teams win in Seattle? I feel like the Rams have a better shot at going in there than the Ravens do. The Eagles are going to be in a world of hurt for that Thursday game.
5. If you had to bet 1,000 dollars on the 49ers making the Super Bowl, what odds would you need? I’m still not comfortable saying the 49ers will even get out of the divisional round, yet there they were winning another game yesterday the way they win games. Would you rather have a stud defense or a stud QB? Anyway, SF is 6:1 right now to win the NFC. I wouldn’t go anywhere near that. How about 15:1?
Five Fantasy Mutt-Faced Dogs and/or Choke-Artists of the Week, Etc:
1. Baltimore D–How many people needed a RB this week, took a peek at Marshawn Lynch and said–No chance. Not against Baltimore. Well, anything is possible in Seattle. Beast Mode went Beast Mode.
2. Matt Stafford–What the bleep was that? Hey Stafford, are you going to be good, or are you going to be hurt/stink all the time? Time to make up your mind.
3. Ryan Torain–Is this his 2nd appearance? 3rd? Why can’t Shanny stop giving this stiff the ball? Personal, because I was dabbling in Roy Helu like a moron this week. Thanks for giving Torain 12 for 20 yds in the 1st half, Shanny. Great coaching.
4. Cam Newton–A million fantasy owners who thought Cam was going to carry them to glory are suddenly very, very nervous.
5. Shonn Greene–Just because Grenne should be on this list every week, and it’s been that way for two years now. Does anyone get started every week and do less?
Arbitrary, But Definitive Top-10
- Green Bay–Minnesota Should be A Pushover (jinx?)
- Houston–The Texans are the beasts of the AFC.
- San Francisco–Beating the Giants Don’t Impress Me None.
- Chicago–On Fire, much like their Soccer Team.
- Baltimore–As long as it isn’t the week after they play Pittsburgh.
- Pittsburgh–Can’t Get Rid of Them
- New Orleans–No Threat to Anyone, but Decent.
- New England–Tommy B Still Not Looking Fully in Sync
- Dallas–They Feel Better than NY Right Now.
- New York Giants–They Feel Worse than Dallas Right Now.
Ok, there’s your Football Monday. Discuss. It’s going to be a good week here. We’ve got the Presidents Cup. Dust off the Red, White and Blue. We’ve got the Self-Esteem Check tomorrow morning (someone went 5-0), we’ve got a mailbag (limited question space still available), and maybe if we’re lucky, we can get on Eagles fire some (all) of their coaches watch.