Monday, October 23, 2006

Fly, Eagles, Fly

The good news is that the Eagles just killed the Bucs by the numbers. I mean, outgaining them 506 yards to 196 yards? 22 first downs to 14 first downs? 7.7 yards per rush to 3.7 yards per rush? 8.3 yards per pass to 3.0 yards per pass? That's Eagles football, baby.

What's that, you say? The final score? Sure, the Eagles may have lost the game and some people may get bogged down with that sort of linear thinking, but there's a deeper way to look at yesterday's debacle:

The Eagles are, as I've been saying to anyone who would listen, a bad team. This is a 6- or 7-win squad. If they finished 8-8, it would be a real achievement. The first six games were fool's gold. Here's the combined record of the teams the Eagles have beaten: 9-14.

Go ahead and look at the schedule. Find the wins remaining on the board. Tennessee? Remember, they'll be playing the Vince Young Titans, not the team that started the season winless. Washington? Mabye the home game. Jacksonville? Maybe. Those are the three best chances for victories. Everything else looks like a stretch.

So why was yesterday not terrible? Because if you look at the Eagles as a 6-10 team, not a 4-2 team, then you can find the positives. You can be happy about the comeback and about how great McNabb looked in the second half. When bad teams lose flukey games, there are positives to be found. You shouldn't have expected them to win in the first place.

P.S.: I'm not hating on the Birds. Actually, I think that this team is eminently lovable. They're fun to watch and they have great characters. And, like a cancer patient in remission after chemo, you can't help but rooting for them. And hope that by next year, they'll be back to 100%.

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