Philadelphia Eagles: Are the Birds for Real?

Bernie OllilaContributor IIIOctober 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles prior to a game against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on September 30, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

It’s no secret, nor would you have to do some serious number-crunching to find out that the Eagles have gotten their three wins by a total of four points.

Some may think that those wins have been sheer luck, flukes—that the Philadelphia Eagles did not beat the teams they bested on the scoreboard; rather, those teams lost.

However, the fact remains that the Eagles took down one of the AFC’s best teams, as well as the defending Super Bowl champs, and their only loss is to a team that is currently 4-0. It’s not the worst situation.

Sunday’s win against the Giants should be enough evidence to solidify the idea that the Eagles are a force to be reckoned with in the NFC East. They may even be the best team in the division right now.

It was a complete 180 from what we had seen from the birds so far. No turnovers, great decisions from Michael Vick and a lot of LeSean McCoy.

They beat the Giants because they outplayed them, plain and simple.

They lost to the Cardinals because they didn’t design their game plan for the team they were up against. Instead, Andy Reid stuck to his original plan and did not make any significant in-game adjustments.

It seems like that was also the case on Sunday. After all, McCoy was almost irrelevant in the first half, but Reid kept feeding him the ball. Shady answered.

Stanley Havili also came to play. He had a few crucial blocks in the second half and even ran the ball effectively.

But the biggest surprise from Sunday’s game was Michael Vick.

First, let’s give credit to the offensive line and the coaching staff for changing their approach. They were dropping back and fending off the Giants' defensive line the only way it could.

Vick, on the other hand, was making some terrific decisions with the ball in his hands—most notably when he took a sack in the red zone during the second half instead of risking an interception by throwing to the tightly covered receivers in the end zone. That was a smart move, one that may have saved the game.

DeSean Jackson also came up big, as he usually does in prime time, while Jeremy Maclin may as well have stayed home.

You can trash Nnamdi and DRC all you want for the pass-interference calls on the Giants’ final drive during the fourth quarter, but the NFL wants the game to be about offense, so that’s going to get called every time. Personally, I don’t think you throw those flags in those situations.

We’ve seen that the Eagles have the tools to overcome their bad decision-making and poor coaching against the Ravens, and we’ve seen that when they stick with an effective game plan and give the ball to LeSean McCoy they can almost control the game and dictate its pace.

We know the defense is for real. It’s stacked with freak athletes who have come up big in key situations this year. Perhaps their only defensive liability is at the safety position, but even that's not a dire need for the birds. 

Maybe they did get lucky when they beat the Browns. Maybe they should have lost to the Ravens. Maybe Ramses Barden lost that game for the Giants and the Eagles didn’t deserve to win.

Regardless, the Philadelphia Eagles are now 3-1, and they have two big wins under their belt.

We’ll know for sure who the Birds really are after their game against the Steelers this week. But right now, it looks like they’re the real thing. If they want to be, of course.