The Philadelphia Eagles are, for the next week, known as the First Place Philadelphia Eagles, having taken the top spot of the crumbling, unsightly NFC East. But somebody has to be in first, and right now, the 6-5 Eagles are that somebody.
It wasn’t always this way, you know. Just 365 days ago, the Eagles were a horrid mess of back-ups and letdowns, hastily duct taped together and kicked out onto the line of scrimmage, where Andy Reid made sure nobody, nobody ran the ball.
The November 18, 2012 Eagles were 3-7, much like Washington is now for the fifth time in 10 seasons. The Redskins had in fact just trounced the Eagles 31-6 in D.C. for their seventh loss. The defeat rendered the Eagles "not officially eliminated," which technically qualified as "good" news for a team that was definitely going to be eliminated soon.
LeSean McCoy had been carted off the field, injured while still in the game for some reason in the final two minutes of a 25-point loss. This did not improve Reid's standing in Philadelphia. On top of that, the media was acquiring its insatiable appetite for rookie RGIII.
The Eagles had their own rookie in Nick Foles, making his first NFL start, during which he hurled two interceptions into the league's worst pass defense at the time. These days, Foles hasn't been picked off since 2012.
But Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was not giving up on the season. Not even close. In fact, he was doubling down on the Eagles, who could, remember, at best finish 9-7. If they won out. Which a team that has just lost their last six games does not normally do.
DRC keeps saying that nobody has more talent than the Eagles: "Nobody has lined up and just beat us. No, it's just mental mistakes."
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) November 18, 2012
Oh, that DRC. What a great attitude. I have a feeling he's gonna be around here a long time.
Another hilarious Twitter parody account eased the tension with some classic #jokes and #humor.
Trade my brother, we want out of Philly! #Eagles
— Marcus Foles (@MarcusFoles) November 18, 2012
Scott Hartnell was not shy about indicating where his true loyalties lied.
— Scott Hartnell (@Hartsy19) November 18, 2012
And Jon Gruden was destined to become the Eagles' next head coach, #sooo...
Could Jon Gruden be the next Eagles head coach. Sources tell me he wants to coach again. IF the Eagles change the NFL assistants r weak,sooo
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) November 8, 2012
Dan Graziano of ESPN illustrated the Eagles' downard spiraling culture in the form of numerically ranked teams:
"The Eagles are in a free-fall and set to start rookie quarterback Nick Foles this week in place of a concussed Michael Vick. This might not be as low as they can get. I have them at 23, down two spots from last week and (ahem) 20 from where I had them to start the season."
It's been quite a year for the Eagles, with the full, or I guess half, circle being completed by a turnaround from last place to first place, exactly one year later. The trick will be how they have to play their remaining five games.