(Originally Posted: Wednesday January 06, 2010)
I walked into my office in Charlotte for the first time this week and a Panthers fan started giving me a hard time about the Birds letting the Cowboys win. Since I very politely told him to stop and didn’t punch him in the face, I decided I was ready to look back at last Sunday’s travesty in Dallas and start looking forward to this week’s redemption in Jerry World.
I’ve been saying all month to anyone who would listen and to even those that wouldn’t that the Birds were due for a stinker. They always seem to shit the bed at least once in December/January. I really thought it would be the San Fran or Denver game. I never dreamt they would not show up the way they didn’t in Dallas.
This game was bad. Kotite bad. I don’t have to tell you that. But am I the only one who feels like we were a couple of catches or bounces from it going the other way? (Hello? Where did everyone go?)
Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but I am a big believer in momentum. I haven’t gone back and watched the game film, because I’m not a masochist. So this is all gonna be from beer-hazed memory, so bear with me.
The defense did only let up 24 points. (I can hear you already. Only?) In the last 5 games, the Eagles offense scored well over 24 points, so that could have been enough to win. The D did look like crap in the first 20 minutes, but they did seem to lock it down the rest of the game.
Here’s the big IF part. IF McNabb hadn’t over thrown Jackson for that easy touchdown when he outrun coverage. IF McNabb hadn’t thrown behind Maclin. IF Maclin didn’t channel his inner Pinkston trying to come up with a catch. IF Maclin hadn’t dropped a couple balls. IF McNabb hadn’t fumbled in the red zone. (I know, If “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, wouldn’t it be a Merry Christmas?)
The last one was a killer. The fumble in the red zone. We needed points on the board. Putting some points on the board at that point would have changed the whole complexion of the game.
Everyone played terribly on Sunday and there’s more than enough blame to go around. But let’s move on. There’s no point crying over spilled pickled juice.
During that nightmare on Sunday, my usual game watching comrade (went through a bunch of different word to describe him, most of which sounded gay) the Cheeze, made the key observation. “The Cowboys just look like they want it more.” It killed me to hear that. What was even worse, he was absolutely right. Why did they want it more? This game meant as much to us if not more.
After a few days of sulking and reflection, it all came down to number 5.
This game on Saturday comes down to one thing and could be the lasting referendum on Donovan’s tenure in Philadelphia: Leadership. He was right in his post game press conference. The team did show its youth in that game. The loss of Dawkins in the locker room is bigger than anyone can measure, so in now all falls to you, Donovan. Now it’s time for you to look it the mirror and take this team on your back and carry it to victory.
One of my biggest concerns about 5 and Reid throughout the decade has been their inability to either comeback from a 4th quarter deficit or run a long clock eating drive to put their foot on the throat on the opponent. They’ve done that three times this season and I’ve been impressed. Now it’s time for Donovan to take the reins of this team and all of it talent and take us to the promise land. Hell, just winning this week in Dallas will go a long towards solidifying his legacy.
With all that said, I believe the Eagles will win on Saturday. I thought they were going to win on Sunday too, but never-you-mind. I can’t see stupid Tony Romo, fucking Miles Austin (I’ve never hated an athlete as quickly as him before) and fat Wade Phillips beating the McNabb, Jackson, and fat Andy Reid three times in the same season. I just can’t see it.
It may be hard to tell but I am a McNabb and Reid fan. I want nothing more than for them to hoist the Lombardi trophy over their heads and then give a big middle finger to the city. We deserve it (the finger and the trophy) and it would show us they get this city and the fans.
Let’s go Birds!