You Can Be a Realist and Still Believe in the Eagles

PHOTO CREDIT: BILL LANG-USA TODAY SPORTS

Here’s an anecdote for you. I was meeting some friends for dinner last week at Stogie Joe’s on East Passyunk Avenue. I’m driving my car up and down the grid of neighboring streets for 30 minutes looking for a spot because I can parallel park as well as some of you in the comments section can read. Eventually, I drop my car at Broad and Morris. It was what, like 16 degrees? I get out of the car and there’s this guy standing on his front step smoking a cigarette in shorts and a t-shirt like it’s the middle of May. He’s on his phone and sounds completely defeated. “Foles. They’re fucked, man.” The universe set before me the perfect Philadelphia moment. The guy is everybody– he’s emblematic of the consternation sweeping the city. Twitter, sports talk radio, people in bars–there’s a ubiquitous belief that this team is done. There’s even data to prove it:

It’s funny. This is a city where people blindly believe in a basketball team that features one player made of glass, one who doesn’t even know what fucking hand he shoots with, and another who either has the most debilitating case of shoulder soreness known to man, or worse– developed the yips before he played in an NBA game. It’s also a city filled with impossibly optimistic hockey fans who ignore an obvious reality that the team, you know, isn’t good and hasn’t won anything in over 40 years. No matter.

“Dude, the orange and black are, like, unbeatable when Kate Smith and Lauren Hart team up. Gives me chills, bro.”

Yet here are the Eagles–at 13-3 with home field advantage throughout the playoffs–and there’s a moral certainty among many that they are completely and entirely fucked. Even the players are tired of hearing about it:

Does the Carson Wentz injury suck? Yes. Will winning in the postseason be easy? No, of course not. But what did you expect? Did you seriously think we were going to get to sit back, relax and watch as inferior opponents destroy each other for the right to be slaughtered by the Eagles two weeks from now? This is Philadelphia. That type of shit doesn’t happen here. It’s just not meant to be that way.

Blount is right. The best method for approaching the playoffs is to let go of the comfort brought by everybody telling you how good they are and instead embrace an “us against the world” mentality–even if some of the “world” includes easily shaken Eagles fans. My suggestion to those people–stop being soft, get on board, rally around the team, and adopt the same mentality. It shouldn’t be hard. There’s no shortage of doubt. Almost every “expert” who rode the Eagles’ junk for three months is now out on them. Vegas is, too. These were the Super Bowl odds after the Eagles lost in Seattle:

Here they are entering the postseason:

Just to recap, the Eagles won their next three games, on the road against the big bad Rams, in the New York area, and at home against the Raiders on Christmas, securing home field advantage before playing a meaningless game in Week 17, yet their odds still dropped from 6-1 to 15-1? You don’t think that sticks in their craw?

Even a potential playoff opponent has openly postured to line up with the Eagles. You think it’s a coincidence Rams coach Sean McVay rested his starters this Sunday with a chance to clinch the No. 3 seed?

Sean McVay won’t publicly admit why he doesn’t want the No. 3 seed, but clinching that seed takes the Rams out of playing the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. The Rams would have to play the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis for an opportunity to advance to the NFC Championship.

If the Rams have the No. 4 seed, they have the chance to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Divisional Round. Philadelphia is the team everyone wants come playoff time…

The plan didn’t work out because the Saints choked in Tampa Bay, but that’s still next level disrespect. Even if McVay had a different rationale (he didn’t), you can be sure Doug Pederson will sell it to his team that way.

It’s fair to worry about Nick Foles looking like he’s well on his way to approaching Mike McMahon depths of ineptitude given his last five quarters of play. He either couldn’t see the field or didn’t trust what he saw. And the numbers are ugly, too. If he qualified, his 5.3 yards per pass attempt would be dead last in the league, behind Joe Flacco’s 5.72 ypa. But before you completely write off Foles, remember that he’s 22-17 in his career as a starter, even accounting for his season in St. Louis, and is 16-5 as a starter with the Eagles since 2013. Perhaps more importantly, and this is a sentence I didn’t think I’d ever write, he’s being coached by Doug Pederson, who has made a strong case for NFL Coach of the Year. I’d like to think with almost three weeks at his disposal (no doubt he began week ago) to prepare for potential playoff opponents, Doug Pederson can develop a game plan that puts Foles in position to thrive. And if I can’t sell you on that, and I get it may be hard to believe after a tough late season stretch, then it’s worth noting he probably won’t need to drop 30 points a game to get this done.

You’ve probably read by now that the Eagles are 13-3 at home under Doug Pederson, and that’s great. What’s more encouraging is they’ve only allowed 231 points in those 16 games (14.4 ppg) in which the Eagles have:

-Allowed 20 points or less 11 times
-Allowed 15 points or less 10 times
-Allowed 10 points or less 8 times

What’s more, the Eagles boast the league’s best run defense (79.2 ypg), which is better than a Minnesota unit that everybody whizzes their pants over. There’s also this:

There’s a reason multiple teams are reportedly lining up to talk to Jim Schwartz about their head coaching vacancies– and it’s because his defense is pretty fucking good.

Could a listless team Eagles show up in mid-January and be one and done? Sure. But this feeling like we’re in the midst of a death spiral is bullshit. Maybe your favorite television analyst won’t tell you this, but you can say it with me: The Eagles are 13-3, they’re resilient, they’re lights out at home, and they can still get to Minnesota in February. Stop being a bitch and get on board.

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33 Responses

  1. realists understand how suckass foles is now….he should have retired he obviously has zero confidence.
    realists also understand dangerous doug is pretty stupid regardless of the record…..so birds fans have no confidence he can coach a w out of this crap qb.

    shows you how talented wentz really was/is…..we are f’d

  2. The pizza I ordered doesn’t have any sauce or cheese. So what? Pizza has a history of being tasty. I’ve had plenty of pizzas before that tasted GREAT. So what if this particular pizza doesn’t have sauce or cheese? You just gotta believe that this plain dry crust is gonna taste good, okay? Fuck the 56% of Philadelphians that don’t have faith. Just eat the crust. Stop being a bitch and get on board.

    1. This attitude just goes to show you that chuggers, like ‘Crossing Brad” will swallow anything that’;s put in their mouth.
      The line forms to the right.

      1. You have to know that I was being sarcastic, right? Are you one of the commenters that Wanks referred to above, the ones that couldn’t read?

  3. I love how you shit on two up and coming teams that are also in the city to prove your non-point. Apparently if you’re a fan of one, you can’t be a fan of others. The Sixers look like they’re going to be a dynasty. The Flyers are turning the corner on a rebuild (even if they don’t call it that). But please tell me more about how I should have blind faith in the Eagles after losing 6-0 to a shitty Dallas team. Wentz was 80% of the offense.

  4. Everyone’s reacting the same way as if the Patriots lost Brady or the Packers lost Rodgers. The Eagles don’t scare anyone without Wentz because the QB position is godamn important. Get over it.

  5. Wow, this is almost as edgy as Coggin Toboggan’s hot takes.

    By the way, is Kyle still alive?

    1. You literally have 6 pages worth of comments under different screen names complaining about the site, but it looks like you read it just about every day and listen to the podcast every day. What a little pussy!

  6. Only positive you can get out of the eagles now is betting big against them in the 1st round. At least make some $$ on this tragedy of a lost super bowl opportunity

  7. They say Pederson chould be coach of the year? I wonder how many wins he would have w/o Wentz for a whole season. 7-9 at best…They’re only hope is to get Carolina, and run the ball effectively and often. Won’t happen ‘cause there’s like 3 running plays on that stupid play chart, and everybody knows ‘em…This will be one and done…

  8. Maybe I don’t understand the word believe. Wanting the eagles to win and “believing” they will are two different things. I want the Eagles to win but there’s a reason why the eagles had the best 3rd down conversion rate in the league this year, and it wasn’t because of Doug Pederson. I am so sick and tired of the stupid ass people in the Philadelphia media telling me that I have to believe this team is still good because they are 13-3 and have home field advantage. The league MVP was the reason they got those things. The defense is still good and the running backs and offensive line are solid, but if you honestly “believe” this team is still as talented as the 13-3 record and #1 seed indicate then you should be putting some serious money on those 15-1 super bowl odds otherwise you’re the pussy.

    1. I guess you are. You don’t have to believe they’re as talented as a 13-3 and #1 seed should be–you just have to think they can play reasonably well against any one of three beatable teams in two weeks.

      1. So the point of the article was to put words around an elaborate “Any Given Sunday” type theory? Ok, well fine then. You could have just said that in 3 words, and I would have agreed.

  9. I was right….fans in this town are nothing more than a bunch of front runners….you know what, take you’re wife/girlfriend/mom, whoever, shopping Saturday the 13th and don’t watch the game…..losers

  10. Granted 21 of the Eagles starters are good enough to blow out anyone in the NFC, but that doesn’t matter if Cusher Doug has his backup throw 44 times in January, which is what’s going to happen. You know it, I know it. Lurie wanted Reid back to get the team to the playoffs and he got it. Doug will figure it out the day after the game.

  11. I don’t know too much about too many things, but I do know that the first half of the iggles and da boys was the worst half of football I have ever seen. The second half wasn’t any better.

  12. Their star quarterback is out for the count and their backup quarterback stinks on ice. One and done. This isn’t rocket surgery.

  13. If the team is motivated by a bunch of guys in Vegas setting odds so degenerates can bet stacks of cash then they have a motivational issue, on top of a backup quarterback issue.

  14. This article (link below) gets me so mad.. It’s tough; growing up with Randall, Pete and Mcnabb we finally secured a legit franchise quarterback. No execuses, no momma making soup, 100% accountable for his actions and leaves every ounce on the field. And the thing is the team responded to Wentz in a way I have never witnessed. The team said “we know Wentz is taking us to the super bowl so let’s give him 130% all the time.” It’s going to be tough as a player to get up and play that way for Foles. I know their “professionals” and have a job to do but the level of eagerness to risk it all on the field for Foles vs. Wentz is simply not the same. But this is the first time since I’ve been born I can say with confidence that “a Philadelphia Eagles QB named Wentz is going to give us a parade down Broad Street.” It’s going to be amazing when it happens.

    https://247sports.com/nfl/philadelphia-eagles/Bolt/Rams-resting-starters-for-potential-rematch-with-Eagles-112791921

  15. This article (link below) gets me so mad.. It’s tough; growing up with Randall, Pete and Mcnabb we finally secured a legit franchise quarterback. No execuses, no momma making soup, 100% accountable for his actions and leaves every ounce on the field. And the thing is the team responded to Wentz in a way I have never witnessed. The team said “we know Wentz is taking us to the super bowl so let’s give him 130% all the time.” It’s going to be tough as a player to get up and play that way for Foles. I know their “professionals” and have a job to do but the level of eagerness to risk it all on the field for Foles vs. Wentz is simply not the same. But this is the first time since I’ve been born I can say with confidence that “a Philadelphia Eagles QB named Wentz is going to give us a parade down Broad Street.” It’s going to be amazing when it happens.

    https://247sports.com/nfl/philadelphia-eagles/Bolt/Rams-resting-starters-for-potential-rematch-with-Eagles-112791921

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