by Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
It was bound to happen.
Just rest easy, Eagles fans. If Sunday’s 24-23 loss at Detroit is any indication of what awful awaits this team led by a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback, well, it ain’t gonna be that bad then.
Take away Ryan “Fumble Fingers” Mathews’ ridiculous gaffe with about two and half minutes to go, and we’re probably talking about an undefeated 4-0 squad set to enter its divisional slate next week in D.C.
Had the veteran running back held the football, properly, in his outer hand, away from helmet-leading Lions defensive back Darius Slay on a third-and-short right then, the Birds were looking at either A) a first down or B) a fourth-and-short near midfield in which they could have gone for it or punted, burying the home team deep in its own territory.
With a defense that had surrendered zero points in the second half providing the security on a two-point advantage.
Instead, Mathews coughed up the ball, the Eagles lost possession after a mad scramble, and, essentially the game shortly after when the Lions turned the turnover into a game-winning field goal.
Yeah, OK, Carson Wentz heaved his first interception of the season on the ensuing possession and, considering the Birds had more than 80 seconds to maneuver themselves, oh, 45-50 yards into FG range themselves, the call and the decision to throw the ball could be deemed silly or unnecessary at that point.
But you kinda gotta admire the go-for-broke mentality, don’t ya?
Seriously, if Sunday’s effort was symbolic of the worst to come, got no issues here signing up for the bundle package that Doug Pederson and Co. are trying to sell the public.
Wentz, again, played beyond his age and “amount of reps” file, actually rallying the Eagles from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to eventually a 23-21 advantage midway through the fourth with the calm and confidence reserved for the likes of guys toiling their wears in New England and New Orleans the last decade and chance, not a guy making his fourth NFL start.
The defense, albeit not as dominant as it had been two weeks ago in throttling high-powered Pittsburgh at the Linc, still held an offense directed by renowned slingshot artist Matthew Stafford to just 244 yards.
Umm, that ain’t bad. Ain’t bad at all.
What is? The possibility that Detroit might be the last sub-.500 team the Eagles face all season, and games against sub-.500 teams accounted for two of their three wins thus far.
NFC East rivals Dallas, Washington and New York, for starters, were 4-1, 3-2 and 2-2, respectively, before the Giants kicked off against Green Bay on Sunday night. Only Cincinnati, at 2-3, had a losing record by then and found itself on the Birds’ remaining slate.