And don't mess around with Mr. Inbetween!
I'm inspired to write this post on Opening Weekend Eve because I found myself focusing obsessively on Andrews' back, Bradley's knee, and McNabb/Vick (McVick)'s psyche. So, to cleanse myself, here's a post reminding me and us the good things which caused so much optimism just a few months ago.
1) QB Health - McVick is a healthy, two headed animal capable of throwing for 30 TDs and rushing for another 10. I'm not kidding. After several years of uncertainty surrounding this position, I can say with as much confidence as ever exists in the rough and tumble world of the NFL that the QB position will not be a problem this year, which already puts us ahead of about 70% of the rest of the league.
2) Best overall quality of WR of the Reid era. Consider this: Other than He Whom Shall Not Be Named (currently banished to the 7th ring of the inferno, AKA Buffalo), what WR from the past 10 years could even get a starting position on this team? Our #1 DJax is a budding star, and our #2 is, when healthy, an extremely effective man, holding the fort for our exciting rookie, who might end up being the best of them all!
3) OL, while sometimes worrisome, is better than last year. Though I'm as worried as anyone about Andrew's and even Peters, the fact is that it is extremely probable that our OL will be more solid than last year, especially in the running game. If the passing protection gels, it might end up being scary good.
4) The RB position is the deepest and potentially the best in years. A lot depends on BWest, but if he can perform at his high level for 15 touches a game, we finally have a #2 who we feel confident in for the rest of them. This will of course make BWest even better, especially late in the season where he wore down last year.
5) The Defense should be at least good, might be great. We return most of the great unit of a year ago, and the leader we lost was, after all, carefully managed to cover his weaknesses. Overall we have a fast, young defense and a DC who, while young and untried, learned for years at the feet of one of the greatest DCs of his generation. While the D is the biggest unknown, it's potentially the area of greatest strength.
6) We couldn't possible have worse luck than last year. How many opponents’ long FGs, freak returns on our blocked FGs, and other weird things can happen over a decade? We have taken our allotted total over the past 2 or 3 years, and they all went against us. Forget about evening the odds with a few good plays on our own, eliminate the freak plays against us and we should be a much better team just right there.
7) Finally, the chip is firmly on the shoulders of this team. Despite coming only a defensive stop away from a SB rematch with a team we had already beaten once, we are almost universally considered #2 in our own division, and slated to an 8 or 9 win team by most. The press both national and local is discounting all of strengths of this team, both current and potential. Distractions! They yell. "Unsteady!" they agree.
To quote a post from a few weeks ago: "F U! We'll win anyway!"