And that’s really all Philadelphia Eagle fans want and can ask for of their team: A chance. To win the division. To play in the postseason. Hell, a winning season is even a novelty around town lately when it comes to its professional franchises.
Currently, the 76ers are winning games to the fans’ dismay instead of tanking like they’re supposed to. The Flyers have a goal of simply scoring a goal. And the Phillies are stuck in purgatory with a core group of has-beens whose best days are behind them.
Meanwhile, the Eagles’ showing against the Oakland Raiders—after laying two-straight eggs against divisional rivals—gave fans some desperately needed hope. Yes, it was the Raiders, a team which hasn’t given its own fans much of that in recent years, but regardless, for the first time this season, Philly—with assistance from a historic performance by Nick Foles—dominated an opponent from start to finish.
This is what Chip Kelly’s gameplan looks like when executed to near perfection. This is how Bill Davis’ bend-but-don’t-break defense can succeed, with the help of a couple opportunistic turnovers. This is how dangerous DeSean Jackson can be as a dual threat as both a wide receiver and punt returner. And just wait until LeSean McCoy gets his mojo back, too!
But, especially in this emotional roller coaster of a season, one which always seems to find them taking two steps back for every step forward, a single game does not make a season.
It’s a safe bet (unlike the one where I told you to bet the under last week) to say that we will see neither the Foles from the Dallas Cowboys contest nor the Foles from the Raiders. But somewhere in between may be enough to give hope that, perhaps, he is the long-term solution at quarterback.
It’s a safer bet to say that if the Eagles can pull out a victory in the frozen tundra, they’ll find themselves in a position to win an even more winnable game against the Washington Native Americans (although it’s at home, which is like playing in kryptonite for them). But being unable to hold a two score lead in the final quarter against the lowly Minnesota Vikings at home is typically not a good sign of things to come.
Pull that one off as well, and now we’re talking about a winning record heading into the bye week, likely a half game up on the Dallas Cowboys, who should lose their next game against the New Orleans Saints.
Then, the pendulum shifts yet again in this topsy-turvy year, in a division that no one seems to want to grab hold of, at a time when everything is finally starting to click.
I know, I know—we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. But it’s nice to have some hope. Especially at a time, and in a place, where hope has been quite scarce lately.