Despite this past weekend at New Orleans, I feel optimistic about 2019. The team has talent and depth at both the wide receivers and running backs. With a stable offensive line, Philadelphia should be able to score much earlier in the game. This in turn will result in greatly improved defensive play.
If the Eagles had won those three close games-Minnesota, Carolina, and Tennessee-they obviously would have been in a much better position in the playoffs. I feel a that 12-4 record would have meant the BYE week and the home field advantage for the first round.
We hear about all the injuries the Eagles had in 2018. The same thing happened in 2017 but the Eagles were able to overcome them. Any idea why. All of us know that football is a business. Nevertheless winning brings in money as well. I just hope the Philadelphia front office will make an effort to keep quality players like Jay Agayi, Brandon Graham, and Nick Foles.
There were plenty of mistakes and misplays to blame both the offense and defense in yesterday’s loss to the Saints. The Eagles have for the fourth time fallen off after one NFL Championship-1960, 1980, 2004 and 2017. I hope the Eagles will be in another Super Bowl next season. As you can see, the time between Super Bowls has been far too long.
1961-The Eagles finished 10-4 as the league moved to a 14 game season. After 7-1 start, the team lost three of the next five. Beat the Detriot Lions 27 to 24 on the final game. Got no help from other NFL teams.
1981-From 12-4 to 10-6. After a 6-0 start, lost 6 of the next 9 games. Defeated the St Louis Cardinals 38 to 0 on the final regular season game but lost to the New York Giants in the Wild Card round.
2005-From 12-4 to 6-10. After the Super Bowl season really fell off to 6-10. Terrell Owens really hurt the entire city. Injuries to Donovan McNabb, Lito Shepard, Brian Dawkins, and Brian Westbrook also were big factors in the teams’ drop off.
Yesterday’s game was a passing duel with the ground game almost non-existent. Nick Foles passed for 471 yards and four touchdowns. Though Foles had a great game, his fumble at the Eagles five yard line made him look bad. Houston ran the next play over for a touchdown. Quickly a 7 to 3 lead became a 9 to 7 deficit. Things often change with the blink of an eye. The Texans missed the extra point.
Second year man DeShaun Watson showed the poise of a veteran throwing for 339 yards and two touchdowns. Watson was able to run against the Eagles often escaping sacks. On the bright side, the Eagles did nail Watson four times behind the line of scrimmage for 30 yards losses.
His most amazing play was in the fourth quarter when Eagles defensive line had him totally surrounded at the Houston 45 yard line . DeShaun looked like the round piece of metal in a Pin Ball machine as he bounced off defensive linemen. Escaping them, he threw for 30 yards and a first down at the 25 yard line. A touchdown followed on the next play.
After that score the Eagles fell behind 30 to 29. Almost three minutes earlier we were leading 29 to 16. It looked like Philadelphia was going to kill the clock and fans could relax ; the Eagles seem to have a knack of making a struggle out of what should be much easier. The fumble from Josh Adams started the slide.
A big lull occurred when Houston got that one point lead. Fans were in a down mode. Nick Foles added to his place in Eagle history with that come from behind win.
This had the usual discrepancies between the Regular and Post Season Games. Since the differences were more intense and a 9-7 team won the big prize, I will look at the the games closer in the near future.
Here are the NFC Playoff Teams and their records
Atlanta Falcons (WC) 10-6, Detroit Lions (WC) 10-6, Green Bay Packers 15-1, New Orleans Saints 13-3, New York Giants 9-7, San Francisco 49ers 13-3,
From AFC the Giants played the New England Patriots who were 13-3.
Here is how the Giants fared against the Playoff Teams during the season
On the road: defeated the New England Patriots, 24 to 20; lost to San Francisco 27 to 20; lost to New Orleans 49 to 24; at home lost to Green Bay 38 to 35.
For the Playoffs at home, (WC) , defeated the Atlanta Falcons 24 to 2; at Green Bay defeated the Packers 37 to 20; at San Francisco defeated in overtime the 49ers 20 to 17.
In the Super Bowl the Giants defeated the Patriots at Indianapolis 21 to 17.
The rash of injuries that hit the Eagles in 2017 would not occur again in 2018 or so I told myself. The Eagles stood a good chance of going to the Super Bowl. There is little sense of history associated with a team that just wins once. The Eagles in all four championship years, 1960, 1980, 2004, and now 2018, fell off sharply the following year; and of course it was a long time before they were in the NFL Championship Game again.
Last year Philadelphia was able to overcome the injuries that hit the team; not so in 2018. Jay Ajayi was only active for a few games and is out for the season. LaGarette Blount, lost in free agency, was a great running back. Jason Peters should probably retire and the list goes on. The Eagles also lost two coaches with Frank Reich and John DeFilippo. The Front Office is not offering players enough money to stay in Philadelphia.
This is a business and the bottom line is profit. Eagles’ fans, the most passionate in the NFL, deserve a Championship for more than one consecutive year.
is out for the season.
NFC Championship Game Los Angeles at Tampa Bay.
After defeating Dallas, the Rams had a rematch with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both games were at Tampa and were defensive struggles. Both teams took opposite paths to arrive one game short of the Super Bowl. Already mentioned was the late surge that brought Los Angeles from 5-6 to 9-7.
After 12 weeks the Buccaneers were 9-3. Among the victories was a 21 to 6 effort over the Los Angeles Rams. Jim Youngblood returned an interception for an early touchdown for LA. That was it for the Rams even missing an extra point. For Tampa Bay, Doug Williams threw two touchdown passes and Ricky Bell ran for another. The Bucs gained 249 yards to just 186 yards to the Rams.
Tampa then lost three straight games including a 14 to 0 loss to the Chicago Bears. They won the last game 3 to 0 to the Kansas City Chiefs to qualify for the playoffs with a 10-6 record.
The NFC Title Game at Tampa Bay. Kicking three field goals, Los Angeles shut out the Buccaneers 9 to 0. LA gained 369 yards to just 177 yards for Tampa Bay.
In the Super Bowl at Pasadena, CA, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Rams 31 to 19. The lead changed seven times before the Steelers pulled away with two touchdowns in the last seven minutes. Nevertheless, the Rams made a remarkable comeback from being 5-6 during the season.