It's a word you've heard repeated over and over to the point where it just becomes gibberish. You're going to hear it again and again until the Philadelphia Eagles do something to make their fans, along with the rest of the doubters of the NFL, forget all about this. And honestly, the only way that will happen is if the Eagles can manage to win two straight road games against the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins going into the bye, and win them convincingly and as a team. For now, though, they did what teams in last place tend to do. Collapse, and collapse badly.
As I write this, I watch the Philadelphia Phillies take on the St. Louis Cardinals in Citizens Bank Park. Hunter Pence just hit yet another RBI single to put their team up 4-0 in the bottom of the 2nd. The Phillies have had all of their hitters get in on the action, all of their basemen and fielders on point, and all of their pitchers accurate. Regardless of the outcome of this game, and even this season, they're playing as a team with a mission. The Eagles are playing as a team that was picked up off of the streets and were told "Um...go play football". From a team that did practically all of their scoring in the second half last season, to a team that can't get more than 2 touchdowns after 7 trips inside of the 20 yard line. I've seen the press conferences, read the interviews and fans reactions, and all I can say is that this has been one of the most embarrassing losses I've ever witnessed as an Eagles fan. This definitely beats out the game ending in a tie against the Cincinnati Bengals a couple years back. The entire team is stunned.
There's so much to say, so little space to write about what happened today. All of the fans saw what happened, and the entire team was forced to experience it firsthand. The only silver linings that seem apparent are that Vick played a career-best game today after vowing he would improve and be there for his team, and that this can only be the huge right hook to the jaw that sends this team into the locker room and truly gives them a sense of urgency that has made Eagles teams in the past deadlier than any team in the league. The team itself feels that they aren't even playing as a team. They're having miscounts on snaps that keep causing those mind-numbing false start and offsides penalties, and it shows.
So what needs to happen? Well the answer is obvious, but getting there is not. The team needs to truly erase everything that's happened this season.
They. Have. To. Start. Over.
The only thing they are consistent with right now is missing tackles and not converting in the red zone, and that goes back to simple fundamentals and execution of football. Other than the technical aspect, they need to look at each other and realize they are all here for the same reason. They want the most elusive trophy in Philadelphia's history, and they want it for their team. Not for their coaches, not for their families, and as much as I hate to say it, not even for the fans (not that we don't deserve it mind you. We absolutely do). They want it because it is something they have worked their entire lives for. If they go out there and play because it is something that they want more than anything else, then there will be improvement. Heart has always been something this team had plenty of in the past. Right now, they look more upset to be playing the game at all. It's as simple as that. They need to want it bad enough. We all know that nothing in this world worth having comes easy, and they need to know that too. We as fans can only do our part to continue to support the team we love, and hope they repay us with that same heart and passion that we give them week in and week out. Otherwise, we're going to be in for a long haul that we will not want to be a part of.