This is my first time writing an article instead of talking live on the internet. So, if it sucks let me know and I won’t do it again. Here we go.
I was originally going to write about the Eagles vs Bears game from earlier today. If you are reading this then you already know the outcome. The men in midnight green gave the Bears of Chicago an old fashioned South Philly beat down they will not soon forget. Wentz was 23 for 36 with 227 yards, 3 touchdowns. The running attack had a total 176 yards against a stout run defense. Zach Ertz was the first Eagle to have 100+ yards receiving all season long. (That is amazing considering how good the team has been all year.) Alshon Jeffery had 52 yards and touchdown against his former team. The defense was electric with there own victory dances. In other words, the 31-3 shellacking at Lincoln Financial Field was perfect outside of some ball control issues.
So, you ask why be excited about defeating a 3-win team in week 12. The answer is simple (and in the title). These 2017 Eagles are AWESOME! They are the first team since the 2004 to win 4 straight games with 23 or more points. They don’t play down to their opponent, and have conquered almost every challenge that has been in front of them. Even the loudest of Eagles doubters are starting to sip that delicious Kool-Aid. It is not because of one or two guys. This has been a team mentality since week 1.
Let’s start with our hero of the story, Carson Wentz. He is the franchise quarterback this fan base deserves. He is 4 touchdown passes away from tying Sonny Jurgensen’s 56-year-old franchise records in his second year. 124.1 third-down passer rating, 65.3 completion percentage in the red zone, and many other 1st place stats I could rattle off, but won’t. The thing with Wentz is the intangibles that make Carson a fan favorite. He is a hardworking, blue-collar, driven, smart, and humble superstar. He comes from a place that most people couldn’t pick out on a map. (HINT: It is above South Dakota). He played college football for a school that the high and mighty ESPN wouldn’t even think of covering. He is a religious man without being too Tebow. He has the abilities of many of the star QBs in the last 25 years and most likely will surpass some of them.
Like I noted earlier, Carson isn’t the whole story. How about his other half, Doug Peterson? Here is another great story. The not-so-sexy hiring choice in the head coach hunt when Lurie canned the “All Powerful” Chip Kelly. Anyone who said they were excited about his hiring is a flat-out liar. The man was coaching high school football 8 prior. I will be honest. I called him the most vanilla hire and he was just management trying to recycle the Andy Reid era. If I get a chance to meet him I will apologize profusely. He has a team of coaches with the likes, DeFilippo, Reich, Fipp, and former Birds running back Duce Staley. This crew has created a culture of winning without being egotistical. Have fun but hard working. The have done something that we thought would take years.
One coach I saved for his own shout out was Jim Schwartz. His defense brings you back to some of the classic hard-nosed football that Jimmy Johnson once served to this town. He has a secondary that was the biggest blemish coming into the season and turns it into one of the best in the NFL. The tackling has been superb and the bend but don’t break philosophy has been on point.
Let us not forget Jeff Lurie making the decision to pull the plug on the Kelly experiment. The hiring of Joe Douglas and reinstating of Howie Roseman make a great one-two combo. Howie has made more magic happen then Copperfield and Houdini combined. Moving contracts that no one would want and ultimately dealing Sammy sleeves and getting us poised to pick up Carson Wentz in the draft. His moves with business and Douglas’ football personnel knowledge have been borderline spectacular.
I could go on and on, but you get the point. This team has something special and we all can see it. (Except Cowboys fans) I am not one to anoint a team a winner before they earn it (and I won’t) but no Eagles fan could control their emotions. I tell you birds fans it is ok to look at the playoff and past, but do it cautiously. Do not get ahead of where the team is at, but enjoy the ride. Your Philadelphia Eagles are 10-1. The last time they did that they went to the Super Bowl. I have feeling this team could take us into the future and hopefully beyond. So simply “Fly Eagles Fly.”
Al “Big Al” Zaffiri