"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO, The Sports Network
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) --
How else would you describe the recent Philadelphia Eagles victory over the
less than talented Chicago Bears, one of the modern day parity patsies of the
NFC? They had lost five straight coming into the contest with the visitors
from the City of Brotherly Love and they were about to add to their dismal
It is kind and relatively benevolent to call someone with an absence of talent
a journeyman. Jim Miller at quarterback for the Bears makes Kerry Collins of
the Giants look like the reincarnation of John Unitas.
The Eagles are now 6-2, after a less than scintillating 19-13 win that, with
anyone else at the helm of the home team or a coach with intelligence on the
sidelines, would have been a victory for the shell of what was once referred
to as the Monsters of the Midway. With a straight face, Andy Reid, coach of
the visitors, referred to the contest just over as playing at the top level in
this league. I know that he had to be suppressing incredible laughter at that
|Andy Reid is in fourth season as head coach of the
Philadelphia had just beaten a team on whom the officials called nine of 14
penalties in the first half for 95 yards and it is important to bear in mind
(no pun intended) that a number of others were declined. There was more
yellow flying through the air in Champaign than in a John Wayne movie about
the war, any war.
It was wet and cold but that, to the best of my knowledge, represented the
conditions for both teams. Statistics can be so deceiving, especially when
they are converted into diaphanous and unrealistic descriptions of the team's
effort. For example, the Eagles have been statistically proclaimed as the
number two-ranked defense but whom have they played this year? Chicago's
offense, for example, recorded a minus two-yard third quarter while they
played as if they thought the object of the game was to accumulate the most
yards via the penalty route - in this case, a dozen for 121 yards. The Bears
gave the Eagles eight of their 23 first downs via this route.
Was their ineptitude due to and aggressive and super talented defensive unit?
No. They self destructed.
The NFL has lost it thanks to recent helmet crunching tackles from coast to
coast and it is not too difficult to figure out that either a secret memo or
middle of the night phone call went out from the Commissioner's offices
instructing the zebras that the flags were for more than blowing their noses
at this time of the year.
Now the Eagles have headed home to wait for the Indianapolis Colts. Some
schedule. And, all the while, from Pat's Steakhouse in South Philadelphia to
Chickie and Pete's on Roosevelt Boulevard in the Northeast, Eagles fans are
heralding this team as their Super Bowl hopefuls. Really?
The Eagles lost to Tennessee, 24-27, in their first game of the season. This
powerhouse is now 4-4 and a questionable battler for first place in the AFC
South. Then the anticipated annihilation of the Redskins, another 4-4
juggernaut that Steve Spurrier believes he can mold into a contender. Be
serious. In which lifetime? Enter Dallas, now 3-6 and certainly not the hated
Cowboys of the past few decades, or the talented ones. Along comes Houston, an
expansion team that is out of their league, and a team that Cincinnati -the
worst of the worst - has used to salvage some respectability.
At Jacksonville and another close loss for Donovan McNabb and friends. Maybe
it is the heat when they head south. The Jaguars are 3-5. The Bucs, at 7-2,
are a legitimate contender - finally - but their offense only appears when the
groundhog has seen his shadow and that did not happen during their visit to
Philadelphia. The Giants, with Jim Fassel as coach and Kerry Collins over
center, are as bad as a once dominating team in the NFC East can be. These two
are Winkin' and Blinkin' seeking Nod, which is what most fans do when watching
them. Another 4-4 opponent for the Birds.
|QB Donovan McNabb has 12 TDs and 5
INTs in eight games this season. |
So, who have they played and what is coming up, Indianapolis at 4-4, Arizona
at 4-4 as of this week? San Francisco out on the west coast and a resurgent
St. Louis back here might tell the story. But, no matter. After those two back
to back the Eagles settle into the groove again with Seattle, Washington,
Dallas and the NY Giants. This was a schedule made for a team anxious to get
to the playoffs.
They "bearly' won against Chicago and a better coach and QB combination would
have secured the victory, not to mention a team that had been taught to
understand that you lose when the laundry comes out as often as it did on this
rainy, dreary, cold day in Illinois. It's bad enough when the other team beats
you. It stinks when you beat yourself and have to contend with the referees
having flag tossing contests.
The Eagles will be in the playoffs, just might garner home field advantage
(which they must have to survive - it is their nature) and a Super Bowl berth
that is undeserved could be in the offing. But they have to get past Tampa Bay
again, or New Orleans, San Francisco or Green Bay. Maybe even St. Louis coming
up on the rail. Not easy.
Will anyone in Philadelphia that truly understands the game of professional
football readily admit that the Eagles are over-rated and just not as good as
the pundits have decreed? You gotta be kidding!