Well, here were are Eagles fans. And where is here, anyways? We’re in the middle of nowhere on a desolate road, equally halfway between respectability and ineptitude. Our ride looked good on the outside when we started, but it’s sputtering and leaking weird green juices all over the steaming asphalt.
Our HOW-E 2.0 GPS is telling us to keep going, ignore the warnings signs, ignore the rattling noise we’ve been hearing for weeks that is just getting louder. There’s a gas station just a few miles ahead, salvation, previous fuel to send us back into the fray. HOW-E 2.0 tells us we can make it there with what we have under the hood. But does anyone truly believe it? Doesn’t he…err…the GPS have to say that? Isn’t that it’s job?
Tumbleweeds litter the side of the highway. The radiator is hissing. And there are scorpions everywhere. You can’t see them, but you know there are oh so many scorpions waiting for the big breakdown.
When the car starts up again next week, where are we going? All we can do is kick the tires and hope we don’t roll back to where we came from.
The Eagles are 5-4 rolling into the bye week. What are the Eagles? What is this team? They’re a game over .500. Good! They beat one of the best teams in the NFC in Green Bay Packers and a then 5-2 Bills team with a great defense. Even better! They lost games to the Atlanta Falcons, one of the worst teams in the NFL, and were embarrassed by the Dallas Cowboys on national television for what felt like the 900th consecutive time in a row.
There have been rats. Anonymous sources. Snitches. Sports hernias. Surgery. No surgery. And drops. Oh my God so, so many drops. They’ve been teetering on the brink for what seems like the last five weeks….and every time they swing back and threaten to fall over the cliff, they right themselves and regain their foothold. But it’s not steady ground and it’s getting rockier the further they get into the season.
No moves were made at the trade deadline. No waivers were claimed, but reinforcements are coming. Love him or hate him, Jordan Matthews will give you more production than Mack Hollins at wide receiver. Jalen Mills is healthy, last year’s standout Cre’von Leblanc should return and provide more depth at a position that is thinner than Sidney Jones’ hamstrings.
But Carson Wentz is still throwing to the same underachieving and frustrating group of wide receivers. Wentz is still missing open receivers. Doug Pederson brain farts at least a few times each Sunday and puts himself into a play calling funk. Nothing is coming easy on either side of the ball and it’s troubling. Nine games in and there are far more questions than answers for a team that somehow finds itself a game above .500 and half a game out of the top spot in the NFC east.
The Eagles have seven games remaining, four of which they’ll be favorites and SHOULD win (Giants twice, Redskins, and the beached and suffocating Miami Dolphins), bringing their total up to nine wins if the team plays to expectations.
The leaves the Patriots next week, the Seahawks, and the Cowboys. Can this team, this complete enigma of a team, win ONE of those games to push their win total up to 10 and make it to the playoffs as a wildcard? As the NFC East champions? Can the Eagles find an identity in these remaining contests to actually put some hope in the gas tank and roll back to respectability?
There are far more questions in the last paragraph than I’m comfortable writing without actually having an answer to.
Let’s start the car up next week and hope it doesn’t explode.