Underdogs

Posted: January 3rd, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Eagles are riding a four-game winning streak and they are the NFC East champs. They are the number four seed in the NFC. They won a playoff game last year and won the Super Bowl the year before that. This team has a good combination of talent and experience.

But how good is this Eagles team?

They aren’t even favored in the wild card game against Seattle on Sunday.

CBS Sports ranked all 12 playoff teams and had the Eagles…12th.

The Sporting News has them 11th among playoff teams.

USA Today has the Eagles at 12th.

I’m not here to rip these writers for their rankings. I can see where they are coming from. The Eagles haven’t won a game outside the division since November 3rd. They got red hot down the stretch, but played the softest schedule in the league. And the only real test, Dallas, came at home.

Honestly, I don’t know what to make of the Eagles. I think you can make an interesting case for the Eagles, but you cannot deny their issues.

Part of the problem is that we don’t know who will play. Miles Sanders confirmed he will play. Lane Johnson feels like he will probably miss another week, but that’s just a guess. I’ve been doubting Zach Ertz, but now I’m starting to wonder if he might actually play.

I just don’t know what to think or expect. Is this gamesmanship by the Eagles to mess with the Seahawks game preparations? Do the Eagles and Ertz think he can really get back on the field and play, even in a limited role?

If the Eagles can get past this week, that would change things. Johnson might very well be ready for the divisional round. The team would be hoping to add DeSean Jackson. Sanders should be healthier. Ertz would be in better shape. That team would start to make opponents nervous.

First up though, the Eagles do have to get by Seattle. Can they do that?

Absolutely. Seattle won the first meeting 17-9. The Eagles turned the ball over five times. Rookie Andre Dillard started at RT and struggled. Brandon Brooks left the game and Big V took over for him. The right side of the line was a major issue.

The Eagles are in better shape this time around. Matt Pryor and Big V were the RG and RT for most of last week. They practiced together and that will have them ready to play. The Eagles have protected the ball better in their winning streak. Just in general terms, this is a better team than when the two faced each other previously.

Can you actually get fired up about this team?

That is phenomenal. Doug Pederson as The Wolf of Broad Street. Great bit by Kyle Brandt.

Let’s talk more about the Eagles for a minute. They beat Buffalo and Green Bay, two playoff teams, and both wins came on the road. The Eagles have played in pressure-packed games for the past month so they won’t be overwhelmed by the pressure of the postseason.

The Eagles are confident. Look at what they have done in recent postseasons. They took down Matt Ryan, who was coming off a Super Bowl appearance, back in 2017. They beat the #1 defense in the league the next week. Then the Eagles took down the greatest coach-QB combo of all-time in the Super Bowl. Last year they won in Chicago when the Bears had the top scoring defense in the league. The Eagles came up just short in New Orleans.

I know not all of the players were part of those games, but enough guys were that it will give the overall team confidence that they can beat anybody, anywhere. Believing is half the battle. Under Pederson, the Eagles believe in themselves when the calendar says January.

Rookies Corey Clement and Derek Barnett were heroes in the 2017 postseason. Young guys like Cre’Von LeBlanc and Treyvon Hester were heroes last year. This coaching staff knows how to get young guys to step up in big moments.

Nothing this team does will shock me.

*****

Do you need a good laugh? Listen to Duce Staley rip on Boston Scott’s spin move.

That is great.

When it comes to the mental/emotional side of things, this team is in a really good place right now.

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One Comment on “Underdogs”

  1. 1 The Linc - Eagles’ defense is bringing the ski mask back - Philly's Top Five said at 6:30 AM on January 5th, 2020:

    […] Underdogs – Iggles BlitzFirst up though, the Eagles do have to get by Seattle. Can they do that? Absolutely. Seattle won the first meeting 17-9. The Eagles turned the ball over five times. Rookie Andre Dillard started at RT and struggled. Brandon Brooks left the game and Big V took over for him. The right side of the line was a major issue. The Eagles are in better shape this time around. Matt Pryor and Big V were the RG and RT for most of last week. They practiced together and that will have them ready to play. The Eagles have protected the ball better in their winning streak. Just in general terms, this is a better team than when the two faced each other previously. […]