Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Much more than just playoffs on the line for Eagles

And so this long, strange ride of an Eagles season reaches a cliff in Texas on Sunday.

Much more than just playoffs on the line for Eagles

The success or failure of Chip Kelly and Nick Foles´ first season together will be determined on Sunday night in Dallas, Al Morganti says. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
The success or failure of Chip Kelly and Nick Foles' first season together will be determined on Sunday night in Dallas, Al Morganti says. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

The often incoherent, grammatically challenged ramblings of a man who has watched too much sports, listened to too much music and devoured too many club sandwiches.

And so this long, strange ride of an Eagles season reaches a cliff in Texas on Sunday against the Cowboys with a lot more than the playoffs on the line.

It’s all on the line -– karma, good will, season’s greetings... it's all up for grabs. In the matter of one game, the season can go from rainbows and unicorns to wart hogs and hell’s fire.

Welcome to Philadelphia, Chip Kelly.

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Logic would tell you that no matter what happens on Sunday, the Eagles’ season should be deemed a huge success. In Kelly’s first year -- guided by under-the-radar quarterback Nick Foles -- the Eagles have already more than doubled last year’s win total, and are riding into a bright future.

But professional sports are not logical -- especially in the NFC East, and there will be no feeling of a success if the Eagles lose on Sunday. If that occurs, the sweet smell of victory will evaporate, and the whole season will look like and smell like a dumpster fire.

Logic might occur in a few weeks, but on Sunday night the Eagles face a win-or-else situation.

Doesn’t matter who is playing quarterback for the Cowboys. Doesn’t matter if it’s Tony Romo, pumped up with pain killers, or Kyle Orton. In fact, it wouldn’t matter if the Cowboys somehow got Tom Brady or Peyton Manning to get behind center.

The Eagles HAVE to win this game.

The holiday table is all set for them with the huge glare of a national TV audience, waiting to see the Cowboys melt down like a snowman on the desert in the middle of the holidays.

This time it is the Eagles who have been handed the blowtorch to melt the Cowboys at the end of December. It’s a role they have already played once (in 2008), and a role played to perfection in the past two years by the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.

The nation’s football fans will tune in on Sunday night to see if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will once again look more foolish than a fat opera singer on stage for her finale in a thong, with no voice, and a backed up by an out-of-tune chorus.

This holiday season, it is up to the Eagles to put a bow on the NFL package, and allow the audience to watch the Cowboys open their usual bag of coal.

There are not many times an underdog coming into a season can be demanded to win a crucial game – especially on the road in a rivalry series, but this is one of those times.

The fallout from a loss would be devastating. For Foles, it would be especially damaging since his low point occurred at home in a loss to the Cowboys, a game in which he played so poorly there were grave doubts about his future.

Since then, Foles has been not only good enough, but statistically elite. The Eagles have also vastly improved on defense, and with one of the NFL’s best running games led by LeSean McCoy, there is no margin for error.

The preview for this game is very simple – beat the Cowboys … or leave the field feeling like you finished 0-16.

Unfair, but reality.

Nuf Ced.

Al Morganti is a member of the WIP Morning Show (94.1 FM) weekday mornings from 5:30 til 10 and a hockey analyst for Comcast SportsNet. His twitter handle is @nufced.

Al Morganti is a member of the WIP Morning Show (94.1 FM) weekday mornings from 5:30 til 10 and a hockey analyst for Comcast SportsNet. His twitter handle is @nufced.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/Any_idea_what_Ruben_and_the_Phillies_are_doing.html#B4VfJkx1WH9OlAId.99
Al Morganti Philly.com
About this blog
Al Morganti is a contributor at Philly.com and writes about sports and entertainment. Reach Al at nufced04@gmail.com.

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