Monday, November 12, 2007

Reality check: Eagles are who they are

By Jeff Glauser
The Phanatic Magazine

Let’s not get carried away here.

We seem to live in a land of short attention spans, resulting in an even shorter memory. If ignorance is bliss, amnesia must be Utopia.

Just like last week wasn’t the end of the world and an indicator that, upon losing embarrassingly to the Cowboys, the Eagles would lose their composure, lose their morale and, ultimately lose the rest of their games, yesterday’s victory was not a sign that the tides have turned once more.

Number Five again did his best Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde performance, alternately providing glimpses of brilliance with shades of incomprehensible decision-making. For each juke and shimmy which reminded us of yesteryear - when this same figure was once one of the most exciting acts in the league - we were witness to a deer in headlights while pressured in the pocket, or an irresponsible momentum-killing fumble.

Of course, as a newly neurotic and self-preserving McNabb might note at a post-game press conference, the same can be said about the rest of the squad.

A surprising (but refreshing) commitment to the run early in the game, only to miss a valuable opportunity for Brian Westbrook and company to shove the ball down the Redskins’ throat later on.

A non-existent pass rush and shady coverage for most of the contest, followed by a couple outstanding defensive stands late in the game to seal the deal (including a superb seven-play suffocation inside the Skins’ 10).

This is the reality, folks: The Eagles will not go down in flames this season. There is enough talent and too much pride to allow that to happen.

However, nor will this team set the world on fire. There is, unfortunately, not enough talent – nor effective strategy – for this to occur.

At the end of the day, the Eagles are who they are: A bunch of decent players, a few mediocre players, a couple of once-great players who are now past their prime and a single great one who is injury prone and often underused when he’s not.

(As for the future, that’s tough to tell, since we really don’t see much of the latest installment of draft picks.)

The fact that the Eagles have alternated wins and losses since Game 2 should not come as a surprise. The fact that extreme levels of enthusiasm and disgust, respectively, seem to coincide with each should.

So whether we see Jekyl keeling over to the winless Dolphins next week - thus subjecting some fans to inevitable doom and gloom and six more weeks of winter this fall - or if Hyde returns to place the Birds on the brink of playoff contention, keep in mind the following:

It’s not as bad as it seems and it’s certainly not as good as it may look.

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