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The numbers keep rolling in …
12 … 15 … 10 … 14 … 11 …
From what I’ve heard, 13 seems to be the consensus of the moment. Yep, that’s right. When it comes to discussions about the amount of Eagles’ victories this regular season, the ante has been upped to that number.
How ironic that throughout the course of history it has been associated with bad luck …
Thing is, with the 2015 NFL regular season upon us with tonight’s opener at New England between the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots and the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, I really want to be with the general consensus about the Birds. I want to feel that “on the cusp of something special” vibe.
It’d be nice. For the city, the team’s fans, the team itself and everyone involved with the organization. In polite terms – it’d be about damn time for all.
But I’m not there. I’m not even close … and it’s because of Sam Bradford.
I’m not a believer, and I’m not sure I ever could be, and maybe that’s my fault. The fact of the matter is, though, so much of everyone’s hopes are resting on this guy’s left knee remaining intact despite two surgical do-overs on it in the past two years, and I can’t go there. It’s too dicey for me. I never would have made the trade to get him in the offseason.
Full disclosure, I never would have made the trade to get him in the offseason even if he never tore his ACL. Just never been a fan, even back when he was in college. Yeah, he put up incredible numbers at the University of Oklahoma … while surrounded in incredible talent. With every TD, every aerial strike, I never once came away impressed.
To hear the “experts” pontificate about the wondrous quarterbacking talents bestowed upon this young man leaves me shaking my head, “are they talking about the same guy I’ve seen?”
Even before his china-doll tendency reared its head at St. Louis, Sammy was missing major time in college due to shoulder issues. He got bigger, and looks a lot “badder” thanks to combating what, naturally, appeared to be a frail frame.
Now? Well, now as one sportstalk radio caller shared recently, “he’s about 225 (pounds) and 175 of that is in his upper body.” Frankly, I’d go even further. Bradford, actually, is closer to 235 and it looks like 185 of that is right under his shoulder pads.
I’ve heard the rave reviews, especially after this preseason – which, hello, consisted of exactly 34 snaps in two games for the newly anointed Chosen One.
Talk about overreaction, and hope just killing it against rational thinking.
For me, I think the tipping point of ridiculous was hearing the Inky’s Jeff McLane on the airwaves stating that Our Sammy was more talented than anyone we’ve seen at his position around here in a while, especially during Chip Kelly’s tenure … and we all can agree on that, right?
Sorry, but whatever standards he’s using to judge talent, they’re not actually related to talent or its kissing cousin, potential. No one in the sport has had more God-given talent AND potential than Michael Vick during my lifetime, and Kelly had him under his wing. Sorry, even an aging, life-beaten-down Vick blows away Bradford on talent and potential.
Nick Foles, the guy with whom he has flip-flopped universes, doesn’t have the same kind of pedigree (read: PR push) as Bradford, but, reality is, he’s actually had a better NFL career in a shorter amount of time – unless, of course, all the numbers lie. Foles has a higher passing percentage, higher yards per attempt average, better TD-to-INT ratio, better passer rating, you name it. He also has a better record and taken his team to the playoffs, something Bradford hasn’t done since being drafted in 2010.
Now, many will point to the almighty genius of all things football and state that Kelly was behind all of Foles’ success, and, really, it’s hard to debate that the guy’s game improved once Chipster arrived from Oregon.
Then again, Bradford is being hailed by some as the most accurate passer they’ve ever since and his best completion percentage in a season was 60.7 in 2013 before going down after seven games with his initial ACL tear. Foles played in eight games in 2012, the year before Kelly arrived, and completed 60.8 percent of his passes.
It’s a matter of perception, people … and right now the vast majority of it for Eagles’ fan is totally skewed when it comes to Bradford, with believing he’s a shoo-in to lead them into the playoffs and possibly the Super Bowl.
He may, because, really, anything is possible. But to truly believe that right now is merely blind faith, it’s not seeing reality up to this point.
I couldn’t give a number total on their wins this season. I would, though, agree with WIP’s Ike Reese, who stated this morning that the Eagles are more likely to miss the playoffs this season than they are to win the Super Bowl.
OK, granted, that cuts a wide swath. But it certainly ain’t as crazy as predicting 13 wins and beyond for a team with so many questions … especially at its most crucial position.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org