In Ugly Win, Eagles Show 2012 Could Be Different

Sep 9, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin (jumping) celebrates with Eagles safety Kurt Coleman (42) after making a defensive play against the Cleveland Browns during the 2nd quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-US PRESSWIRE

Through 1 week of the NFL, the Cowboys have beaten the Super Bowl Champions on the road, the Redskins scored 40 points to beat Drew Brees, and the Eagles looked awful while barely beating Brandon Weeden and the Cleveland Browns.

Yet they all only get 1 win for it.

Time will tell if what we saw today from the Eagles will continue through out the season, and if it does, the Eagles are in trouble. They might not win 8 games like they did last year if Micheal Vick plays this bad and continues to show he might never change. But just like it would be important to not get too high if they would have beaten the Browns 40-7, it's important to not over react when they only beat them 17-16.

Because despite all of the penalties and turnovers, the Eagles showed that this year is different by winning the game.

Do they have room for improvement? Absolutely. But last year, the Eagles had room for improvement after losses. This year, it was after a win.

Last season, the Eagles do not win this game. No doubt about it. If this game was played last year, Trent Richardson is still running in for the game winning touchdown. Brandon Weeden would have shaken off a bad game to make a big throw over Nnamdi Asomugha with 35 secs remaining for a big 4th down conversion. Michael Vick's last second throw would have been intercepted- and the one before it would have been as well.

But none of those things happened. The Eagles won a game that winning teams do- they won a game when they weren't at their best, and looked really bad. And they got the same amount of wins they do for ones where they look really good.

Vick made so many throws that he shouldn't have, it almost isn't worth going over them. Time and time again he threw it across his body. His throw that the Browns returned for the touchdown was so bad, it looked like something you would see from a 12 year old playing Madden. But when it mattered most, he drove the Eagles 91 yards for the game winning touchdown. LeSean McCoy helped- and did more to get them there- but he still did it. He shook off the bad interceptions and made the throws he had to.

The defense was another reason to believe that this year could be different. When the Eagles offense was struggling in the first half, the defense kept them in it. Last year, they would have put them in an early hole. Time and time again we saw the defense get beat up on early, but they didn't do it. They forced a turnover in the redzone when Kurt Coleman made an interception, and Asomugha's hustle play to prevent a touchdown was huge. Asomugha making a big tackle alone is reason to see the difference in this years defense.

Will this kind of performance get a win against the Baltimore Ravens next week? Likely not. But for the first time in a long time, the Eagles showed that they are capable of making the plays it takes to win a game- no matter what happened before hand.

Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks

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