Ok, admit it.
During the preseason, you didn't think this Philadelphia Eagles season would be this exciting, this entertaining. This season has been so entertaining, so breathtaking that it may just be the most entertaining season of Andy Reid's tenure at the helm of the Eagles, including, dare I say, the Eagles 2004 relative stroll to Super Bowl XXXIX.
Before the opening kickoff of the 2010 season, before we had any inkling of what we were going to witness, I wrote a piece right here on Bleacher Report, 2010 Philadelphia Eagles Season: No Need to Curb Your Enthusiasm. In the opinion piece, I stated all of the reasons why you should be excited for this season.
In retrospect, I hit on some things -- ok, one thing, sort of -- and I completely swung and missed on others. Then again, didn't we all?
Admittedly, even if I had predicted everything with 100% accuracy, I still would not have found the Eagles to be nearly as exciting to watch as it has been every week. If you have read that primer you know that is saying a lot.
First of all, I realize that this season is (hopefully) far from over for the Eagles. Still, after Sunday's heart-pounding 38-31 victory over the Giants, capped by DeSean Jackson's walk-off punt return, this season has already been defined, whether the Eagles win the Super Bowl or somehow miss the playoffs.
(As an aside, what was your reaction while watching the D-Jax punt return? I think I probably acted as though I was actually on the field, scaring my wife, our two cats, and the entire neighborhood in the process).
I don't have a Ph.D. in Revisionist History, so I won't analyze that article at great length (I'll leave that to you) but I would like to mention a couple of things.
For one, if you are considering DirecTV's NFL package for next season, it may or may not be a great value for you. Depends.
Personally, it's value has been a wash for me. Early on in the season, the package had tremendous value since I would have missed each of the Eagles first three or four games (and the emergence of Michael Vick).
In the last third of the season or so, the package's value has diminished, however, as the Eagles have played almost exclusively in primetime and the matchups in the NFL's early games have been lackluster.
I will say that had I not had NFL Sunday Ticket, I would not have seen the Eagles' comeback against the Giants as I would have been relegated to watching the Cardinals battle the Panthers in a snooze-fest.
As for the team itself, where do you start?
What we have seen out of the quarterback position has been quite magical and mystifying all at once. Let's face it, Kevin Kolb was not impressive on opening day before being concussed by Clay Matthews. Vick played well against the Packers but that was apparently just the tip of the iceberg.
How can it be that Kolb played so poorly as the starter in preseason and on opening day yet played so well against the Niners and the NFC-best Falcons as a backup?
Even more mystifying is how a guy can come out of prison, hold a clipboard as a third-string quarterback for a year after two seasons away from the game, and play poorly in the 2010 preseason, yet be a leading candidate in the MVP race? How does that happen?
Additionally, it turns out that ESPN's Matt Mosley was right, Jeremy Maclin has put up better numbers than Jackson (in terms of receptions and touchdowns, anyway). Still, who, other than Mosley, saw that coming?
Maclin has been the perfect blend of Jackson and Jason Avant. Maclin possesses most of Jackson's athleticism as well as Avant's hands and maturity.
The last thing I'll touch on from that opening day primer was that, indeed, the offensive line has been that suspect, at best.
What's interesting is that the o-line can, no doubt, hold its own in the run and screen games. It is very adept at creating holes and eliminating would-be tacklers at the next level.
Unfortunately for Kolb and Vick, neither has been afforded ample time to throw the ball downfield without having to take some hits or use their respective legs.
That is where, in summary, Eagles head coach Andy Reid and his staff come in. They deserve as much of the credit for the Eagles' success this season as any of the players do.
Of course, Reid makes some in-game decisions that make your blood boil but his best work is done during the week.
I will concede that Sunday's win over the Giants was a case of the players picking up Reid when he wasn't at his best.
However, without the work of Reid and his staff, putting players in situations in which they can succeed, we don't see Riley Cooper recover the surprise onside kick, or Vick improvise within the offensive system, Trevor Laws make two huge plays on the Giants' final drive, or Avant blow up a would-be tackler as Jackson got loose on the punt return.
Admit it, no other Eagles' season compares to this one by most standards (entertainment, development, perseverance, plot twists).
Reid, who in my opinion has done his career's best work this season, and the city of Philadelphia hope that by season's end, no other season compares by one other measure: A Super Bowl Championship.
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