The Guard Has Officially Changed

There had been some reasons for optimism.  Right?

At 3-4, you could convince yourself that the Philadelphia Eagles had shot themselves in the foot a couple of times and that they really were a team that you had to worry about as an opponent.

A couple of quality wins against the Lions (who now look strangely “real”) and last week's solid win against the Vikings (who put the also-formerly-formidable Chargers in their place yesterday in record setting fashion) suggested that there was something there. 

And the losses – a 3-point loss to the now 7-1 Packers because of a late muffed punt and a heartbreaking breakdown against the Bears at home — those could convince you that instead of 3-4, they really might be 5-2 had a couple of things gone their way or been just a little bit better.

Until last night.

The despised Dallas Cowboys rode into Lincoln Financial Field and drubbed the Eagles so bad it wasn’t even funny.  Tony Romo and Terrel Owens looked like Montana & Rice all night – almost effortlessly moving down the field.  As hard as it is to say, they look like the “best-in-class” for the NFC East this year.

The crowd – initially hyped and ready to rock – was quickly quieted as on the Eagles’ first play Donovan McNabb fumbled the ball away which quickly lead to a Dallas score.  The vehemence ready to be directed at Terrell Owens quickly got shifted to the home team, but after a dreadful INT that gutted the Eagles’ chances to tie the game before half, you got the sense that all the energy had spent itself and all that was left was a numb realization about just how mediocre this team really is.

What a strange world it is when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sums it up succinctly: “This has always been our toughest road challenge because the fans are so passionate here," he said. “To have a game like this was surprising.”

And it doesn’t get any easier.  I have a hunch that I’ll be buying Grandma-P another lunch after next week’s game with the Redskins, and I can’t even think of the annihilation that will take place in New England three weeks from now when the Eagles travel to Foxboro for another nationally televised massacre.  The only winnable games may be against Miami and Buffalo, so something like 5-11 or 4-12 might be a real possibility.

As a fan that’s enjoyed a pretty rich run for several seasons (even last year’s improbable Jeff Garcia-led playoff run), being out of it by mid-season is pretty strange.

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14 thoughts on “The Guard Has Officially Changed

  1. I feel for you, Steve, I really do. Yesterday was the first sign of life we've seen from the Vikes since about Week 2. (Oh, but wasn't it a beautiful MN/SD game yesterday? I wish Joey'd gone to that one.) It's just a nauseating feeling to watch your team tank, especially against a team you despise.
    A couple of quality wins against the Lions (who now look strangely “real”) You win for best line of the day! Ha!! (although I have to say I agree with you)

  2. Don't fret Steve, this is the NFL if you don't like what you see you only have to wait one season for things to change. UNLESS of course you are a Lions fan. Then it's 40 years of the most pathetic display of "professional" football that this planet has ever seen.
    I did see the other day that Philly now has the longest championship drought of any city with teams in all 4 major sports, 25 years! yikes!

  3. I feel your pain, as I have been told (I was tucked in early due to illness) that my Ravens were handed their butts by (grrrr) the Steelers.Some years you just have to be a fan because you just are, right?

  4. Mello — the first game of the day here was the MN-SD game (which caused a lot of locals here to become despondent — talk about not living up to expectations — wow) — and I thought — geez, I wish Mello's son could have gone to THAT game — lotsa big plays, record setting performances and a huge Vikings win.

  5. TRW — I sort of wish I had local Philly sports radio here — its got to be an absolute apocalypse there. Bench McNabb!!! Fire Reid!!! <I can almost here it from here>

  6. sdede2 — you know that is a strange comfort. It seemed like in the pre-salary cap/pre-free-agent days teams would be good or bad for a whole decade. Now it takes some sharp financial and player scouting skills and a turnaround can come quickly.
    I still think I have a VCR tape (even though I no longer have a VCR) of the Eagles 1995 playoff win over the Lions where they scored almost 60 points.

  7. Nacwolin — ouch, I watched a bit of that last night and it was UGLY with a capital UG. But you're right — the Beloved and I went for a walk this morning and I put on my Eagles sweatshirt. She remarked that it was a tough week to wear it, and I told her you can't stop being a fan… :)

  8. I don't know about McNabb. He isn't really that accurate. He can put the ball in the general area, but he requires the receivers the do a lot of work to haul it in. Reid is having home issues, maybe the front office should request that he take a leave of absense.

  9. It was a tough game to watch. But as a lover of the Browns, I'd like to say I know exactly how you feel. And when the Browns visit Ketchup next weekend, I'm thinking we may not even get off the bus. It always hurts the most to loose to a rival.

  10. Budd — his issues are all in his head. When he's been "on", he's very accurate. But he has a tendency (showing up more and more) to throw balls in the dirt. Its all mental.
    They really should have kept Garcia another year and let McNabb heal.

  11. It was funny, as the Patriots were beginning to take away the Colts' soul, I found myself switching over to the Browns-Seahawks game and ROOTING FOR THE BROWNS….
    see what you've done!

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