Good News, Bad News

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have a very hard time when the Eagles lose. It doesn’t matter if they’re favored, underdogs, lose in a close well played game or achieve a “moral victory” because they hung in there with a team much better than them. I don’t care. I hate it when they lose. Some may find it unusual that one would waste even a second of despair on something that they would have absolutely no control over. Some understand precisely what I’m saying. To the former I will not even begin to explain nor apologize for any seemingly manic mood swings that may occur on any given Sunday or beyond. To the latter, I say that last Sundays fourth quarter collapse to the Giants did not leave the forefront of my mind until Friday afternoon. Just pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

With every situation there is good news and bad news. So, let’s start with the bad news.

The bad news: The Eagles lost a game to a division rival. They lost a game in which they completely dominated the contest for three quarters and somehow manged to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory.

The good news: They completely dominated the contest for three quarters. They managed to do this against a good Giants team and the defending division champions. If the Eagles are firing on all cylinders and they can dominate both the offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage, then they can beat anyone. Even with the utter collapse, it took a string of unlikely events and mental errors to doom them to defeat. If they have any character or discipline this won’t happen again.

The bad news: Coach Andy Reid has once again proved that he is a pathetic game day coach. Why he would vastly change his game plan so much is a mystery. The play calling in the fourth quarter was predictable and in some cases just plain stupid. The fourth down conversion attempt in the fourth quarter when they were at the Giants 38 yard line comes to mind. I like that fact that Reid went for it I just have to question the play that was called. Instead of sending Buckhalter up the middle against a box stuffed with eight Giants, why not try a quarterback sneak. A play that has worked for them in the past. Coach Reid deserves much of the credit for the Eagles success over the past seven years. But, he is still a lousy game day coach.

The good news: Reid is getting better and will hopefully learn from his mistakes. Maybe this should be classified as so-so news because after seven years of coaching, we’re still waiting.

The bad news: The Eagles do not have that killer instinct, When the opposing team is down they seem to be reluctant to put their foot on their opponents throats and crush whatever remaining life is left in them. That begins with head coach and starting quarterback.

The good news: If you put enough points and play solid defense, no one will care or notice your lack of killer instinct. Coach Reid and McNabb will never be those fiery leaders. Maybe another player can assume that roll but until then, let’s just hope that the Birds can dominate the way they have for the first seven quarters of this season AND hold on to a lead.

The bad news: Jevon Kearse is out for the season with a knee injury that occurred in an overtime that never should have happened.

The good news: There is no good news regarding this topic. A player who looked like he was on the verge of having a monster season gets taken down by a collision with a teammate and the entire defensive game plan has to be changed. It just makes me sick.

The bad news: Stuff like this always and only happen to the Eagles?

The good news: We’re all Eagle-centric. Living outside of Philadelphia I get a much different perspective on the Birds. Here in San Francisco, they’re just another team that is not the Niners or the Raiders. Believe me, both of those teams (especially the Raiders) have bigger problems than the Birds losing a game that they should have won. In addition, six players, across the league, had season ending injuries last Sunday. Every team has injuries and many teams are not having the season they predicted. That’s the way it is in the NFL and the Eagles are certainly not unique.

The bad news: This was a season altering loss.

The good news: This was not a season altering loss. The only season altering loss is the loss that officially eliminates you from the playoffs. I agree that this was a tough loss for the Eagles but to suggest, as many of the Philadelphia sports writers have, that this game could have long term detrimental repercussions and send the Eagles into a downward spiral in which they may never recover, is a notion that I flatly reject. Reid has been very successful in bouncing back after a loss and I believe that the Birds will do precisely that. And even if they do manage to put together a win streak they need to have that character and discipline when it really matters. The teams that win the Super Bowl are the teams that peak at the right time. Two perfect examples of this are the Colts and Steelers. The Colts won 13 games in a row to start the season and were bounced out of the playoffs by a Steelers team that went on a five game win streak and squeaked into the playoffs. Pittsburgh celebrated their fifth world championship last year. So, this game, as painful as it was will be quickly forgotten if the Birds win their next couple of games. It will only be remembered by the true die hards or nuts who write Eagles blogs and who will cite this loss to try to prove a whimsical or non-sensible point.

The Eagles are a six point favorite coming into the ‘Stick” to play the 49ers. As I mentioned earlier, the Eagles under Reid bounce back well after a loss. I am betting this week to win and cover against an improved San Francisco team but a team with a young quarterback who will have a lot of trouble with the Eagles defensive schemes. And, I’ll be there in Eagles regalia proudly representing the great fighting city of Philadelphia.

Go Birds!

Eric Written by: