Thursday, July 31, 2008

32 Teams in 30-Some Days - Philadelphia Eagles

First of all, before we delve into the Iggles chances this year - I'd like to mention tonight's Edmonton/B.C. game. Yes that's right, the CFL. If you were watching it you probably saw the sequence of plays in question.

I'm talking about the vicious hit that Eskimo receiver Kamau Peterson took in the 3rd quarter. He came across the middle, took a wallop in the mouth, hung onto the ball, popped up and proceeded to reveal Jason Tucker's number 83 under his jersey. It was absolutely electric. The next play from scrimmage was an Edmonton touchdown pass.

The Eskimo's were dead in the water before that Peterson catch. There hasn't been such an obvious momentum-changer since Stalingrad in the winter of '43.

That's one of the things I love most about sports - you just never know when one of those moments is going to come along that just totally turns a game on its head. And it was a great thing to see tonight.

But I digress...


If you choose to you can live your life alone
Some people choose the city
Some others choose the good old family home
I like living easy without family ties
Till the whippoorwill of freedom zapped me
Right between the eyes

Now, I'm not entirely certain what a whippoorwill is (I think it's a high-powered outboard boat motor of some kind), but I'm pretty sure I don't want it zapping me with anything - especially between the eyes. But that's really neither here nor there, as this song really has nothing to do with the Eagles - other than it has Philadelphia in the title. And right now I'm ok with that.

As for things that actually do pertain to the Eagles - I must say I'm pretty intrigued by this team. I willingly admit that I have not looked at the Eagles schedule (it is literally on the other side of my living room, can you blame me?) - but I think they have the potential to be sneaky-good this season. I think they'll catch some teams by surprise.

Donovan McNabb appears to be fully healthy again for the first time in forever two seasons. Brian Westbrook is always one of the most explosive and versatile players on the football field. And the Eagles added human-greased-lightning DeSean Jackson in the draft. I think Jackson weighs less than Mary-Kate Olsen, so he won't be an every down receiver - but he also has the potential to terrify opposing teams on punt returns. I've heard that he runs so fast he can almost achieve lift-off.*

*May not actually be true.

On defence, the Eagles should again be solid - as they generally have been in recent years. The additions of Asante Samuel and Chris Clemons will just make them that much better. I always like watching the Eagles defence because they blitz more than the Germans in '40 and '41 (if you're scoring at home, that's a solid two WWII references so far).

The Verdict
The Eagles absolutely have all the tools to compete in the NFC - the big question for them is going to be health. While not ancient, their offensive is aging - and bodies tend to break down much easier when that happens. But it's Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook Philly should be worried about. If either of those two go down for extended periods the Eagles are finished. I don't think McNabb has finished a season since Doogie Howser was still in the closet - actually that wasn't that long ago, but it's late and I was struggling for a reference. Likewise, Westbrook seems to get nicked up every season but so far has been lucky avoiding major injuries. The Eagles will need a clean bill of health to compete - but if healthy they have the potential to compete for a playoff spot.


Anonymous said...

I used to love the Eagles back in the day. 1980, the NFC championship year, the Super Bowl visit year. The days of Dick Vermeil, Ron Jaworski, Wilbert Montgomery, Harold Carmichael and John Spagnola. When the fans used to go nuts at the "Vet". Where the artificial turf was as hard as I-15.
Twas also the year the Editor of this blog was born. Wow, time flys. Anyway, my point is that from then til now, the Eagles seem to have become a bit soft even with the toughest fans in the NFL. They just seem somewhat satisfied to be mediocre and unable to deal with adversity or get to the next level.

Love the city, love the fans, fell out of love with the team.

Haven't looked at their schedule but I'm thinking .500 at best this year.


Trebor said...

I don't think they make the playoffs this year. If they do, it is because of westbrook. Mcnab ??? yeah he's good but this team will only go as far as westbrook and their def will take them.
Westbrook is amazing though he angered a lot of people last year....(took 3 posts before talking about fantasy) him sittig down was the smartest thing but still.... He's a top 3 running back and in points per reception leagues no one would laugh if you took him over AP or LT. However in the real world I don't like his chances this year with Dallas and Washington signing some key defense players, they will be able to focus on him and make the wr's (whoever they are) beat them and I don't see that happening enough to keep the Defenses honest.