BACK in April, in my NFC East Pre-Draft Preview, I picked the Redskins to win the East, with the Eagles as my dark horse favorite. Given our strong nucleus of veteran leadership, our win in the trenches philosophy, and youth at skill positions, we have a lot of “win now” already built-in. However, a rookie coaching staff, and a second year QB, who himself was basically a rookie, left serious questions about our upward mobility.
Still, I took proper assessment of the pieces, and predicted the Eagles to push for the NFC East crown, and they did exactly that.
We’ve so far won 9 games. None of those were against teams with a winning record. Then again, it’s been half a season since we even FACED a team with a winning record. Hell, we didn’t make the schedule. We just beat who was put on it.
Also, in all fairness, three of the first six teams that our rookie head coach faced, have played in the last two Super Bowls (KC vs SF and KC vs TB). Of those three games, two were decided by just 6 points each. So maybe a little fucking slack would be appropriate here? I dunno. Seeing things in their proper context is sort of a fetish of mine.
My favorite was the NFL website itself. You know the one. The place that sometimes allows their journalists to post a headline, which is linked to a tweet. Yeah. That place. Before the season, this was their prediction for us:
I’m petty, so I screenshot that shit. I couldn’t guarantee us winning the East, but I knew that 5 win prediction was going to age like an Olsen twin, and I wanted to be able to say:
Which I’m doing now.
We destroyed their prediction, and even exceeded their ceiling for us. Right now, you could park a car in the shadow of my smugness.
THIS is some bullshit!! Our game against the Washington Redskins (don’t bother complaining), was postponed for two days, from Sunday to Tuesday. My biggest gripe with this is pretty the same gripe that every Eagles fan has: It robs us of two days rest and prep on the back-end for the giants game next Sunday.
If we were tanking and just running down the season, it wouldn’t matter and none of us would care. However, we are trying to make a push to qualify for the playoffs. In fact, as of today it’s still mathematically possible (though highly unlikely) that we could win the division. So anything that rocks our boat, acts as a hindrance to that effort.
What makes this so heinous, is that this hindrance was a deliberate act, handed down from the league itself. Worse, is the felling that we are being punished for the Redskins irresponsibility, while they seem to be receiving a form of clemency for it.
And honestly, what is to be gained from giving Washington two more days? They didn’t start tagging players until Tuesday the 14th. The quarantine period is 10 days. Tuesday the 21st is just 7 days from the earliest diagnoses. Some players weren’t popping until Friday the 17th. That’s just FOUR days. The CDC itself says that these windows wouldn’t be wide enough.
Players need two negative tests in 48 hours to return. If they were being watched for exposure, that’s one thing, but for those INFECTED, they can’t come back on Tuesday. They still have to quarantine because they may still be shedding virus, regardless of what the tests say about their infection state. Virus can be shed over a period of 8 – 31 days.
So the Redskins get no additional benefit from the two days. At best, all it does is slow US down.
Back in the Summer, the NFL declared that teams who didn’t follow proper protocols, and had outbreaks of Covid among their players and coaches, faced possible forfeitures as a consequence. Well, the instant that was tested, that policy flew right out the window.
Understand, the NFL is currently discussing moving other games as well. So it’s entirely possible that the giants game could also be moved. However, that ripple of a short week WILL show up in the next four. Given that we’re at the low-end of a playoff push, and ALL FOUR of these games are against division opponents, this is some ultimate fuckery.
The timing of this article couldn’t have been better. I told some friends (Andrea and Arlette), last week that I would write about this subject. Thanksgiving got in the way, and so I had to delay it. Turns out, that was for the best. Events during this last game have sharpened the points I’m about to make.
Over the last four weeks as the Eagles were piling up rushing yardage, most fans were satisfied. So long as Hurts was running for touchdowns, and leading the team in rushing, no one but me seemed to care that his game as a passer, kept being extremely pedestrian.
Detroit: 9/14 – 64.2% – 103 – 0 – 0. Los Angeles: 11/17 – 64.7% – 162 – 1 – 0. Denver: 16/23 – 69.5% – 178 – 2 – 1.(I won’t pick on the day Hurts had vs the giants. We know how that went.)
But let’s look at the Saints game, which we won in a blowout. Specifically, the stat line put up by Saints QB Trevor Siemian (22/40 – 55.0% – 214 – 3 – 2), vs the stat line by Hurts (13/24 – 54.1% – 147 – 0 – 0).
Siemian was slightly more accurate, got his supporting cast involved, and so, he nearly led a rally. This is despite being a third stringer, without his team’s starting RB, #1 WR, and BOTH Offensive Tackles. Hurts had none of these disadvantages, yet it can be argued that Siemian had a better day as a QB. Especially in regards to getting his teammates involved.
Teammates is another bone I have to pick with Hurts. I keep hearing about how he’s a field general. I keep hearing how he’s focused and competitive. However, during games, especially when we’re down, when I see him on the sideline…he’s just sitting there.
He’s not looking at the tablet. He’s not rallying the crowd. He’s not on one knee, talking to the O-line about protection slides. He’s not in the Offensive Coordinator’s ear, or standing next to his Head Coach. He’s not having an animated discussion about what he sees, to get on the same page with the receivers. He’s just sitting there, looking like he’s sucking on a lemon.
I say this as a man who’s worn pads and has played with multiple QB’s. Jalen’s body language sucks ass. Nothing about him says “Follow ME!” or “I got you.” His swagger is limited to him running for a touchdown. It doesn’t extend to his teammates.
For example, when LT Jordan Mailata pancaked Saints DE Marcus Davenport (because of his treatment of Hurts), was there an acknowledging fist bump or high-five from the QB? Nope. Hurts texted his thanks to Mailata, later that night. A text message! In exchange for sticking up for him! But when Hurts needed consoling after the giants game:
1,000 words, right?
BUT WAIT!!! THERE’S MORE!!!
Hurts may miss the Jets game with a sore ankle. I’ll say that one more time: Hurts may miss the Jets game with a sore ankle. Remember the three touchdowns QB Donovan McNabb threw against the Cardinals in November of 2002, on a broken ankle? Remember QB Carson Wentz tearing his ACL, and staying in one more play, to throw a touchdown vs the Rams, in our 2017 Super Bowl season?
Sore ankle. Those are the words of Head Coach Nick Sirianni.
I guess benching Hurts is the Eagles way of admitting that he’s a liability if he has to play from the pocket. Seriously. Would a sore ankle shelve Tom Brady? Ben Roethlisberger? Patrick Mahomes? Matt Stafford and Derek Carrhave both played through back injuries. How about Brett Favre? Dan Marino played with TWO knee braces. Hell, “sore” never stopped Wentz from suiting up. Is Hurts more delicate than Wentz?
I’m not going to get into Hurts being inaccurate. I won’t mention how he’s slow to read defenses. I won’t mention that he’s ineffective running anything other than a one read system. I won’t mention that when the going got tough in college, he got going to another college, instead of overcoming the challenger.
Did I mention that so far he’s 0 – 4 vs the NFC East? That includes two blowouts vs the Cowboys. They humiliate us every time he starts against them. And of course all he could manage vs the giants, was 7 points. And we tanked against the Redskins, in a game that we were already losing. Like I said, 0 – 4.
I’ll simply ask: Is THIS your leader? Is this the face that you want to represent YOU? My answer is on his shirt, and even Rosa agrees with me.
That’s not to say that Hurts has no place in the NFL. I told you in June that the NFL was moving towards QB being a platoon type position. I told you in September, a week before the season started, that QB Gardner Minshewwould play this year, somewhere around Week 8. He played in Week 8.
I’m going to say Hurts has a place in the NFL as a QB. Just not as a franchise. Not even as the Ace QB of a platoon. Think of him as a relief QB. Start thinking of him, as a back-up.
THANKS to the NFL deciding to send 15 out of 16 teams in each conference to the playoffs, the Eagles have a chance at the postseason this year. YAY! Everyone gets ice cream, and a trophy! Everyone’s a WINNER! Well, everyone except that one team. Shame on them, for getting left out. Next time be special. Exactly like everyone else is.
I’m kidding of course, but not about the Eagles having a chance. That part is 100% true.
However, for those who really don’t know (and are too ashamed to ask), only 7 teams per conference get a seat at the postseason table. Four division winners, and 3 Wild Cards. Current math puts the 3 – 5 Eagles just on the outside of that picture. We sit a game behind the 4 – 4 Panthers, and a tie-break behind the 49ers. So just how far-fetched, or how probable, is our chance at seeing the 2021 playoffs?
Yes Jim. Playoffs.
Our last two games vs the Raiders and Lions, have signaled that Head Coach Nick Sirianni is learning the importance of balancing his Offense. No great shakes there, but consider that the hardest part of our schedule is behind us. Then add that 7 of the remaining 9 games are either at home, or played in our backyard (NYG, NYJ, WAS).
Provided that our team can stop shooting themselves in the foot, there’s no reason that the remainder of the season (Weeks 9 – 18) can’t be really, really good for the Eagles..
Weeks 12 through 17 could be a five game win streak (NYG, NYJ, WAS, NYG, WAS). On second thought, it should be a five game win streak. Which leaves the remaining 4 games (LAC, DEN, NO, DAL) up for grabs. That said, I fully expect New Orleans head coach Sean Payton aka Elderly Frankie Muniz,
to take Sirianni to school during Week 11. (Not a bad class for a young coach to take, frankly.)
With that five game win streak, plus a 50/50 split of the other 4, our Eagles could be a 10 win team this year. Currently the #5 seed seems to belong to the 7 – 1 Rams, and #6 so far looks like the 5 – 2 Saints. The Panthers are 4 – 4 with the #7 seed. As of now.
Everyone else in the NFC has 3 wins or fewer. So 10 wins will likely end up being enough to get into the postseason. So there’s still a path to the postseason, dear friends. And now that we run the ball, and blitz out of man coverage, we’re finally on that path.
TOLD you so! In my QB of the Future article, I said, regardless of whether QB Jalen Hurtsis healthy, the Eagles will find a reason to get QB Gardner Minshewon the field, around Week 8. Well the Lions game was Week 8, wasn’t it? Did Minshew play? Yes indeedy he did! I saw this one coming from a mile out.
I figured the Eagles would jinn up some reason, but the blowout was good enough. In fact, it was the best-case scenario. Notice how the words “QB controversy” aren’t on anybody’s lips, right now? Minshew threw 2 passes, completing both for just 11 yards. Otherwise, he played hand-off machine, and didn’t even attempt anything interesting.
This isn’t me trying to create a story. Let me say this outright. Right now there isn’t a story. No one is trying to spook, or unsettle you. No one is trying trick you into click-bait, ladies.
What I’m doing, is what I told you I’d do. Over the last couple of years, I think people (me included), have forgotten just how kick-ass I am at this. So I’ve decided to make a point of reminding you of who I am, and why you should come here. So, I’m not leaving a prediction open to interpretation. When I nail it, I’m going to point it out directly.
I had plenty more to say in the ‘QB of the Future’ article, and the one that came before it Killing Off All Starting QB’s. Some of it will take seasons to unfold. Which is fine by me. Time after time, I’ve mentioned on here that I’m a patient man. I cannot be tired by waiting, because I don’t just attach myself to an idea. I invest in it. I evolve with it, if need be.
Rest assured, I don’t just seem different. I am different.
As for Gardner Minshew? Keep your eyes open. We’ll talk.
Well… I’ll talk. And if you have an opinion, you can talk back.
PHILADELPHIA beat the holy hell out of Atlanta, 32 – 6 in the season opener. It brings our Eagles to 1 – 0, and puts us in the driver’s seat for the division lead, since no one else in our division was up to the challenge put to them this week. But just how significant was our victory over the Falcons?
Atlanta is a bad team. Let’s get that out of the way, right now. Like us, they were 4 – 12 last year. In fact, they originally were two draft slots ahead of us, until we traded back from 6th to 10th. Their defense was the stuff of comedy legend. Only three teams allowed more yards than Atlanta did. Nobody allowed more passing yards.
As a result, last week’s NFL Power rankings had the Eagles ranked 25th and the Falcons 26th. In an article that the NFL put out last Monday, they had the Falcons projected win total at 6, and ours at 5. All indications had us being evenly matched teams. Except, 32 – 6 proved that we are not evenly matched.
A score like 39 – 40 indicates being evenly matched.
(Remember how dominant the Cowboys were in this one?)
But back to the Eagles! The beginning of the game saw the Eagles getting punched in the mouth, and it seemed like our Defense would get run over all day. Then our Defense rallied, holding a 1st and Goal, to a field goal. After which, we built from there. That’s character. Which has nothing to do with how good the Falcons are or aren’t, but has everything to do who the Eagles are.
Despite all the media pundits putting rookie TE Kyle Pitts in the Hall Of Fame, prior to even playing a game, he was held in check with a small Nickelback in Avonte Maddox. Atlanta was held to 0/2 in the red zone. Meanwhile our execution had us 3 for 3.
This was all done with a rookie head coach, and most impressively, no turnovers. We committed none, and we got none, and still we blew a team out. We put up a 26 point differential, without taking the ball away ONCE. Did you know, there are teams out there who can’t win a game, even if they get spotted FOUR turnovers. It’s true!
“It was just the Falcons.” Sure, if you’re an idiot. For those who aren’t idiots, this game wasn’t about the opponent. It was about the Eagles. The Eagles didn’t squeak by the Falcons. They did what you’d expect a playoff team to do to a bad team. They wiped the FLOOR with them. The Eagles got punched in the mouth 0 – 3, took the lead 7 – 3 on rookie WR Devonta Smith‘s TD grab, and from there never looked back.
How meaningful was this win? That question isn’t determined by who is, or who isn’t across the line from us. It’s about who we ourselves are striving to be, regardless of who opposes us, or doesn’t believe in us. It’s about being good enough, because we continuously make damned sure, that we are. Don’t let anyone obscure that for you. Not regarding this football game, or in your day to day lives.
And only an idiot wouldn’t see the meaning, in that.
THIS is Monday, September 6th 2021, and this article will probably seem crazy to you.
While everyone else was yelling and weighing-in on the trade for QB Gardner Minshew, I shut up. What I did was sit back, observe, and consider.
This article marks my first official statement on the trade, or on what Minshew being an Eagle truly heralds. This article is not about this season, but about the future. The long game.
Never lose sight of the long game.
Early in June, I wrote that the NFL is Killing Off All Starting QB’s. I told you that the NFL is changing the concept of the every game starter. I got into the reasons why this is happening, and why it is happening, specifically now.
While it may have seemed far-fetched when I wrote about it in June, if you caught last week’s final preseason game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers, you were treated to more of the Wentz/Hurts, Brees/Hill style of platooning QB’s, that I mentioned in the ‘Killing’ article.
While working on this article, I saw Saturday, that NFL reporter Bucky Brooks put out an article recommending that the 49ers utilize the two QB approach. Figuring that he’d covered it, I almost put this article in my ‘Unpublished Articles’ folder. However, after reading Brooks, I saw that he left it at just the 9ers, andhadn’t really broached the broader subject.
Brook’s article (and even the original draft of this one), mentions the 49ers head coach saying “I don’t need to announce the quarterback, I don’t think I need to announce the starting punt returner, either, but I bet you guys could figure it out,“.
Clearly, the coach was having fun at the media’s expense, but since when was a head coach ever coy about such a thing, two weeks before the season opener? Especially after subbing his QB’s in and out, like a wresting tag team. This is different, folks! Don’t get caught missing the action, while staring directly at it. Don’t let NFL GM’s brag about how they snake charmed us.
Getting back to the Eagles, many people (fans and pundits alike), are speculating that the Minshew trade is about having an insurance policy for QB Jalen Hurts, or having someone to push him. Neither is true. Minshew will play this year. Not just that, but even if Hurts is still healthy by Week 8 or so, you’ll still see Minshew take a few snaps. At least.
Expect to hear (or read) some kooky nonsense about how the coaching staff has “different packages” they want to run for Minshew. As if he has a physical trait or ability that Hurts doesn’t, which the staff desperately needs to get out on the field. It will be utter nonsense. Just enough babble to excite the kind of fan who reads Dave Spadaro, unironically.
In the “Killing” article, I went into why NFL franchises need the two QB system to control their costs. In this article, I’ll add that franchises also need the two QB system, as a means of increasing revenue. The central idea here, is that more games, equals more money. But first, “relics” like Aaaron Rodgers have to be phased out.
The NFL can’t ask television networks for substantially more money, without offering a substantial increase in their product, or finding some other value added aspect. That’s just Sales 101. This is easily solvable by adding more games, which the NFL is eager to do.
We all know that NFL has long had it’s eye on international expansion. (More games.) They’ve also been in talks with the Player’s Association over the years, to find ways to lengthen the regular season. (More games.) Right now were seeing the league attempt to lengthen the regular season, by undercutting the preseason. (And so far the results are ugly.)
Teams can’t play a 20 – 21 game regular season with just one starting QB. The Human body can only take so much punishment. The two QB move, is a move that the NFL has to make, if they want to grow the league. So the NFL has to transition you to being okay with a two QB system. Whether your team runs it or not, is immaterial. The NFL just has to normalize the idea.
Again, this is Monday, September 6th 2021, and this article probably sounded crazy to you. That’s okay. I just wanted to get it on record, that this was another time when I was out, waaay ahead of the curve. While a couple of my “I told you so” articles have been open to interpretation, the one that I will write about this one, won’t be.
CENSORSHIP is running amok on Facebook. This is mostly an overcompensation for all the illegal stuff that FB was rumored to be letting Russian hackers (cough cough, government agents) get away with, prior to the 2016 Presidential election.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had his ass hauled in front of Congress, and now the social media platform is taking down anything that can be misconstrued as bullying, or spreading false information. They’re even going so far as to take down memes and posts from 2017 and earlier. As a result, lots of the funniest shit that you and I ever posted, is coming down.
Since I hate that, I decided to create a running page of rude, sexualized, sometimes blatantly offensive memes, just because I think there should be a place where we ADULTS, can still be treated as such.
AS an Eagles fan, I avoid writing about rival teams or players unless it’s truly newsworthy. Otherwise, I ignore them and focus on MY team: The Philadelphia Eagles. That being said, I have dirt to dish. So pull up a chair and let’s talk some shit.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott refuses to reveal whether or not he’s been vaccinated for Covid-19. When asked about it, he incorrectly invoked HIPAA, and then dived into a stream of meaningless double-talk. This basically says that he hasn’t gotten vaccinated. Whether he’s leaning that way or is staunchly opposed, remains to be seen.
Frankly, it’s not important one way or the other. I’d be telling you a lie to say that I cared at all.
I’m not saying that I wish Covid on the man. I don’t. What I’m here to talk about, is how truly Karmic it would be, if in his situation, he contracted Covid-19. For no damned reason at all.
He just signed one of the most lucrative contracts in NFL history, and the vaccine is totally FREE. Doesn’t cost a single red cent. Even if it wasn’t available in his neighborhood, the Cowboys medical staff would happily drive it to his home to vaccinate him. I’m sure they’d even wade through his pool to do it, as he lay on an inflatable chair.
He has NO BUSINESS getting this disease. NONE.
So if he gets it by himself and has to quarantine, his decision could cost his team one or two games. If he’s part of an outbreak, then his team may need to automatically hand over a win (or two, or three) to whomever they were scheduled to play.
Prescott could avoid all of this now, by being vaccinated. Instead, the plan is to keep QB Ben “Bring It On” DiNucci,
or preseason hall of fame QB Cooper Rush, loose and ready to go. This is because Prescott’s new deal made signing a good back-up, too expensive. (And Chicago lied to QB Andy Dalton.)
While Covid has a high survival rate, often victims are left with long-term symptoms like difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, symptoms that worsen after physical activities, difficulty thinking or concentrating (brain fog), and lots of other crap. These people are often called Covid Long Haulers, or said to have Long Covid, or Post-acute Covid., by the CDC
Significantly more victims suffer these long-term effects, than die from the disease, and that’s what poses the bigger danger for Prescott. An NFL athlete can’t play while dragging around an oxygen tank. A QB can’t be at his best with brain fog. If walking up 10 stairs can worsen symptoms for the average person, imagine what an NFL game would do to Prescott.
If Prescott contracts Covid, even when he gets back, he may never be the same player, ever again. It could derail his career, like Guillain-Barre Syndrome did with retired C Travis Frederick. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, would be stuck with a lemon that he owes 126M$. It would be years before the Cowboys could be competitive in the free agent market.
As bad as QB Carson Wentz’s situation looks for the Eagles in 2021, Prescott not being vaccinated could make the Cowboys look a lot worse for a third of a decade. Given that Jones is no spring chicken at 78, there’s a chance that he may not even live to see the Cowboys get from under (as Jones put it), overpaying Prescott.
Again, I’m not saying that I wish Covid on him. I don’t. I’m saying, given the life choices that his fellow players make, not knowing where they’ve been, or who with… To risk that? So is this how a Franchise QB is supposed to behave? As the saying goes, play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
AFTER weeks of speculation over whether we would, the Philadelphia Eagles have finally signed free agent CB Steve Nelson, formerly of the Steelers and the Chiefs. One of the loudest voices trying to lure him here, was CB Darius Slay. By most peoples calculations (and Slay’s), this should give the Eagles a shutdown duo. Especially with the coming changes to the defensive scheme.
I do however, have a couple of questions. Why were we able sign him? Why only a 1 year, 4M$ deal? Many Eagles fans will say “Shut up! Just take the gift!”, but I’m not wired like that. I crave knowledge. I didn’t see any stories about him being arrested or anything like that. So maybe he’s not a great locker room guy? I dunno.
Nelson is just 28, has been durable, and started a ton. He’s also been moved on from, twice in his career. The two coaches to do so, were Andy Reid and Mike Tomlin, respectively. Those are not coaches known for giving up on players. Especially promising ones.
For some reason though, he’d just been sitting in free agency limbo since March. While a few teams were kicking the tires, it was reported that they (and the Eagles), had reservations about paying him north of 3M$ per year.
Honestly, 3M per year for CB with Nelson’s resume, doesn’t seem that expensive to me. The idea of being able to negate a 20M$ WR with a 3M$ CB, strikes me as a win. What confuses me, is now that the leap has been made, why only one year? Why the lack of commitment? Why are we still not sold on him?
When General Manager Howie Roseman inked Slay last year, it was for 3 years, 50M$, with 26M guaranteed. Slay was 29, had been durable, and started a ton.
Despite Nelson ticking those same boxes, his deal has me wondering why the Eagles didn’t try to lock him down, before he plays his way into a more lucrative deal.
It’s not like there’s going to be an open competition for the spot, because he’ll plenty of opportunity to shine. Nelson and Slay (barring injury), are your starters at CB in 2021. This is the reality. The Eagles aren’t spending 4 mil on a guy, to watch him ride pine.
Rookie CB Zech MacPherson may get to challenge for the spot in 2022, but any fantasies he entertained of winning a starting role in 2021, are officially dead. Still, I’ll be keeping an eye on how Nelson gels with his teammates. Especially with everyone predicting that we’ll have a rough season.