The Eagles are 2021 Joint Practice Champions of the World

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles vs. Jets tomorrow night. The preseason finale!

What a game it should be. If it’s anything like last week’s Pats/Birds game, then we are in for a treat. And by treat I mean a five-course serving of “diddly poo,” as the great Jim Mora once said.

But it doesn’t matter what happens in these preseason games. Why? Because the Eagles have already won. They defeated the Jets in two joint practice sessions this week, with reporters keeping tabs and logging the important statistics:

Well that confirms it. Jalen Hurts is QB1 material. Clearly he is better than Carson Wentz and we are going to win the NFC East this year.

And not only did the Eagles defeat the Jets twice this week, but they ALSO dispatched the Patriots last week, so they are now 4-0 in joint practice sessions this preseason. They are unbeaten.

Dave Zangaro with more on the Eagles big victories:

The Eagles wrapped up their second of two joint practices against the Jets in North Jersey on Wednesday and it’s fair to say they won the day again, especially in the most competitive period near the end.

So this means the Eagles have “won” all four days of joint practices — two against the Patriots and two against the Jets. What does that mean? Well, maybe not much.

But it has been clear that Nick Sirianni values these joint practices more than those preseason games. So in a setting that he prioritizes, the Eagles have clearly been better than their opponent four times in a row.

It’s funny, because we roll our eyes at some of these reports coming out of training camp, but the scribes in attendance can only relay to the fans what they see with their own two eyes. Training camp is ESP’s Super Bowl, and he goes overboard (surprise!), but there’s consensus among the rest of the normal beats that the Birds look good in the various situations the coaches are setting up. Keep in mind, they’re not kicking off and driving 85 yards down the field. It’s not like a real game situation. They set up in the red zone, or work under a specific rule set (lay off the quarterback, etc). It’s about getting meaningful reps in, and the Eagles seem to be prioritizing that this offseason.

Ultimately, it kind of sucks for the fans. Preseason was nothing amazing, but at least we used to see a little bit of the starters in these games. We used to go to Lehigh and West Chester and see the players up close and witness all of this ourselves, but now all we really have are first-hand reports from the writers and minimal game footage that features Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens leading the charge. Furthermore, Nick Sirianni won’t say who is playing and who is not, even though it’s pretty much understood that Jalen Hurts won’t be on the field Friday night. Marcus Hayes reported as much in a morning column at the Inquirer:

First-time head coach Nick Sirianni, a coach’s kid for whom football always has been religion, seems blind to the fact that, in order to play competent football, you must play … football. You must not only practice football. You must play it. The NFL preseason always existed, foremost, to prepare a team’s best players to play. Sirianni, 40 — encouraged by bosses Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie, according to league sources — is ignoring this truism, which was always embraced by the NFL’s Lombardis and Browns and Belichicks and Reids.

It shouldn’t surprise anybody to learn that Roseman and Lurie are involved in the decision making process. They’ve  always wanted some control over these types of things. That was part of the reason why the Doug Pederson era ended and a very large part of the reason why Chip Kelly got the boot. And it’s hard to argue with the rationale. You don’t want guys getting injured in meaningless preseason games, and if the Birds feel like they are getting what they need rep-wise during these joint practices, then so be it. It blows, but it is what it is. It’s like when they got rid of training camp and moved to NovaCare permanently, because even though you wanted to see the team, at least the 6’6″, 300-pound lineman no longer had to sleep on an undersized bed in the Lehigh dorms.

I think the conclusion here is that preseason football is now fucking worthless. Only the most dedicated Eagles fans or team scouts have interest in watching Nick Mullens hand the ball to Elijah Holyfield or toss it to Jack Stoll. None of those guys are going to be involved in Week 1 in Atlanta, so what’s the point? You might as well catch up on Ted Lasso or take your wife to dinner instead. There is going to be zero reason to watch the Birds on TV, and that’s a bummer.

But at least we have this preseason title. The Eagles are 2021 joint practice champions of the world. Raise the banner!