The following email came in to us yesterday by a listener. It is too long to read on our show, but it is such a good read that we absolutely wanted to share it with our listeners and readers. As Eric put it, “It is very thought-provoking and the positive spin on the situation is sorely needed right about now.” Very well put, and Tom, thank you for your feedback and taking the time to write this, we really appreciate it.
The Eagles had a bad game against the Giants. It was brutal to watch, and the Birds lost by 13. We know we always have tough Divisional games, often splitting the season with our NFC East opponents. (Owen) Schmitt happens.
In each of the other losses, we lost by 1, 4, and 7. Close Games.
Except Atlanta, the 3 teams we lost to have winning records; San Fran and Buffalo are both 4-1! Buffalo even took care of the perennial world-beaters, the New England Patriots (in which game, incidentally, the Bills also picked off Tom Brady 4 times).
It is not inconceivable to think that at the end of the year, Buffalo and the 49ers are making hay in the Playoffs, and everyone expects Atlanta to win their division (especially after watching Tampa get brutalised by the Niners this weekend). What if we look back and realise that not only did we start the season with a whole lot of new blood, and a truncated off-season in which to put them together – but that we also started the season against 4 out of 5 Playoff teams?
Then instead of doom and gloom, we had close games against real contenders.
After getting our brains blown out for most of Sunday’s game – the team visibly turned it around, and started turning it on. For the first time, I saw that determined spark – both offensively and defensively – and the Eagles clawed their way back, making critical stops and marching the ball downfield. It looked GOOD. There were some unbelievable blunders, to be sure (PARKER!!!!!!) – but we almost got it back.
Peel back the red mist of anger, and the bitter taste of another defeat – and there was some hope in the later stages of the game.
The rest of the season, we play a whole slate of teams that also have losing records at this time. Notable exceptions are the New England Patriots, and the teams in our own division: Washington and the Giants have winning records, Dallas is tied at 2-2. Everyone else that we play for the rest of the season has a losing record. Also, our Bye is in two weeks, and we almost never lose during that week.
Week 6 – Washington (3-1): I don’t know if Torrain or Hightower will be the problem, but I do know it WON’T be Rex Grossman. They sit at 3-1, but I don’t buy this team as a contender. I believe we put up too many points for their foot-slogging ground and pound to overcome. We’ll yield a 100-yard rusher, for sure – but as long as the penalties and turnovers get under control, they just can’t stop the Vick-Jackson-Maclin-McCoy-Harbor (!?!) show. WIN. 2-4
Week 7 – Bye: As I said, I can’t see a way we lose this week. I know we make a ton of mistakes, but still. Still 2-4.
Week 8 – Dallas (2-2): I had bruised ribs, and they hurt for almost 6 months. Romo’s got cracked ones that are poking through his lungs? Babin is going to eat his lunch. Andy Reid after a bye never loses. WIN. 3-4.
Week 9 – Chicago (2-3): Did you see the garbage Chicago is putting on the field? That Monday Night game in Detroit was HILARIOUS. Cutler… oh my god, scrambling for his life behind that high-school O-line of his. (Wait, sounds familiar…). Our QB is more of a Wizard than theirs – We’re going to sack him 14 times. Matt Forte vs our entire offense? Oh, and Bears? We’re not on Soldier Field THIS time. WIN. 4-4 (.500, baby!)
By this point, you’ll note that experience plus a bye week has got our team improving week by week, while those teams that were peaking from the get-go – Packers, Detroit, Pats – will start stumbling.
Week 10 – Arizona (1-4): ‘Nuff Said. You’re dead, Kev. Win. BIG. 5-4.
Week 11 – New York Giants (3-2): Angered by the early season loss, the Birds come back and embarrass the Ginas like we always do, splitting the season. WIN. 6-4.
Week 12 – New England Patriots (4-1): Tom Brady and Wes Welker are probably going to break our nice little winning streak here. There is hope, as they are coming to OUR house. Heartbreaker, LOSS. 6-5.
Week 13 – Seattle (2-3): Short week (Thursday game) after a hard game (Pats) and travelling 3000 miles west? Oi vey. Luckily… It’s the Suckhawks. WIN. 7-5.
Week 14 – Miami (0-4): Not only are they terrible, the Fins are even worse at home, and will be well on their way to winning the Suck For Luck sweepstakes. WIN. 8-5.
Week 15 – New York Jets (2-3): We welcome Rex’s big mouth into the Linc. Sanchez is terrible, and they at least have no good runners (Greene and Tomlinson). WIN. 9-5.
Week 16 – Dallas (2-2): Big game, Christmas Eve, in Texas. We usually split… so, LOSE. 9-6.
Week 17 – Washington (3-1): By this point, they’ll have benched Grossman for Beck, and switched back again – the team will have no confidence, a losing record, and will come into our house to be a punching bag. WIN. 10-6.
And that 10-6 record is going to be the best in the NFC East. And by that point, we’ll be peaking at exactly the right time.
Bring it on season, the Birds are ready.