WITH 8 games played right now we’re sitting at 4 – 4. We’ve made it all the way to .500. (yay.) If we’re to win the NFC East (currently sitting behind the 5-4 giants), we’re going to have to get a lot better at some things. Since no one in the NFL is just standing around handing out wins, the notion that we have 4 of them in 8 tries indicates that while we aren’t a superpower, our wins aren’t flukes either. There are clearly things to work on, but as I said in yesterday’s half of the Midseason Report, there’s also good news.
We have a few things that we can build on and that sometimes has a way of getting looked past when high expectations aren’t met. So lets take a moment to put on the StewRat Bootleg of Mattison’s “Predictions” (which I added to the music playlist on the website, just click the play button), put our feet up on the ottoman, and blow bubbles with our pipe as we reflect upon things we can all collectively break out the Kool-Aid smiles over. Such as:
Our 1- 2 RB punch: There is a debate going on about whether or not Ryan Mathews is better than DeMarco Murray. Some fans think Mathews should be the starter. Some are asking if he’s better than LeSean McCoy was. Stop for a second. Isn’t this a great argument to have? Regardless of what side you’re on, no one is saying Murray sucks, just that Mathews is better. Better still, even though both have a little wear and tear on them this year, neither is nursing a laundry list of injuries. Both seemed primed to make a solid second half, and on pace to put up 1,400 yards between them without it killing either man in the process.
The Offensive Line: It’s far from what you would call “good” but it’s working better than most of us thought it would, and that part is a credit to the Coach Kelly. Relying on inside zone running wasn’t cutting it, so against the Jets he started folding in more power running concepts. Since the Jets game things have been a lot more stable as far as running the ball goes.
Duce Staley‘s rotation of the RB’s: People may lament the way it’s being done, but the truth is Murray’s inside running does a great job of gassing the opposing defense before bringing in Mathews to get them chasing him to the outside. Normally you’d use a smaller Darren Sproles kind of RB for that, but the idea that you can get that from a guy who runs through tackles is a bonus. If Mathews could catch worth a damn I’d also be saying that he should start,but since he doesn’t, I think this rotation is just peachy.
DE Fletcher Cox: A couple weeks ago I was going to say Defensive Line here, bu then I noticed something. NT Bennie Logan is different guy out there when Cox takes a breather. That’s not a shot at Logan, that’s saying that Cox is truly making guys around him better when he’s out there.
ILB Jordan “Cowboy Killer” Hicks: Right out of the box, this guy just about singlehandedly ended the Cowboys year when he took away their QB, and doomed them to a six game slide right out of playoff contention. Then the next time he sees them what does he do? He victimizes that day’s starter by taking one of his passes back for six points. When he was drafted I was confused by why the Eagles took him (read more here). I didn’t doubt him as a player, I just didn’t understand how he fit the mold of what Coach Kelly said he wanted. Regardless, this is one that GM Kelly got right.
So yeah. There’s good news to be had. There are things to build on and things we can let tear us apart. We’ll see which side we let win out.