Monday, February 07, 2005

We Will Be Back... and We Will Win

It's days like this, I think of a great quote from the South Park movie...

The Mole: I can't help you. I'm grounded in my room for the next three days.

Kyle: So are we. Our parents think we're home right now.

Stan: Why are you grounded?

The Mole: Why? Because God hates me, that's why. He has made my life miserable. So I call him a c***-s****** a******, and I get grounded.

That's about how all Eagles fans, and Philadelphia sports fans, feel right now.

But life is like that sometimes. Sam Donnellon's column is right on target -- the Birds were flawed last night, particularly at QB, but they deserve a rematch. I believe they are the equal of the team they played. Many people claimed prior to the game that the Pats would be a shoo-in to beat the Eagles, and that they were clearly the superior team. After last night, I tend to disagree.

The Pats executed better, and had the benefit of experience. Some would say they were uncharacteristically sloppy at times, but I'd ascribe that to a superb defensive gameplan that shut them down for much of the first half. I'd also argue that the Eagles, unlike Pittsburgh or Indianapolis, outplayed the Patriots for significant portions of the game, and were done in by their offensive line's subpar play and their QB's scattershot accuracy. Despite all that, they were one play away from winning this ballgame.

Put it this way -- the Pats were a heck of a lot closer to playing their best game than the Eagles were to playing their best game. And yet, the Eagles lost by only three points. I'm sick of the stupid claim that four turnovers should have been six -- remember, the Pats had a fumble that was reversed as well, and the McNabb INT called back due to penalty immediately preceded his first actual INT -- so you can only have one, not the other.

The Pats are a GREAT team. They have a terrific coaching staff which adjusts on the fly and a ravenous defense that is very opportunistic. Above all, they have a fabulous Hall of Fame QB who plays big games better than just about anyone who's ever lived.

And yet, the Birds, despite an uneven performance from their franchise QB (he deserves plenty of criticism, but some of his throws, particularly the TD tosses to Westbrook and Lewis, were gorgeous) and the fact that their star wideout was playing on one good leg, played them down to the final snap. The effort was there, but the execution -- in McNabb's throws, or Johnson's 29 yard punt, or Akers' bad onside kick, or the time management, or Westbrook's failure to snag the last punt, or the defense's inability to shut down the screen game -- missed plenty of times. And they still had every shot to win the game.

I want that re-match. Bring it on, Patsies. We will be in Detroit next year, ready and waiting. And this time, the trophy's coming to Philly -- let's just see if you make it back to defend it.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial today sums it up nicely...

And, perhaps most inspirational for an Eagles crowd, from the immortal Animal House:

Bluto (John Belushi): "Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!... And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the going gets tough... the tough get going. Who's with me? Let's go! Come on!"

Otter (Tim Matheson): "... Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right... . I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part."

Bluto: "We're just the guys to do it."

E-A-G-L-E-S! Eagles!


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