It gets outta hand quickly here.
A couple wins and suddenly a previously crappy season headed for the dumpster fire has now been redirected, with a division title and the playoffs in sight.
Not to mention the long-term answer at quarterback.
Ummm, yeah … Everyone in and around Philly getting wrapped up on that last one might wanna slow down a second, and maybe loosen the drawstring on those “Sam I Am” Eagles pajama pants, because oxygen apparently is fighting a losing battle with getting to the brain.
Not for nothing, but the rave reviews being heaped upon Sam Bradford’s recent play stretch the borders of premature and wishful thinking. The genesis, of course, is that the Eagles – seemingly left for dead at 4-7 after two consecutive losses midseason by a combined 90-31 score – have rebounded with back-to-back wins to start December against New England and Buffalo.
One stunning win spearheaded by defense and special teams, and a decent one sparked by solid defense.
Bradford, frankly, was almost a non-factor. His biggest play occurred with the Birds trying to burn clock in the waning minutes against the Patriots, as he hung in there against the pressure, even with a defender pawing at his jersey, and somehow muscled a first-down pass in the direction of Riley Cooper.
Other than that, what did he do?
In the two games, he totaled 367 yards and three touchdowns (and just one pick) on 62 passing attempts, 37 of which he completed. That’s nothing on which to base Super Bowl hopes, a contract extension or even a franchise tag.
Sorry, but c’mon, people. Let’s see reality for what it is.
No doubt, stats don’t always tell the story. The interception he had Sunday was not Bradford’s fault. Of course, welcome to Mark Sanchez’s world there. Or the world of a zillion other QBs who are labeled as subpar or just flat-out, turnover-machine suck-asses when a good portion of their faux pas really are not theirs to own.
But here are the facts. Bradford’s best statistical games this season did NOT come in the last two weeks. They were against Washington (15-for-28, 270 yards, 9.64 yards per attempt, 3 TDs, 122.6 passer rating) on October 4 and Miami (19-for-25, 236 yards, 9.44 yards per attempt, 1 TD, 118.1 passer rating) on November 15. Both efforts resulted in Eagles losses.
His third-best came against Dallas (25-for-36, 295 yards, 8.19 yards per attempt, 1 TD, 103.4 passing rating). That resulted in a win … against a 2-6, Tony Romo-less squad.
It is fine to enjoy the team’s recent success, but it’s probably in everyone who bleeds Eagles green’s best interests to keep some perspective. It being this: Bradford is not a game-changer. The Eagles do not win because of him. They probably don’t lose because of him, either. He’s just there, forever being neither much a positive or negative.
Which doesn’t seem like any kind of answer at QB to me, long- or short-term. Apparently, though, it does to head coach Chip Kelly and many Eagles fans, as hope triumphs over reality once again.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
SLINGIN' SAMMY B
BY THE NUMBERS
Passing yards in 2015
Yards per pass attempt
*-Better than career average
**-Better than career high