• An Uphill Climb

    Ever since the Philadelphia Eagles’ new backup quarterback innocently uttered a two-word phrase in admiration of his new teammates, Andy Reid’s revamped club has had a target on its collective backs. But now that we’re halfway through the season, the Birds’ dream of getting to the Super Bowl is getting harder with each passing week. And even though there are 8 games to go, the Eagles may have already dug themselves too large of a hole.

    At 3-5 and tied for last place in the division, Reid’s team is already 3 games behind the surging New York Giants, who have already defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia this season. And as if that wasn’t a big enough mountain to climb, the Birds are also 2 games behind teams like the Bears and the Falcons, who find themselves in their own respective division dogfights but both defeated the Eagles this season.

    Now stranger things have happened and we’ve seen teams go on 8-game winning streaks in the past, which may or may not be a necessity for Philadelphia to claim a playoff spot. And while the Giants sit at 6-2, this was a team that was 5-0 in ’09 and wound up 8-8 and out of the playoffs. A 7-1 finish by Philadelphia would put them at 10-6 and as the Giants and Buccaneers both found out last season, that wasn’t good enough to get them an engraved invite to the postseason party (although it was good enough for Reid and company to grab the NFC East a year ago).

    Still the real math for the Birds lies in how well they are or are not playing, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Although the Eagles have few problems rushing the passer (with all 22 sacks coming from the defensive line), Juan Castillo’s defense is giving up 124.0 yards per game on the ground. A team that gave up a disappointing 377 points and 43 offensive touchdowns last season is right on pace to do that again considering Reid’s club has allowed 182 points and 21 offensive TDs in 8 games. And a closer look at that former total shows that basically one-third of those points (60) have come in the fourth quarter. Add in the fact this club has committed 19 turnovers and it’s little wonder they’ve disappointed to date.
    So can the Eagles truly dig themselves out of this midseason hole? While only time will tell, time is also running out.

    Comments 30 Comments
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      10-6 is probably the minimum to either win the East or get a wild card spot. I just can't see the Eagles going 7-1 against their schedule. They have games against the Patriots, Giants and Jets and a rematch with an angry Cowboys team in Dallas.
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      The loss to the Giants was pretty much a catastrophe for this team. After watching them play an undisciplined game against the Bills, I was surprised to see them win 2 in a row. The beatdown of the Cowboys seemed to indicate that they were finally playing up to their potential.

      If they miss the playoffs, I think the front office needs to take a long hard look at what they've put together.
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      There has been a lot of talk about team chemistry on the Eagles but I haven't seen anything about chemistry among the coaches. How did the coaches on defense react to having the OL coach promoted over them to be defensive coordinator?
    1. Amy's Avatar
      I think what I said in August is even more true now: This year is a year where this Eagles' team meshes. Next year they make the Superbowl.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Eagles are done.

      I said similar to Amy before the season. Too many new pieces brought in before the season started, and not enough time to fit them all together. This team lacks chemistry and cohesion.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      They need help at key positions before they're ready to make a Super Bowl run.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      This Eagles team is crazy. I do notice that the media masses have said lil about how this team hasn't really been the same since McNabb left. I know it certainly wasn't perfect with him but it felt more solid and had a better identity. I think there is some growing pains and learning that has to take place in order for them to make themselves champions. Some teams can make the in season kick up like the 2007 Giants to be a better team or they will fall on their face and fail miserably and probably get their coach fired. I've been an Eagles Fan since 2003 and I HATE to see them not make the Super Bowl since 2005 and that trip was a loss [and Cris' last game on FOX and last Super Bowl called until Feb. 2012 on NBC]. Now's the time; they can't go on like this for another offseason, regular season and time with Andy Reid. He's got a lot at stake. Committing 19 turnovers is terrible! That's always going to show up when losses are strung together. Very unchampionship like.
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
      I think what I said in August is even more true now: This year is a year where this Eagles' team meshes. Next year they make the Superbowl.
      That assumes that there will not be wholesale changes after this year. At the start of the year I would have agreeed with you as I thought the Eagles would make the playoffs this year (and lose) and make a serious run at it next year. After this year's implosion(so far), I'm not so sure.
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      Aaaaaaaand Jackson got himself deactivated for the game...does the team pull it together and play hard without him or go full implosion today?
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Bill Cowher just had a great quote. "You build chemistry, you don't go out and acquire it." Didn't catch which team he was talking about, but it fits the eagles perfectly. Two many new pieces brought in and they aren't gelling.

      I saw that in Cincinnati far too often. Players brought in just to be brought in, but don't fit the philosophy of the team and don't fit in chemistry wise.
    1. Turk Schonert's Avatar
      I believe they've fallen off the mountain after today!
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      And the implosion continues!
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      They won't wait for the season to end to have a post mortem. Not in Philly. The scalpels are out and the dissection has begun. Vivisection, actually.
    1. RSConn5's Avatar
      Eagles are done. This is a 2 horse race in the NFC East now.
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      Oh my... The Eagles didn't just lose today - they got beat. Philadelphia papers are already calling for Reid's head.

      I made a crack about the game on twitter and got unfollowed by two Eagles' fans. I felt like Santa Clause.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      The Eagles are done. The schedule is too tough going forward and they laid too many eggs.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Speaking of heads... Andy Reid has to want to rip vy's head off for the way too early crowning of the "dream team" !!!! Thanks a lot vince!!
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by hobbes27 View Post
      The Eagles are done. The schedule is too tough going forward and they laid too many eggs.
      Saying they're done is a total understatement. They can run the table and probably not have a very good shot at getting a wild card berth at this point!
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I'm trying to contribute to this post, but every time I try and think of something, I just start laughing. The best part is, when VY alluded to the term "dream team", I'm sure he was including himself. What kind of warped sense of self worth does that guy have? I will say that his handoff from the shotgun formation to Lesean McCoy was breathtaking. It clearly wasn't his fault the play didn't result in a first down, unless you take into account the passing abilities of a QB who makes Tim Tebow look like Aaron Rodgers.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      This team clearly just randomly added too many parts in the offseason without thoughts of how they actually fit in the team.