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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reality Check on the Eagles


          The time for tricks and treats are over.

          It was a blast watching the Eagles dismantle the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, and as fans we were allowed to let the joy of the victory linger with the ghosts and goblins celebrating Halloween. But now it’s time to take the mask off this victory.

          In reality, Sunday’s win was probably not what the Eagles needed. Now at least some people are gleefully wondering if the guys who put up the sign near the NovaCare Complex calling for Andy Reid to be let go feel foolish.

          Why in the world should they?

          We’ve been down this road many times before, and it’s never ended in a Super Bowl celebration. This may not be the week for Reid’s detractors to be shouting from the rooftops (though I’m not even convinced of that), but it’s certainly not the time for them to run and hide.

          It was a great win in the moment. The Eagles had some guys back from injury both on the offensive and defensive lines which clearly helped. They’re now back in the division race, and we will likely have something to root for through the new year. In fact, without even looking at the remaining schedule, I fully expect them to go on a run of wins at some point.

          And then it will likely end. In January. As it always does – with a loss.

          I’m really not trying to be “that guy” who wants to kill the buzz of a big win by saying that the Eagles won’t win in the end. That’s too easy, and boring anyway.

          For now, I’m just saying, for once, let’s have some perspective. Yes, the Eagles just crushed a Dallas team that was starting to look damn good. But that team is now just 3-4, so it’s questionable how good they really are.

          They also have the same record as the Eagles – meaning the Eagles are still a sub .500 team. The Eagles also had a bye week before the game when Dallas did not. Though the statistics are not backing it up this year so far, that’s typically a huge advantage.

          Don’t misunderstand – put a beer league team in Dallas uniforms and I’ll still be happy to watch the Eagles kick their rears. It’s never wrong to gloat over beating the Cowboys or holding the win over their weasel local “fans” who suddenly disappear after games like Sunday.

          But, while the NFL is unbelievably a week-to-week league, Dallas has a seemingly very easy schedule remaining. Having taken a quick peek, I dare say the Birds don’t exactly have to run the gauntlet either. But their first six opponents weren’t murderer’s row, and we all know that once the Eagles get this city all excited they tend to lose a game everybody thinks they should win easily.

          Kind of like the Minnesota game last December. The game that could have helped them avoid the Wild Card game. The game they lost. In January.

          As Reid once said, “Enjoy the win, man.” Just don’t start putting the patio furniture along Broad Street to a save your spot for the parade yet.

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