Tag Archives: Giants

BYE Week Blues – EaglesFanCast 139

The annual BYE Week show is upon us, and for the sixth year in a row we are joined by JasonB of Bleeding Green Nation!

What we discussed:

  • Is Andy Reid gone after this season no matter the Eagles season result?
  • Only Jim Johnson should ever have run Jim Johnson’s Defense
  • New Defensive Coordinator, Todd Bowles possibly just needs to tweak the scheme to make a big difference
  • Andy Reid is responsible for every player on this team at this point in his tenure
  • We review the rest of the games for the season, including the upcoming Atlanta Falcons game this week at The Linc
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[audio:http://traffic.libsyn.com/eaglesfancast/139_EFC-Oct_23_2012.mp3 | titles=Episode 139 – BYE Week Blues | Artists=EaglesFanCast]

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Saying Thank You To A Legend

Brian Dawkins

Legend (noun) “One that inspires legends or achieves legendary fame”

The word “legend” is thrown about all too often. In fact, that last sentence is too.  Who, though, would dare argue that Brian Dawkins is not worthy of the title?

I talked episode 135 about why Brian Dawkins is so special to me as an Eagle and as a human being. The way he gave absolutely everything on every single down would have been enough for most players, but Dawk gave more than that. He gave leadership, inspiration, fight and a lot of heart. If the fate of the world had rested on Brian Dawkins’ shoulders each week during his career, he wouldn’t have been able to play any harder. That’s the greatest compliment I could ever offer him.

Lots of people have shared their thoughts on Brian’s greatness, most of them far more qualified than I am. Old team mates, coaches and members of the media have all heaped praise on our eternal #20 and there’s nothing I can add to that. What I would like to do, however, is share my experience from inside the Linc for those who were not privileged enough to be there.

Walking around central Philadelphia during the morning, I was greeted with shouts of “Go Birds!”, “BDawk!” and many others. But then, I was wearing a Brian Dawkins jersey and it was his day. When I arrived at the tailgate, the party was already in full swing. Eagles fans were out in force and the threatened rain was nowhere to be seen. There were a few Giants fans about, but they were very heavily outnumbered as you’d expect. Chuck and I were joined by Eagles Girl and the time flew by. After cheesesteaks and beers, it was time to head to the stadium.

As we entered the Linc, we were handed posters of Brian as Weapon X. The challenge was to keep them in perfect condition over the next few hours and Chuck did a great job with a little assistance from my jacket! We found our seats and the atmosphere really started to build. The Giants ran onto the field to a chorus of boos and then it was the turn of the Eagles.

The Offensive starters were announced one by one, before the screen flashed up images of Brian and Weapon X. I nudged Chuck and said, “he’s going to exit the tunnel”, scarcely able to believe that I could be so lucky to see it live. I’m not sure Chuck believed it either as all he could say was, “I hope so.” I had seen Brian “acting the fool” plenty of times on TV, but never at the Linc. We waited anxiously for the video on the huge screens to finish and then it was Brian’s moment. And mine. And every other Eagles fan.

It’s difficult to put that moment into words. Right there was my favorite Eagle, my hero, bounding onto the field at the Linc for the final time and the crowd went nuts, I mean NUTS. Every Eagles fan was standing, applauding, cheering, thanking Brian from the bottom of their hearts. As I looked around, a little embarrassed that I had a tear rolling down my cheek, I saw that I was far from alone. Even as I write these words I feel very emotional, such was the power of that moment.

We reached half-time and the players left the field. Just as we were about to discuss the first half, all of the lights in the stadium went out and the crowd roared. The video screens showed a tribute to Brian as various laser messages flashed across the field; “#20”, “Weapon X”, “determination”, “heart” and many more. Fireworks on the field erupted into the sky and then Merrill Reese introduced the man of the moment.

“HALLELUJAH!”, exclaimed Brian as the crowd pumped up the volume. He thanked a number of people, Jim Johnson’s name receiving the biggest cheer of course. Then came something even more memorable, even more emotional. Brian asked if the fans would do him a favor; could we all sing the Eagles Fight Song together one last time? While “Fly Eagles Fly” was being sung by 60,000+ Eagles fans, Brian pumped his fist in the air and soaked up all the energy. He was excited, he was pumped, he could have played the second half! He thanked us, but really it was us thanking him.

I was truly honored to have been at the Linc for this very special game. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I loved every second of it. After the game, we headed to a bar near the Linc and partied like it was 1999! After a late night cheesesteak, I arrived back at my hotel around 4am. Could I sleep? No way! If I was still on such a high, I can’t even imagine how Brian felt.

Oh and we beat the Giants!

Cheers from Philly and GO BIRDS!

Image courtesy of Steve Brown

Giant Killers – EaglesFanCast 136

In an emotional and amazing game, the Philadelphia Eagles beat NFC East rivals New York Giants 19-17 in the final minutes of the game.  This leaves the Eagles at 3-1 on the early season, and once again alone at the top of the Division.  The game ended in heart-stopping fashion as Andy Reid tried to ice Giants’ kicker Lawrence Tynes by calling a timeout a split second before the ball was snapped… yet the ball went wide left.  With the entire stadium now watching a second 54-yard attempt, Tynes kicks it away only to drop it short, and handing the Eagles their third win on the year.  Part of what made this game special was beloved former Safety Brian Dawkins was there as the Eagles retired his number, and had a special halftime ceremony for BDawk.  He was an amazing player, always put his heart in every play on that field, and was loved by all Eagles fans.  Guest-hosting this week was Emoney, of Philly Sports Cast fame, and also Steve Brown who stops in to talk about his week-long trip to Philly and his experience at the game.

What we discussed:

  • Eagles win in dramatic fashion at Lincoln Financial Field
  • Offensive play calling completely balanced
  • Brian Dawkins number retirement and amazing halftime tribute
  • The Eagles going 3-1 at this point is a very good thing, and allows for even better things moving forward
  • Special teams coverage was horrible
  • No turnovers!
  • Andy Reid icing the Giants kicker – probably will never be called again
  • Steve Brown from the UK also joined us and talks about his Philly adventures this week

Links:

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Email: fans [at] EaglesFanCast.net

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[audio:http://traffic.libsyn.com/eaglesfancast/136_EFC-Oct_2_2012.mp3 | titles=Episode 136 – Giant Killers | Artists=EaglesFanCast]

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Messed Up – EaglesFanCast 135

The Philadelphia Eagles fall apart, mostly on the Offensive side of the ball this week, and lose to the Arizona Cardinals, 27-6 on the road.  Many things went wrong, and we pretty much blame quarterback Michael Vick, the Offensive Line, Coach Andy Reid and Coach Marty Mornhinweg.  Alas, the Eagles are now 2-1 on the season, and if they fix the issues plaguing them now, are on a solid track moving forward on the season.  Speaking of moving forward, rival New York Giants drive down the Turnpike and show up at Lincoln Financial Field for some Sunday evening festivities.  The Eagles crowd will surely be there to welcome them with open arms, and mouths.  Also at the game Sunday night will be a tribute to one of the greatest Eagles, Brian Dawkins.  His number will also be retired in a much-deserved ceremony.

What we discussed:

  • Eagles lose to the Arizona Cardinals in embarrassing fashion
  • Michael Vick is again under attack and on the turf often, getting almost no protection from his Offensive line
  • The New York Giants come to down in a rivalry showdown on prime time television
  • Eagles great Brian Dawkins will receive a tribute and the Eagles will retire his number
  • The NFL’s replacement referees are thankfully gone, and the regular refs are back after the dispute with their union is finally settled

Voicemail Line: 1 (856) 335-3675

Email: fans [at] EaglesFanCast.net

Twitter: @EaglesFanCast

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[audio:http://traffic.libsyn.com/eaglesfancast/135_EFC-Sep_28_2012.mp3 | titles=Episode 135 – Messed Up | Artists=EaglesFanCast]

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Back To Eagles Football

Ah, the smell of burgers on the grill and the sight of leaves changing colors. The familiar chant of E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLESSSS rising out of the Linc is about to deafen opposing teams again. Yes, people. It is September once more, and football season is finally here.

As we get prepared for another season filled with hopes of a Super Bowl for our Birds, it’s easy to look past all of the transformation this team has undergone over the past couple of years. It seems crazy now to think that Brian Westbrook, the mainstay of Eagles teams over the past decade is now RETIRING.

However, one man who has been here since 1999, and hasn’t changed (ok maybe his weight has) is Andy Reid, who will be entering his 14th season. In what will be perhaps his most pressure-filled season as Head Coach, Reid has already dealt with the pain of burying his son and the looming comments from owner Jeffrey Lurie that anything less than “substantially better than 8-8” will most likely result in his firing.

The “Dream Team” fiasco from last year, combined with the turbulent offseason the Eagles have endured hasn’t seemed to affect analysts, many of whom are predicting a Super Bowl run for these Eagles.

I hate to be a downer, but my opinion was last year and still is this year that the Eagles, while surely talented, are not a Super Bowl caliber team.

Blasphemy, you say?

Or have WE, as fans, overlooked the key deficiencies of this team? Lets explore together, shall we?

First of all, lets look at passing and third down conversions. The Eagles were 9th in passing last season, but the only team in the top ten who completed less than 61% of their passes (59.6%).  They converted on third down 41.5% of the time, good enough for 9th in the league in that stat as well. I look for both of these numbers to remain around the same as last year, UNLESS Michael Vick suffers an injury.

The bottom-line with passing numbers? Keep Vick healthy, and the Eagles are unlikely to have as many turnovers as last season, and they won’t have to play a rookie backup quarterback who, while impressive in the preseason, probably won’t be able to win but maybe two of the four or five starts he might have to make if Vick gets sidelined.

The running game is the biggest area I expect the Eagles to decline in this year. Although I love Shady McCoy’s talents as a runner and receiver, the loss of Jason Peters will become very apparent early in the season. They should drop from 6th in the league to somewhere around 10th adding in Vick’s running ability. That may seem like an insignificant drop, but I believe that the ability of the receivers to stretch the field is going to be predicated on play action passing, which Andy Reid is quite fond of. Bottom-line? The inconsistency of the running game (and of calling running plays) will show up this year again and be an Achilles heel of the team.

The running, passing, and receiving game all go hand-in-hand with offensive line play, which is the other area I expect a lot of struggle this season. The lack of Jason Peters on the left side not only closes huge running lanes, but forces the Eagles to use young players at other positions, and although I am quite a fan of Jason Kelce’s beard, he (to me) is too small to be a center. This group will have great games and horrible games this season.

The ONE area that this team is going to improve a lot on is Defense. Not necessarily an improvement in talent (outside of Demeco Ryans) but in cohesiveness and in maturity. After a year of learning Juan Castillo’s system, they will still be undersized and a little slow in the middle, but hopefully won’t make as many bonehead miscues as last season, and should finish around the same spot in total defense, or at least in the top ten.

Overall, expectations are very high for this team. Are they merited? Absolutely. This is clearly the most talented roster in the NFL. However, I don’t believe they will win a Super Bowl.

Call me a typical negative Eagles fan, or call me crazy.

Whatever the case may be, I see them going 13-3, splitting with the Giants and losing to Pittsburgh and New Orleans. I see them getting to the Super Bowl, but sadly I think the season will end with another Super Bowl loss to Tom Brady and the Patriots.

I THINK that is what will happen. But who am I, and what do I REALLY know? Not a whole lot more than any other passionate fan. I’m hoping that this is the year. Only God knows what will happen. But not knowing is all the fun right? It’s a new season, and we are blessed to be fans of the greatest team playing the greatest game in the world.

So sit back, have a beer, and relax. Football is back.