By now, the Eagles’ victory over the Washington (Professional Football Team) last Sunday has been covered from every conceivable angle. While the outcome was sweet for Philadelphia fans everywhere, I can’t shake this feeling that we’ve all missed out on something special; absolutely horrifying, but special.
When Brandon Boykin came down in the endzone with an errant Robert Griffin III throw, I exhaled for the first time in about 27 minutes. While a cool wave of overwhelming relief washed over me, I felt as if something disappeared from a hundred polaroid photos, somewhere, à la Back to the Future. I think it’s time we take a moment to mourn the loss of a week that might have been, had RGIII completed his improbable comeback.
If you really think about it, what happened in the fourth quarter of last week’s game could have been the biggest swing in the NFL’s recent history. I think about all of the consequences that might have unfolded following an overtime Eagles loss and am truly mesmerized. Think I’m being melodramatic? Let’s examine the possibilities together, shall we?
What If the Eagles Had Lost?
Chip Kelly’s system isn’t right for the NFL…again
Oh, sure the Eagles had another game where they piled up yards like calories in soda cans. Those calories, much like the Eagles’ brand of yards are a bit hollow and offer very little in the way of substance. I mean really think about it: Are the team’s bevy of 20+ yard plays truly leading to points on a consistent enough basis? Games are won on the scoreboard, not the stat sheet and Chip Kelly’s proven that he’s got it where it doesn’t count.
Another glaring hole in his strategy is his inability to run this offense with a lead. Time and time again this season, we’ve seen him close up shop and head home early in the 3rd quarter. That’s simply unacceptable at the professional level. NFL games are quite literally won and lost in the second half. His team now sports a slightly lucky 5-6 record and he’ll be coaching USC before you know it.
Nick Foles is not a “closer”
We’ve seen Nickfolean Dynamite light up the sky in the first halves of meaningless games against bad teams. That doesn’t prove anything in the NFL. What Foles HAS proven, if anything in his young career, is this: When faced with an big game in which the meticulously constructed “plan” is no longer effective, he’s got nothing else to offer.
Nick Foles has benefited from a new system and it’s many cheap gimmicks on his way to a farce of a three game stretch. The arm strength, IQ and mobility just aren’t there to bail out the offense when things don’t go according to plan.
Billy Davis loses his job
That’s all she wrote, folks. Billy Davis’s defense yielded yet again in a crucial moment, proving just how fluky the preceding performances against inferior opponents were. His blitzes are ill-timed and he just doesn’t have a strong understanding of the personnel he’s working with. You can’t leave Roc Carmichael on an island with constant blitzes all game long and watch a 24 point 4th quarter lead melt away.
More than likely, Chip Kelly looks for a replacement in the offseason. The Eagles use Davis just as they used Sean McDermott as their proverbial scapegoat at the end of the year. Sorry, Bill, we just don’t “trust you” anymore.
The locker room falls apart
You think that the —skins are rotting from within right now? Think about the finger pointing that would have gone on had the Eagles come away losers last Sunday. What leadership would step up and inspire the team to overcome their strife? Who would silence the chaos in the locker room?
Nick Foles isn’t the leader of this team. He’s not standing up on a table and rallying the troops. Demeco Ryans has made it clear that he leads by example. I don’t expect the team to honor his silence and workmanlike attitude in the wake of this collapse.
LeSean McCoy is a fiery guy and might just be the most outraged member of an all-around angry team. Couldn’t you see him totally pulling an Andre Johnson routine? Desean Jackson probably would have decided this season isn’t worth getting hurt over when the —skins made it 24-24. (okay, okay. That was unfair. DJacc’s been balling out this season.)
436 days and counting
This loss would have guaranteed Philadelphia at least another 14 days of “…since the Eagles have won a home game” material and I, for one, simply hadn’t had enough of that yet. Think of the possibilities: “10,000,000 babies have been born since the Eagles have won a home game.” “x amount of Marvel movies have been released since the Eagles have won a home game.” On second thought, maybe we’ll file this one under things we can be glad we missed out on.
Angelo Cataldi retires
Would the morning show on 94WIP ever be better than it was that Monday morning? Would Angelo ever be able to achieve such a euphoria for the rest of his career? I seriously doubt it.
He’d have former players, drunk fans, mayors, governors and presidents of foreign countries on the line. He’d drag damning criticisms our of reluctant writers and reporters until they physically removed him from the studio. Angelo would break a guinness world record for staging the largest organized profane sign smuggling event in the history of America. This, I have to admit is my greatest regret from Sunday.
Spike Eskin eats his cat
@MichaelConroyPM I will kill my cat and eat it.
— Spike Eskin (@SpikeEskin) November 17, 2013
Understandably, Spike was going to bolt the doors and hold up in his home until the end of the world had blown over. As he had forgotten to go shopping for food prior to the game, it looked like there might be feline casualties. It was just something he’d have to live with and I respect that. Luckily for the cat and decent, animal loving human beings everywhere, this situation was avoided. Thank god Brandon Boykin can catch.
As I’ve said, the win was nice to have, and it’s one we absolutely had to have, but there’s no denying the fact that we’ve all missed out on something truly remarkable. Philadelphia might never see a quarter of football as potentially damaging as the one they escaped on Sunday. At the very least, we won’t before our next Super Bowl run. We’re all just stranded here in some strange limbo, a world created only in the absence of a destined sports apocalypse that never was. For now, I can only sit and wonder what might have been.