Jason Avant made the catch of the year (twice). The Defense finally held an opposing Quarterback under Hall of Fame-level numbers. Nick Foles led a fourth quarter comeback. And the Eagles won a game for the first time in 70 days. What’s happening here?!
We’re beyond thrilled! Sure, we want Andy fired and a high draft pick(*), but after more than two months of horrible, soul-crushing defeats, a win feels SOOOO good. We’re actually – get this – happy!
(*)That Howie Roseman will inevitably fuck up.
And how can we not be thrilled with Nick Foles?! Sure, he made some really poor passes, took some bad sacks and did this all against the league’s last-ranked pass Defense… But he was poised, perpetually stepped up in the pocket, made smart decisions, protected the ball and engineered two late drives to win a game in the final seconds. He was clutch, converting four third and fourth-down plays when the team needed him the most. According to reports, he even “invented” those final two plays – the 22-yard fourth down pass to Avant, where Foles escaped the Bucs pass rush to throw a dagger, and the one-yard game-winning touchdown to Maclin.
We’re still gun shy about declaring Foles the Eagles Quarterback of the future – the scars of Bobby Hoying will do that to you – but we certainly jumped in line for some bandwagon tickets after that performance. Even before the game started yesterday, we were questioning the merits of Foles as the starter going into 2013. The sample size was (and admittedly still is) too small to just anoint him as the franchise guy, but he’s clearly getting better with each passing game.
It was even more impressive that he performed so well yesterday without the help of a run game. And this isn’t a knock on Bryce Brown, who’s been great filling in for LeSean McCoy, but he finally came back to Earth in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers boast the league’s best run Defense, and it certainly showed. But again, they also have the 32nd-ranked pass D… So, who really knows what to make of yesterday’s performance. Again, we need to see it continue and we need to see it on a more consistent basis.
But, if the QB choice heading into next season is Nick Foles or (what many are calling an Eagles offseason target) Alex Smith, we obviously vote for Foles.
And we must mention the Defense. Sure, they weren’t overtly special, but they did hold the league’s 4th-ranked scoring Offense to a goose egg in the first half. Mykal Kendricks looked a lot better on the weak side than he did playing the SAM Linebacker spot, and Jamar Chaney seemed to have regained his swagger after returning to the starting lineup. And Colt Anderson, making his first career start at Safety, was passable. Yeah, he’s not that good… But compared to Kurt Colman, he may as well have been Ronnie Lott! Even DRC made some plays, until he didn’t.
The most impressive feat of all though, was seeing the Defense stop the run when they needed to… Something we haven’t seen in all of 2012.
As for The Walrus…
Even before yesterday’s win, we were discussing the very real possibility that Lurie inexplicably brings him back next year. Sure, we have a countdown going to what we believe will/could/should be his firing after the final game of the season… But it’s not set in stone. Until Andy is officially gone and his water tank in the NovaCare Complex is drained and cleaned, we simply won’t believe it.
In fact, there are signs that say he WILL be back. First of all, Lurie doesn’t give two shits about us, the fans. This is a fact. Secondly, Lurie’s not the type of guy to just pay someone $6 million to not be here, and he clearly respects Reid more than anyone ever should. Then there’s Daily News columnist John Smallwood’s article from last week - that you should absolutely read – claiming the following:
This Reid seemed like he might know something that the rest of us did not, and considering his close relationship with Lurie, he probably does.
Smallwood goes on to discuss the same thing we’ve been pondering: if Reid is really on his way out, why is Lurie allowing him to not only fire coaches and cut players, but HIRE coaches. Sure, bringing in former/now-current Defensive Line Coach Tommy Brasher wasn’t the biggest of moves, and it’s not like they gave him a multi-year deal, but isn’t it odd that Reid didn’t just give the D-Line duties to someone in-house? As Smallwood wrote, after the loss to the Cowboys last week, Reid no longer looks like a zombie, going through the motions and waiting to have his brain destroyed (metaphorically speaking), but a man planning for his 15th season.
We’ll have (much) more on this topic coming up, but apparently The Billionaire is planning on re-gifting us a $6 million/350-pound lump of coal for Christmas. Happy holidays, Philadelphia!
At least we can be thankful for one thing though… The Eagles don’t often play in warm climates: