WHICH team do I fear in the playoffs this season? Who will be the toughest test, for Head Coach Doug Pederson? Everyone has a team that they fear for some reason or another, and I’m no different.
Most fear the Minnesota Vikings, but I’m not entirely sure why. Yes, they have a good defense. Other than that, we’re talking about a team that’s been held to fewer than 17 points, 4 times. They’ve also played 2 games against the Bears (rookie QB), 2 games vs the Packers (no Aaron Rodgers), and had games against the Browns, Redskins, Buccaneers, and Bengals. Seriously, that’s half a season worth of gimmies! That’s 8 – 0 because the sun came up. The rest of the way they were 5 – 3, but just 1 – 2 on the road vs this season’s playoff teams. Minny is a dome team, and has played 11 of their 16 games either in a dome or in warm weather. Readers who don’t live in or around Philadelphia may not know this, but Philly’s winter weather isn’t likely to do the Vikings any favors.And if you do live in Philly, just look outside your window right now. Dome team. ‘Nuff said.
Many fear the New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees and RB Alvin Kamara. Thrown in a defense that has improved steadily for two years, and the Saints are actually respectable opponent. That said, they suffered 3 of their 4 losses, on the road, and played 14 of 16 games either in a dome or in warm weather. Our last playoff game was a home loss to the Saints in cold weather, but keep in mind, we were being coached by an idiot (TIK) who proudly ignored basic pro football wisdom, and then was out-coached by a guy deliberately employing Football 098 tactics, just to show him up in front of the nation. Well, we’re no longer being coached by an idiot.
Some fear the Los Angeles Rams. We beat them in a shootout that QB Carson Wentz played most of, before tearing his ACL. This time around we have Nick Foles in the pilot seat. While Foles is no Wentz, he is still more than capable of leading this Offense. Also, perhaps our Defense might show up for this game, unlike the last time we played the Rams. Oddly enough, the Rams on the road were 7 – 1, and so were better than the 4 – 4 they were at home. However, given that they won’t receive a Bye week, I’ll wait to see if (and more importantly how) they survive the first round, before deciding if I’m concerned about them. They concerned me during the regular season, but I’ll need another look at them before deciding if they warrant that again. However, if you put a gun to my head and asked me if I’m concerned about them today, I’d have to say that I’m not. This time we have a real MLB, and won’t be starting and playing most of this game in the Nickel.
Atlanta. Yeah, no one fears Atlanta. It might be wise not to stand to close to them, since they have a tendency to self-destruct, and we don’t want to get any of their stank, on us.
Which brings me to my point. The only team I fear in these playoffs.
It’s the Eagles. That’s it.
We’re a team that can pump on all cylinders. Offense? We put up 30 per game. (23.5 under Foles, even if you subtract the defensive TD vs Oakland). Defensively we hold teams to 18 points per game. Our Special Teams has repeatedly proven themselves as clutch and/or pivotal this year. So we can do it all.
Instead of being a team that is offensive or defensive, we’re complete on all THREE sides. As long as the Eagles bring even our “C” game, at the very least we’re going to be in the game until the very end (See: Chiefs and Seahawks). If we bring our “B” game or better, we’ll be sending teams on long, quiet plane rides to clean out their lockers.
No. I don’t fear any of the poor suckers who have the misfortune to come visit the NFL’s best football team. The only thing I fear is the Eagles executing poorly. As long as that doesn’t happen, no one is coming into OUR HOUSE and leaving it with a win.