The Philadelphia Eagles are living a life similar to Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. With each subsequent week repeating with a “must win” narrative, the team is facing it’s largest challenge of the season as they travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks.
The Philadelphia Eagles have done their best to help the dwindling NFL ratings in the tri-state area. Their four losses have come by a combined 19 points. When this team sets out to prove me wrong, it does so with a vengeance. Last week I was sure that the team would blunder it’s opportunities. This week, the team as a whole is going to be tested by a team not only with Super Bowl aspirations, but expectations and experience.
Throughout the season, the defenses of both the Seahawks and the Eagles have been statistical twins. Both defenses were the last teams in the NFL to give up a passing touchdown. The Seahawks give up only 2.1 less yards per game and only 3.7 points per game. In what is sure to be a grind it out style game, the battle in the trenches could ultimately prove to be the deciding factor. The Seahawks offensive line has presented itself as a wet paper bag all season to opponents, but has played better lately.
In case you didn’t notice, Bennie Logan made his triumphant return last week against the Atlanta Falcons. The result was Devonta Freeman getting held to a robust 49 yards on the ground. This week CJ Prosise and Thomas Rawls will challenge the Eagles front seven in a variety of ways. While Rawls is working his way back from injury, Prosise certainly has shown that a rookie can provide immediate results in the passing game.
More troubling is the fact that Russell Wilson finally looks like he’s finding his mobility again. The Eagles must do everything they can to get to Wilson and keep him inside the numbers. That’s precisely what the Eagles didn’t do the last time these two teams faced off in a must-win scenario. For a defense that has a total of five sacks in the last three games, wishing success in that department might be as successful as overturning the Electoral College results.
Let’s look at this at a broader lens though and see whether our collective opinion changes prior to the game. The Eagles have a rookie quarterback, a first-year head coach, no depth along the offensive line or in the secondary, and they are one game above .500 heading into Week 11. They have faced some of the best competition in the conference in consecutive weeks and have held their own. The last five games have been against teams with winning records. If the playoffs started today, four of those five teams would currently be in the playoffs. Win or lose today, this team is becoming increasingly familiar with playoff atmosphere games.
We as fans all want our team(s) to do well on game day. Let’s not lose focus on the fact that this team is still rebuilding and can get better. I want the Eagles to win today. I want nothing more than to be able to sing the fight song over and over throughout the afternoon. However, if this game doesn’t turn out the way we hope it will, the experience that is gained from it will provide a valuable learning opportunity for the future of this franchise. I can live with a loss if the team shows competitive spirit and limits it’s stupid mistakes.
Maybe it’s a “participation trophy” mindset when we need a Ricky Bobby mindset, but this team is giving us plenty of hope for not only today and the rest of the season, but for the next few years. I don’t like dealing with “what ifs” often. What if the Eagles had a competent set of receivers? What if Chip Kelly didn’t gut the roster? However should the Eagles win today, a question many of us will be asking Monday, including myself, is: What if this current Eagles roster can win despite all those question marks?