I want to preface this story with a disclaimer: I don’t get to watch these games from the press box. I don’t go to practices. I don’t get to interview coaches, players and staff.
I’m an Eagles fan first and foremost – that’s what originally fueled my desire to get into writing. I love this team with every fiber of my being and coupling that with the degree I earned in English, it seemed like match made in heaven. Mix in a small bit of narcissism for thinking people actually care what I think about this team considering I’m just a fan much like most of you, and here I stand today. With that, here’s what I have to say.
My fellow Eagles fans, that game yesterday was probably the worst loss of this season. Five games in, our Eagles sit at 2-3 with little to no shot at landing home-field advantage in this year’s playoffs. Five games in, our Eagles are looking toothless. The offensive line has lost its edge, our feared defense is a shell of what it was last season. The hungry dog that Jason Kelce described on that podium in February, depicted as a German Shepard, seems to be more of a Chihuahua.
Nothing’s changed from year-to-year, those of you that read my pre-Super Bowl story from last year know that I watch every single Eagles game with my dad and at the end of every game, we switch over to hear what Seth Joyner and Ray Didinger have to say on the post-game show. We share the same opinion that Michael Barkann is nothing but an instigator. Barrett Brooks is alright, too. After Diddy and Seth give their analysis we listen to Doug Pederson’s press conference, then Carson Wentz’s.
Wentz’s post-game presser spoke to me specifically. When asked if he was concerned about where the Eagles stand after five games he responded by saying “Frustrated? Yes. Concerned? No.”
That speaks volumes to me. I mean, of course he’s not going to come out and say, “You know what? Yes. Now that you mention it, I’m worried about the direction this team is heading.” No way in hell would he say that. But when he says he’s frustrated I feel like that resonates with fans. Let me explain:
As a 25-year old with very minimal real-life experience I want to say I only speak for myself when I say this: Last season the Eagles gave me probably four of the best seven days of my life. The win over the Falcons in the Divisional Round, the win over the Vikings in the NFC Championship game, the Super Bowl win and the parade are all days that I will never forget. They are cornerstone moments in my young life. They gave me memories that I will be eternally grateful for.
Leading up to this year the talk on sports talk radio was nothing but how are Eagles fans going to react knowing that their team won the Super Bowl last year? Have the fans lost their edge?
Again, I’m speaking for myself but last year’s Super Bowl win concentrated my fandom. Knowing what they did last year, knowing how happy they made me during that magical run last season, knowing the potential that this roster has and seeing them fall short in three of the first five games this season is a killer. Like Wentz said, it’s frustrating.
Just because I’m frustrated doesn’t mean I’m going to stop caring about this team. Just because they’re sitting at 2-3 with a minimal shot to have more than one home playoff game if they make the playoffs doesn’t mean that my fandom is going to change in the slightest.
As fans, it’s okay to be frustrated. It’s okay to be upset with the Eagles because their brand of football hasn’t been palatable this season. At 2-3, this season isn’t going the way we all dreamed the road to a repeat would. I, for one, predicted this team to go 11-5. Sure, going 9-2 the rest of the season might seem like a stretch, but it’s not impossible. Any game that Carson Wentz plays in, the Eagles will have a legitimate chance of winning. If Doug calls a few more run plays to keep opposing defenses honest and our defense take strides towards being that tenacious defense we came to love last season the season can turn around fast. There are still 11 games left.
The rest of the season starts this Thursday night against the Giants. The Birds need to get back in the win column and take another step toward repeating as NFC East divisional champs. I don’t want to be overly optimistic but Thursday is a super winnable game and it’s as close to a must-win as a Week 6 game can be.