It’s not yet midseason but the bye week provides an opportunity to take a look at the Eagles season thus far and consider what the next ten games may feature.
While the Eagles are at exactly .500 at 3-3, there is ominous feeling surrounding the team and the rest of the season. Why? Because no one is convinced that the many issues on offense that have plagued the Birds—that o-line, the fumbles, the play calling—have been corrected. While head coach Andy Reid chose to take a stand by firing defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, he has taken no action on the offensive side of the ball.
We desperately want to believe that the problems on Philadelphia’s offense will magically work themselves out. Magic may well be the only solution, as we’ve seen no evidence of any ability on the coaching staff to adequately address the errors that have afflicted the team thus far. Which is precisely why Reid seemingly has decided to stay the course.
What’s that that they say about the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing repeatedly yet expecting different results. It’s a quote that is often applied to the Philadelphia Eagles and specially Andy Reid for reasons precisely like this.
In early September I made a prediction for the Eagles 2012 season. Nothing outrageous, but an achievable goal: A 10-6 record for the season.
At 3-3, that means the Eagles need to go 7-3 for the remainder of the season in order to reach a record of 10-6. Can they do it?
The next test is the undefeated Atlanta Falcons at home. If the Birds don’t come out swinging this game they never will. The jobs of their coach and starting quarterback are on the line, and Reid’s perfect record out of the bye won’t hurt.
Philadelphia then takes to the national stage and heads to New Orleans to face the Saints on Monday Night Football. The Super Dome is a notoriously difficult place to play and after a very poor start, the Saints have some momentum and are heartened by the moral victory of having Jonathan Vilma back with the team.
Then we get into the thick of the NFC East battles. If the present is any indication of the remainder of the season, this may not be a year where a poor record can win the division, with the Giants currently standing strong with a 5-2 record. Dallas will come to town in Week 10, then the Eagles will head down the road in Week 11 to face an RGIII-led Redskins team for the first time.
Monday Night calls again in Week 12 as the Birds play Cam Newton in what so far has been a disappointing and frustrating season for the Panthers. In Week 13 Philadelphia gets even more prime time action as the Eagles faceoff with the Cowboys in the den of evil—Dallas– on Sunday Night Football.
With the end of the season in sight, the Eagles will face the Bucs in Tampa Bay in Week 14; back-to-back home games against the Bengals and Redskins, and in Week 17 finish it all off against the Giants.
To finish at 10-6, the Eagles can lose only three of their remaining games. If they can lose even fewer, fabulous. The good news is that, aside from the Falcons, none of the remaining Eagles opponents seem formidable. And the fact that Atlanta will play at the Linc lessens the worry.
The season will come down to the division games. I’m hoping that the Giants will do the opposite of what they did last year—start off strong and then trail off come the end of the season. But the Redskins are a surging team and are going to be more and more of a challenge for Philadelphia as RG3III gains more experience in the league. Dallas is an organization with a lot on the line if they have another disappointing year so expect a lot of fight from the Cowboys.
Whatever the record, we know that this year it’s about the postseason. Making it there and going deep. But first thing’s first: the Birds need the record and the standing to put them in a position to make a run.
As is said far too frequently when the Philadelphia Eagles are involved, there is an incredible level of talent on this roster. It’s all about how it’s put together. Time to see that FIGHT-FIGHT-FIGHT we know this team has to battle through and show what they’re truly made of.