Was Sunday a Super Bowl dress rehearsal for Eagles?
In keeping with the holiday spirit, the table is set for the most improbable - if not the most exciting - playoff run in Eagles history. Three games to go with the Eagles holding all of the cards, including the trump card, thanks to the Chicago Bears and an inept Cowboy defense. The Birds are the team with the momentum while the Cowboys are looking for answers with a history of “The December Swoon” hanging over their heads.
Seriously … how cool is this? And certainly unbelievable, considering the twists and turns.
A quarterback “controversy” has turned into one of harmony as one of the most self-effacing athletes in Philly history has won over the hearts of the toughest and best fans in the NFL. Laughing along with all of us about his comparisons to Napoleon Dynamite, Nick Foles has exploded into the national spotlight with his efficient and deliberate style and play.
With experts saying that with Michael Vick on the sidelines so will be the Eagles running game, Shady is rocking the NFL as the league’s top rusher. With ¾-inch cleats gripping like Velcro in the snow, he breaks an Eagles record held by the great Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren. Who can forget highlights of Van Buren scoring the only TD in a blizzard in the 1948 NFL Championship Game? He got to the stadium on a trolley with his cleats hanging over his shoulders by their shoelaces.
You can’t script it any better than that. Well maybe you can … remember all of the talk about how the defense was probably going to be the weak link on the team? Well look at it now … playing with a swagger - but not arrogance - reminiscent of Buddy Ryan’s fearsome “46” defense. So, Billy Davis comes into town with his hybrid “thirty” defense and has quietly and confidently transformed the weakest link into the keystone of the team. His guys believe in his system and themselves and are now playing with a level of trust and tenacity that we haven’t seen here in a while.
The special teams had an aberration giving up a couple of runbacks against the Lions but I’ll give them a mulligan like I gave Foles a pass on his last Cowboys game. I’m still not convinced he wasn’t injured earlier in the game.
Any way you look at it, Chip Kelly’s “Nascar” offense and collegiate approach seems to fit the personality and talents of this team. He’s adjusted to injuries at key positions, learned how to manage the clock and save timeouts, confused opposing defenses, and is growing in his role of coaching in the NFL … with the slightest smile (or is that a smirk?) on his face most of the times. He seems to enjoy sparring with the press and all of the challenges that accompany being an NFL head coach in a major media market. He is making adjustment a commonplace - not a rarity - with Eagles football.
So was Sunday simply a dress rehearsal for the Eagles at MetLife Stadium for the predicted Super Bowl blizzard? Why not? They are the hottest team in the league right now and when you have momentum and confidence anything can be achieved. Right now, they believe … and remember what happed when Tug McGraw’s Phillies believed.
Do you recall the preseason predictions? Sort of like the forecasts for this past Sunday’s weather for a little snow later in the afternoon.
Is this fun or what?