Great, But Not So Great

Posted: June 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 19 Comments » has a note up on the front page that chose the Eagles amazing comeback over the Giants as the best game of the year.  And a great game it was.

It was also the Eagles final win of 2010.  We lost the Tuesday night debacle vs MIN the following week.  We lost the Backup Bowl to Dallas in the final week.  We closed the season by losing vs Green Bay in the Wildcard round.  All of those losses were home games, by the way.

While the win over the Giants made for a magical day, it also represented all the worst traits of the 2010 Eagles.  We had big time defensive breakdowns.  We gave up 31 points and made Eli Manning look like Peyton.  We needed a host of big plays to really get the offense going.  There was the long TD to Celek.  There were a handful of Vick runs that led to crucial first downs and a TD.  We got a couple of huge Special Teams breaks, recovering an onside kick and then getting DeSean’s miraculous punt return.

Those big plays didn’t show up in the final 3 weeks.  The offense only scored 30 points in the MIN and GB games combined.  The Dallas game was just 14 points, but again, that was backups.

Did we use up all our magic in the win over the Giants?

Did we lose focus after that game, assuming we’d beat MIN and get the #2 seed?

Were the football gods just punishing me because…well, because they just seem to like seeing me suffer?

The big play, explosive offense of 2010 was a lot of fun, but I do hope we get better about being more consistent.  Improved Red Zone production would also be a major help.  I don’t care if we have the best win of the year in 2011.  I’ll settle for winning the final game of the NFL season.

* * * * *

ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd has a theory that the NFL will announce a lockout resolution / agreement late next week.  He says it will come after the NBA Finals conclude.  I hope he’s right, but somehow doubt the NFL and NFLPA are wating for Dirk and LeBron to finish business before making an announcement about the labor situation.  I’m pretty sure they’d interrupt The Rapture to make that announcement.

No matter what, it does feel good to have some positive vibes on the whole CBA mess.  I got sick of all the negative waves.   That’s it!  Maybe they brought in Oddball to help with the negotiations.  Whatever, keep up the positive news and get a deal done.

19 Comments on “Great, But Not So Great”

  1. 1 Cliff said at 7:39 PM on June 10th, 2011:

    Great perspective on the Giants game, Tommy. I remember watching the game and being so frustrated I thought for sure we had lost a spot in the Playoffs. After the onside kick and unbelievable punt return, I couldn’t help but think we’d roll through the final two games with tons of momentum for the Playoffs.


  2. 2 jernst said at 9:11 PM on June 10th, 2011:

    Love the Kelley’s Hero’s reference!!

  3. 3 Davesbeard said at 10:47 PM on June 10th, 2011:

    That video summary of the Giants game is absolutely incredible, amazing amazing game. I CANNOT WAIT FOR 2011!!!!

  4. 4 Tommy Lawlor said at 11:10 PM on June 10th, 2011:

    @ jernst…

    I’m a huge fan of Kelly’s Heroes. Have been since I saw it as a kid.

    @ Davesbeard…

    That video was great. Got me stoked to watch some football, especially an Eagles win / Giants loss.

  5. 5 dragon1five said at 6:50 AM on June 11th, 2011:

    Loved Kelly’s Heros. Not the best war movies ever made but one of the most entertaining, one of the reasons I became a tanker.

  6. 6 nathalie said at 7:08 AM on June 11th, 2011:

    i am not so sure i like that game at all. i have private reasons not to, but i also have eagles reasons.

    of course, they won. but it’s a very good example of how sometimes this team drives me nuts. first possession, turnover, and then everything spiraled down into vermillion hells.

    if they were more regular (sorry, lack of english vocab here), they might even, at times, start with a lead and keep ahead, which would save them from the harrowing efforts to come back.

    but what this game is for me, forever, is the beauty of onside kicks. more so than desean’s touchdown, which was, let’s be honest, sort of fluke-ish.

    this constant up and down graph in terms of quality of play is something i have a hard time forgiving them. ah who am i kidding. they could be back to their old horrible years and i’d still love them.

  7. 7 ppk said at 10:12 AM on June 11th, 2011:

    I had forgotten the Miracle II was our last win. Ugh. Regardless of how they played, it’s a game that will forever be etched in Eagles lore. Those last 8 minutes were an amazing ride. Pure sports exhilaration.

    Tommy, it’s not that the football gods like punishing you. They like punishing all Eagles fans.

  8. 8 Midnight Greenville said at 10:47 AM on June 11th, 2011:

    As I diehard fan of all of the Philly sports teams, it occurs to me that a lot of the seminal moments that seem like a launching pad to a championship end up being empty reminders of what could have been. BWest’s punt return. 4th and 26. Flyers coming back from 0-3 against the Bruins. Halladay’s no-hitter in the playoffs. After each of those you tell yourself that God is smiling on us this year. Not so much. The moments are great, but this year I’ll take grind-it-out wins from the 4 aces on the way to a World Series victory followed by enough come-from-ahead wins to eek out home field advantage throughout the NFL playoffs, followed by some dull, never-in-doubt playoff wins and one of the old-time Super Bowl blowouts like the good ol’ days when the NFC consistently blew out the AFC (usually the Broncos). And, while I’m asking, I’ll take Bryzgalov, too.

  9. 9 Tommy Lawlor said at 10:57 AM on June 11th, 2011:

    @ Midnight Greenville…

    I like your attitude.

    It is funny how many magical moments mean nothing, Eagles or otherwise. The original Hail Mary pass didn’t bring Dallas a SB title. The Immaculate Reception didn’t bring PIT a SB title.

    For every “The Catch” or “Tuck Rule Play” there are 4 or 5 things that don’t result in a title.

  10. 10 mattman said at 12:40 PM on June 11th, 2011:

    “It is funny how many magical moments mean nothing, Eagles or otherwise. The original Hail Mary pass didn’t bring Dallas a SB title. The Immaculate Reception didn’t bring PIT a SB title. ”

    Tommy, you’ve stumbled on a fascinating question. What is a moment ‘worth’? For that matter, what is a championship worth? Because all the moments being mentioned – 4th and 26, Miracle At The Meadowlands, Immaculate Reception, Music City Miracle – these are arguably MORE memorable than most championships. How can they mean ‘nothing’?

    I know titles are supposed to be the ‘only’ thing that matters, but in truth, I’m not sure it works that way. Even with people who insist that it does. Example: I can barely remember which pitchers threw no-hitters last year. I certainly couldn’t tell you who threw one two years ago. But I will NEVER forget Armando Galarraga’s perfect-game-that-wasn’t. Which is the more meaningful accomplishment? The one that goes in the record books, or the one that’s permanently etched into the history of the sport?

  11. 11 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:53 PM on June 11th, 2011:

    @ Mattman…

    Interesting thoughts.

    I guess we’ve sort of stumbled on an interesting philosophical topic. I’ll think about this.

    Everyone else, feel free to offer up some thoughts.

  12. 12 Midnight Greenville said at 1:27 PM on June 11th, 2011:

    I think you bring up an interesting point, but I also think we’d all agree that the purpose of playing the game is to be great–for a team that means to win–not to be memorable. There are a lot of memorable players who are not in the Hall of Fame. But, that does not make them better players than those who made it to the Hall.

    Likewise, there are a lot of moments that I’ll never forget that I wish I could…Tommy Hutton/Chris Boniol in Dallas is one of the first that comes to mind, but others include walking through the 2 minute drill in SB XXXIX, even Gregg Garrity getting tackled on the 2 yard line as time expires. As a Philly fan, there are hundreds of them. Personally, I’ll take a “forgettable” championship run over a memorable moment that occurs during an unsuccessful bid.

  13. 13 mattman said at 4:39 PM on June 11th, 2011:

    I’m not really trying to argue that memorable moments are better or *more* valuable than championships. But their value, in my mind at least, is every bit as real. It was the phrase ‘mean nothing’ that made me bristle. How can memorable moments have no value?

    In a way, I think that’s the point of your article, Tommy, witting or not: That Eagles-Giants game was filled with all the worst excesses of the 2010 Eagles. And yet it was undoubtedly the most memorable game of the year – not just for Eagles/Giants fans, but the whole NFL according to their website. As fans, we tell ourselves we want the easy blowout. But the moments we REALLY treasure – the ones with the most value, one might even say – come when the good just barely outweighs the bad.

  14. 14 mattman said at 4:41 PM on June 11th, 2011:


    “There are a lot of memorable players who are not in the Hall of Fame. But, that does not make them better players than those who made it to the Hall.”

    ‘better’ in what context? Better at playing football? sure. Better at making an impact in people’s lives and being remembered after your playing days are done? A HOF ring doesn’t give you that. Who am I to say which is the superior legacy?

    I mean when it comes down to it, even championships are only as meaningful as we decide they are. They don’t have an intrinsic value – it all comes from the context we assign. Example: How often do you hear the Eagles referred to as ‘three-time NFL champs’ vs. ‘never won a Superbowl’? For some reason, we all decided we don’t care who won NFL championships before 1966. Why? I certainly feel it, but I can’t explain it. It’s all in my head.

  15. 15 mcud said at 5:40 PM on June 11th, 2011:

    The game is being shown on NFL Network as I write this. Not to bang the RCB drum again, but Dimitri Patterson may have had the worst 1st half in the history of CBs (chief competition would be Ellis Hobbs, right?). Gave up 3 TDs, and dropped an easy INT.

    He seems like a good kid, and he plays hard, so I root for him. But I imagine its going to be with somebody else. I can’t see any way they bring him back.

  16. 16 Eaglesfanatlarge said at 9:56 PM on June 11th, 2011:

    In order to understand the Eagles’ offense, just look at the words used to describe it. “Big play”, “explosive” , these are words used to describe plays that either net huge gains or net zippee. It is a high risk, high reward style. Simply through luck, whether a favorable bounce, a gust of wind, or some other factor, this means that sometimes the Eagles will string together a bunch of these, and have huge days ala the comback against the G-men and the big win over the Skins. However, at other times, they won’t seem to be able to buy a first down, ala the Minnesota game. The Eagles’ offense is unavoidably inconsistent, based on the style they play. This makes for some very fun and exciting games. Anything truly can happen. They will never have the consistency of the Colts or Patriots, becuase their playbook doesn’t include (or if it does, they don’t use them often enough) all of those high-percentage low-yardage plays those teams use to steadily grind through games. Until they adopt a style that lends itself to consitency, the Eagles will allways be a high-flyin’, low-divin’, Jekyll-and-Hyde, yin-and-yang barrel of excitement and frustration.

  17. 17 Midnight Greenville said at 9:56 PM on June 11th, 2011:

    Totally agree with you with regard to SB rings vs. NFL championships. I mean, how much more relevant is the Giants win in ’86 or the Redskins’ or Cowboys’ wins in the 80’s-90’s than the Eagles in ’48, ’49, or ’60? No coaches or players remain from any of those teams. It’s just a little fresher in our memories (especially since I wasn’t alive in ’60). Would still like a Lombardi trophy, though.

  18. 18 Stephen said at 4:08 AM on June 12th, 2011:

    The transition to the Super Bowl era is kind of a watershed moment in the NFL, so I suppose I can understand why we draw the line in the sand and say franchises that have never won a championship (after the merger that is…).

    As for the moments thing, I guess I feel that they don’t really have to have anything with anything else, they’re special moments in time that were really unique and meaningful in their own way. They imparted joy and exhultation, and because they weren’t a springboard to a championship I don’t think really diminishes them. I think in a way finally getting that super bowl will be really another special moment for us, but one that is certainly bigger than the rest.

  19. 19 ppk said at 8:58 AM on June 12th, 2011:

    Regarding the question of which is more memorable, certain big-play moments or a championship, I would like to have the Eagles win a Super Bowl and THEN make the comparison.