8 Reasons to Maintain Hope for the 2011 Eagles

There's been alot of negativity recently since our latest loss. I understand, as I, too, am getting nervous about our recent play. However, here are my 8 reasons as to why it's too early to panic and why all hope is not lost.

1. We still have #7

Vick did not look good at all yesterday. He was lethargic and seemed to be out of it. Re-watching the highlights, it seems very possible that Vick's concussion from the previous week was lingering. That said, Vick remains one of the most athletic players in the NFL. When he is on his game, few are better. The week that he might get off, due to his bruised hand, might be a blessing in disguise in that he'll be able to get back to 100% in time to tear up the Bills. If Vick can get back to what he was like last year for us, I have high hopes that he'll take us to the playoffs again.



2. Our running game

LeSean "Shady " McCoy has looked better than ever. He's averaging 115 rushing yards per game so far this year and has racked up 5 total touchdowns. As good as he looked last year, Shady has stepped up his game ever more, making it clear that he is already one of the best running backs in the league. Combined with what seems a new-found determination from Andy Reid to develop a better running game, Shady is in store for a big year, which, in return, should take some pressure off of Vick and allow us to stretch our offense down the field.



3. Inexperience

We have some big holes on our team. It worries me, as it worries most Eagles fans. The reason I'm not in panic mode yet is that most of the holes can be attributed to a lack of experience. Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney, Jason Kelce, and Kurt Coleman are all 1st or 2nd year players who have struggled badly recently. One thing we must keep in mind is that we didn't have a normal offseason. Even in a normal offseason, rookies often struggle in their first starts. The lockout only made things worse. The reason this gives me hope is that as the season progresses, there is reason to believe that our problems at linebacker and offensive line will get better (after all, they can't get any worse from here, right?) If it doesn't work out, we have Brian Rolle to try out at LB; he has looked great in his limited snaps and might be worth a shot.


4. Our upcoming record

Going by record alone, our next 4 games look tough: a combined record of 9-3; vs. SF, @ Buff, @ Was, Vs. Dal

Going into the season, this stretch seemed like it'd be much easier than it does now. However, I'm still not sold that Buffalo is anything close to unbeatable, and the same applies for Washington. They too, like Buffalo, have looked good but I don't think they'll be anything more than a good challenge. If our defense can step up and play good during this upcoming stretch, I could definitely see us going 4-0. After that we play Chicago and Arizona, both winnable games.


5. Defensive line play

Our defensive line has looked completely dominant so far. The wide-9 technique has worked wonders with Cole, and with Babin and Jenkins now in the defense (they have a combined 11 sacks through 3 games), our line has been able to put a ton of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The amazing thing about our defensive line is that we are able to rush 4 and yet still get pressure on the QB. I know our defense has looked like anything but coherent, but eventually our defensive parts will come together and the ability to rush 4 and still attack the quarterback should allow us to stop the pass.


6. Nnamdi Asomugha

I don't understand the hate I've seen Nnamdi get lately. I've seen alot about him being overrated and not living up to his contract. People are making a big deal that he has been beaten on the deep ball a couple times this year. Let me first start off by saying that I find the way Juan Castillo has been using Nnamdi to be ridiculous. When you get possibly the best press man coverage cornerback in the league, you use him as such. On Cruz's long touchdown, he was in off-man coverage and still made a good play on the ball. He almost even swatted the ball away, it was simply a good pass and catch. There was nothing Nnamdi could have done better. Nnamdi has only been passed to what, 5 times this year? I still believe Asomugha is one of the best shutdown corners, and the Nnamdi/Asante duo has seemed to me to be working pretty well so far.


7. Our offensive line has been solid

Compared to last year, our offensive line has seem to have improved. It's definitely not great by any means, and Kelce still is struggling, but to me, it's looked pretty good as a whole. Peters, specifically, has been amazing. I don't blame the line at all for most of the hits Vick has been taking. I'd say the reason for him getting banged up is holding onto the ball too long. There's was much talk about how Vick worked on picking up blitzes, but I think he still has work to do. Some plays, he needs to get the ball out quick and avoid taking hit after hit. That said, that doesn't reflect the work the improved offensive line has done. As I said, it's not been doing great, and there have been time's where it's been pretty bad, but, compared to last year, it's a start.






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