I’m still coming down off of the high I got while covering the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth earllier this week. The press conference was a week ago, when the news broke about Cowboys QB Tony Romo. And, it was as if someone had let the air completely out of the room. The despair. The anguish. For just a second, I thought I may be in Boston during baseball season. But, I digress. Then came the game on Sunday. And, as usual, after the Brandon Boykin interception, for some odd reason, Cowboy fans, in the stands of their own building, broke out into random fighting. Then, of course, the bowl game on Monday, to which I wore my green Eagles hoodie, with a giant Eagles head logo across the chest. And, yes……I got a few comments from Cowboys fans, about me wearing the so-called “wrong colors”. Well…….who won the game, was my only response. And, since Navy was playing in this game, I actually had a guy who claimed to be from Philadelphia come up to me and shake my hand. Now, I don’t know if he was actually FROM Philly, but, who am I to question it? His gal pal, who apparently, is from the Dallas area, was not a big fan of my hoodie. She even said I might get asked to leave the game. Her boyfriend then jumped in, and said, and I quote: “Hey, my man here might not be from Philly, but he’s got a huge set of Philly b***s to be wearing this today……my man!” as he shook my hand, and brought me in for the man-hug. I took it all as a compliment. We then walked over to the Dallas COwboy fan tent. Unfortunately, it was closed. We were just going to get a picture made with whomever the team had sent, both of us, wearing Eagles colors, but, alas……no one showed up. Typical.
Now, on to the task at hand, and that is the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees is electric. Indoors, that is. And, this game is going to be outdoors, and cold. A high temperature forcasted of 31 degrees, So, just from that, one could say this game is already in the bag. But, in my last post, I used a three word phrase for the team that certainly has to apply now. Don’t…..look……ahead. This time of the year, no one can afford it. There IS no “we’ll get them next week”. The Eagles need to defend home turf here. The weather sets up perfectly for them. And, Brees, statistically, has not been as dynamic on the road this season.
But, Sunday night, in a game that was for the division, once again, it seemed as if Eagles head coach Chip Kelly called off the offense when it looked like they were going to run away with the game. LeSean McCoy was gouging the Cowboys with big plays. Then, suddenly, the big runs by McCoy stopped. Screen passes were either falling incomplete or being deflected. And, 3-and-outs became more commonplace, which made the game closer than it should have been.
The Eagles just need to be…….complete…….tomorrow. They need to have points every time on offense, whether it be field goals or touchdowns. Just…….points every time. Defensively, you know the Saints are going to want to throw. Hit Brees’ favorite target Jimmy Graham EVERY time the ball is snapped, and hit him hard! Make Brees uncomfortable. And, whatever you do, on defense, please don’t pull that all-out, Cover Zero defense you ran Sunday night that resulted in a Cowboys touchdown. That one was almost too easy for Dallas.
The team fight song says “Hit ’em low….hit ’em high…..”. That’s what the Eagles defense will need to do tomorrow night. Just…..play. Don’t worry about Round 2. Again…..don’t….look…..ahead. Take care of home field. Take care of business here. Everything else is merely unfocused. Celebrate a brand new year with a win.
Fly, Eagles…..Fly…….(just, don’t….look….ahead)!!!!