Andy Reid Thinks Eagles Can Turn It Around, but What Does the Schedule Say?
Per NBCPhiladelphia.com, Reid said, "Yeah, absolutely. I like these players and what they represent. And the coaches, we’ve just got to put it together, play as one, and we’ll be there."
Last season, the Eagles started out with the same record, and after their 3-5 start went on to win five of their last eight to finish 8-8, missing out on the playoffs and causing owner Jeff Lurie to say this about Reid, via ProFootballTalk.com:
I expect a substantially improved team. We all thought we were a lot better than 8-8 and we weren’t. We need substantial improvement. We have a very good team on paper, and paper doesn’t get you that far if you don’t maximize it. 8-8 is unacceptable...that was a really unacceptable outcome.
It wouldn't be hard to argue that this year's squad has been even more embarrassing, given the fact that it hasn't been hit nearly as hard by injuries as it was last year.
And, if 8-8 wasn't acceptable last season and the playoffs are the benchmark for success, it seems logical to assume the Eagles will need to finish the season with a record of 9-7 or better to get into the tournament and for Reid's job to be safe for next season.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the remaining eight games on the schedule to determine whether or not the Eagles have a shot to redeem the 2012 season.
Week 10: Dallas Cowboys
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Given the sad state of affairs for the Dallas Cowboys, this game is certainly winnable. That said, it doesn't come without its fair share of difficulties.
The Cowboys feature one of the NFL's top pass defenses, allowing just over 205 yards per game (No. 5) and just six passing touchdowns (No. 3). This success comes by way of an excellent secondary—not to mention DeMarcus Ware and the team's pass-rushers.
If Tony Romo manages to have one of his good games, the Cowboys will likely win easily.
If Romo manages to have one of his bad games, it's anyone's game to win.
Prediction: Eagles lose, falling to 3-6.
Week 11: @ Washington Redskins
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This is a game the Eagles should win.
The Washington Redskins have been hit by a terrible rash of injuries on both sides of the ball in 2012, which has hurt Robert Griffin III's team badly.
The offensive line has started falling apart, RG3's receivers are dropping like flies (when they're not dropping passes), and the team's defense can't stop anyone's passing attack.
Michael Vick and company should have a big edge in this game.
Prediction: Eagles win, improving to 4-6.
Week 12: Carolina Panthers
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Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy will be as crazed as a couple of rabid dogs for this matchup. The two of them have come on strong of late, tallying 8.5 sacks in the past two games.
That isn't good news for Michael Vick.
Cam Newton and his trio of talented running backs won't have too much difficulty running wild against the Eagles sub-par run defense.
The best hope the Eagles have of winning this Monday Night Football matchup is if LeSean McCoy is the featured man on offense. Since I haven't seen that happen much this season, I'm giving the Panthers the edge.
Prediction: Eagles lose, falling to 4-7.
Week 13: @ Dallas Cowboys
Just as it was in the first meeting, the Dallas Cowboys' pass defense will be a huge problem for the Eagles.
Since the Eagles defense hasn't been stopping their opponents from scoring recently—not to mention they're without their defensive coordinator, who was unfairly fired—I expect the Cowboys to roll at home.
Prediction: Eagles lose, falling to 4-8.
Week 14: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The way these two teams are currently trending, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should beat up the Eagles and take the team's lunch money while they're at it.
Josh Freeman is on a serious roll, throwing 11 touchdowns and just one interception in his last four games, and rookie running back Doug Martin has come alive in a major way. The Bucs offense is really clicking, and though their defense gives up a ton of yards through the air, their run defense makes teams one-dimensional from the start.
Given the fact that Michael Bennett has been phenomenal against subpar pass-blocking this season, I'd expect him to lead a strong charge against Vick, who will be forced to pass the ball more than is desirable.
Prediction: Eagles lose, falling to 4-9.
Week 15: Cincinnati Bengals
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A game the Eagles should undoubtedly win.
The Cincinnati Bengals can't run the ball, Andy Dalton has yet to have an interception-free game in 2012, and the team's defense isn't sound.
Michael Vick should find DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin open all game long, and LeSean McCoy will bust off a few big runs.
Prediction: Eagles win, improving to 5-9.
Week 16: Washington Redskins
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The Eagles should win against the Washington Redskins on the road, and they most certainly should win at home.
The Redskins' unbelievably bad secondary will give up a handful of big plays in this game, and the Eagles will cruise to an easy victory.
Prediction: Eagles win, improving to 6-9.
Week 17: @ New York Giants
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The Giants will be fighting for playoff position, and we all know they're one of the best late-season teams in the NFL.
The Eagles will be spoiling to play the spoiler, but the Giants have too much going for them on offense and defense and their home crowd will give them the extra edge they need to succeed.
Prediction: Eagles lose, falling to 6-10 on the season.
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Andy Reid wants to believe his team has what it takes to turn this miserable 2012 season around, but the sad truth of the matter is that he's completely out of touch with reality.
The team's offensive line is so atrocious that there isn't a quarterback in the league who could turn this team into a playoff squad by the end of the 2012 season and the defense is without a leader.
There's a slight chance that the Eagles can finish the season with another 8-8 record, but I don't see that happening—let alone a sudden surge to the playoffs.