The Philadelphia Eagles: A Franchise of “Should Haves” and “Almosts”

Ben HarrisCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2008

After a disappointing loss to the Redskins yesterday, there is only one way to sum up this team: So Close, But So Far.

First, let's flashback to the 2007-2008 NFL season. Three teams from the NFC East made the NFL Playoffs. Lets take a look at the NFC East Standings at the end of the season.

First Place: Dallas Cowboys (13-3) (First Seed In NFC)

Second Place: New York Giants (10-6) (Fifth Seed in NFC)

Third Place: Washington Redskins (9-7) (Sixth Seed in NFC)

Fourth Place: Philadelphia Eagles (8-8) (Did Not Make Playoffs)


Let's take a look at Week Seven of that same season.

The Eagles led the Bears with 1:52 left on the clock. Chicago starts their drive at their own three-yard line after a masterful punt by Sav Rocca. But 97 yards later (all of which were courtesy of the right arm of Brian Griese), the Bears took the lead 19-16. Their drive lasted 1:43, giving the Eagles a measly 0:09 left to score.

A win in that situation would have put the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs in the 2007-'08 season.

Now let's take a look at a disappointing year for the Eagles in 2008-'09.

The Eagles now sit with a record of (8-6-1), with a slim chance of making the playoffs.

“Streaky.” That may be the only word there is to describe the Eagles' odd yet subpar season.


Sept. 28

The Eagles are at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Bears lead 24-20 with minutes left to go in the game. The Eagles drive down to the Bears' four-yard line.

(Keep in mind that David Akers missed a 47-yard field goal in the third quarter.)

1st-and-goal from the four.

Correll Buckhalter takes a handoff down to the Bears’ one yard-line.

2nd-and-goal from the one.

Tony Hunt is stopped on second down after a plunge up the middle.

3rd-and-goal from the one.

Correll Buckhalter takes a dive from the four-yard line, only to be stopped short of the goal line.

4th-and-goal from the one.

Buckhalter is stopped by Alex Brown, turning the ball over on downs.

Oct. 5

Lincoln Financial Field and the Eagles host the Redskins.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles drove down to the Washington two-yard line.

2nd-and-goal from the one.

Westbrook dives up the middle for no gain.

3rd-and-goal from the one.

Westbrook hits the line and tries to bounce the run to the outside and loses three yards.

A reoccurring trend in the Eagles season, trouble on short-yardage downs.


Dec. 21

The Eagles traveled to Washington to face NFC East rivals the Redskins.

After a badly played game by both sides, the Eagles had the ball in the red zone with 0:12 left.

On the last play of the game, Donovan McNabb threw a pass to Reggie Brown at the one-yard line. Brown makes an outstanding catch but after a hit by Fred Smoot and the game saving tackle by LaRon Landry, the Eagles came up inches short.


But lets look at the brighter side of the Eagles’ season.

From Weeks 13-15, the Eagles were the hottest team in the NFL.

They beat the NFC West winning Arizona Cardinals, the New York Giants (the best team in the league at the time), and the struggling Cleveland Browns.

They scored a combined 98 points, and giving up only 44.

Andy Reid and the Eagles ran an astounding 54 percent pass plays and 46 percent rush plays. They ran for a total of 437 yards in those three games while throwing or 659 yards.

The Eagles are now on the outside, looking in on the NFC Playoff picture. To make the playoffs, they need a win next week against Dallas, the Buccaneers to lose next week and the Chicago Bears to lose one of their next two games.

“Should’ve passed the ball here.”

“Should’ve called a timeout here.”

“Could’ve run the ball more.”

“Should’ve had a win here.”

These are all things that are daily household phrases for fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s just hope that those words stay away from the franchise for a long time to come.


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