I never thought I’d say this during football season, but thank God for the Phillies. They saved what could have been an utterly dismal Sunday in Philly after the Eagles’ pathetic performance (more on them later). The Phils rebounded nicely from a poor effort last night to close out the series. Blanton delivered a stellar pitching performance and the offense (courtesy of Burrell and Rollins) finally showed signs of life. The Dodgers will be tough, but if the Phillies continue to get the pitching they got in this series, they will have a great shot. The offense still needs to pick it up more, though. Going into this game they had scored in just 3 of their 25 at-bats. Today they scored in three innings, so hopefully that is a sign of better things to come, though we still need to see more out of Utley and Howard if the Phillies hope to go deep. But today is a day of celebration. Tomorrow we can start thinking about the NLCS. Go Phils!!!
On to the Eagles. Obviously, they are not as good as I thought they were. They were looking good after jumping out to a 14-0 lead, but then they just fell apart. The great run defense suddenly imploded—of course it doesn’t help when the inept offense is keeping you on the field all game—but 203 yards rushing is just abysmal. Reid looks lost on the sidelines. Case in point: as if hearing the complaints from last week’s failure to throw the red flag, today he decided to blow a timeout on a useless challenge that wasn’t even close. On top of that, pass-happy-Reid has suddenly become Mr. Smashmouth at the goal line, as the Eagles were once again stymied from in close on consecutive running plays. Has Reid lost all confidence in McNabb’s ability to make something happen? Besides taking it out of his hands at the goal line, he almost never went downfield today against a vulnerable Washington secondary. Everything was in close: screens, quick hitters, etc.
One more thing, to the Redskins: it must be nice to have a reliable kicker. I remember when the Eagles used to have one. Obviously, 50 yards is no chip shot, but Akers has only hit one field goal outside of 40 yards all year. It’s looking eerily similar to last year when he went 2 for 10 on field goals longer than 40 yards. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming Akers for this loss, everyone deserves a share of the credit, but his output over the last two years is unacceptable.
At this rate it’s beginning to look like another long season: they are two games behind the third place team in the division, they’re 0-2 in the division, and 1-3 in the conference. It would take a huge winning streak to even get back into this thing, and I just don’t know if they have it in them. They should at worst be 4-1, but dumb mistakes and missed opportunities have cost them dearly. However, we can talk woulda, coulda, shoulda all we want, but at some point, you are what you are, and right now: the Eagles are a mediocre football team, and their record reflects it.