Still Waiting on 60 Minutes from Philadelphia Eagles


The Pope has come and gone.

The Phillies have mercifully left, and both the Flyers and Sixers still have a long way to go.

So this is what happens when there’s nothing else happening in town but an underachieving football team. The losses spell the end of the world and the wins dictate a revisit to championship parade plans.

Thus far, neither reaction has been fair, nor accurate.

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On Sunday, there were a couple parallels between the Philadelphia Eagles and the “holiday” many of us celebrated (i.e., use for an excuse to sleep in or eat Italian food) the following Monday: They discovered something that was there all along, and it really wasn’t that big of a deal.

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Therefore, any level of extreme merriment – second half blowouts aside – should be harnessed for at least another week.

Why? Because the Saints, they of the porous defense and offensive line resembling a human turnstyle, had just as much to do with them losing as the Eagles did with beating them. Some, like this podcast from SBNation, even has them as the worst franchise in the league right now.

(Apparently, the Jags and Lions can’t even win at losing!)

True, you play the hand you’re dealt, but when you’re holding pocket aces, it shouldn’t take so long to take the opponent’s cash. And after yet another half of inexcusable decisions and missed opportunities, we’re still waiting on a 60-minute performance.

Discipline remains the key issue, and there was plenty of evidence against New Orleans that it remains lacking: A pair of interceptions in the end zone, leaving tight end Ben Watson wide open for a touchdown without calling a timeout to prevent it. Even an inexplicable penalty on Chip Kelly after a forced turnover which put the team out of field goal range. Then letting 23 seconds tick off the clock even though they still had all three timeouts to use.

Dropped passes continue to plague the team as well, especially from Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews – who cannot be trusted as a legitimate No. 1 receiver until he figures this out. Meanwhile, DeMarco Murray got his share of touches which resulted in a collective shrug from those who watched yet another uninspiring performance. Plus, I still stand by my claim last week that Mark Sanchez could be a better fit for this offense than Sam Bradford.

Admittedly, most of the aforementioned occurred in the first half, before the Eagles shifted to another gear. But first halves have been an Achilles Heel all season, which begs the question of how prepared the players are going into these games.

To be fair, especially when using objective hindsight, it often takes time for a team with so much offseason transition at so many key positions to gel. Five games that count and an entire preseason seems like enough now. With first place in the NFC East miraculously on the line next Monday, it’ll have to be.

In yet another dark period in Philadelphia sports, it’s perfectly understandable for a fanbase to cling onto any nuggets of positivity. So celebrate the fact that Fletcher Cox has vaulted himself into one of the elite defensive ends in the league. Or that the offensive line had its best game of the season and may continue to improve if they remain upright. Or that Walter Thurmond and Ryan Mathews have turned into great offseason investments.

But don’t start taking a day off from work and eating Italian just yet.

Next: Byron Maxwell is Eagles' Weakest Link

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