Chip Kelly will say that he doesn't really believe in rivalry games. He states that the team isn't going to put extra effort into winning a perceived "big game" because he feels his team should always be giving maximum effort. It's just another game. No hype. For preparation purposes, this makes sense from a team perspective.
In reality, however, it's not just another game. To this point, it's the Eagles biggest game of their season. It's the stinkin' Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia and Dallas are currently tied in the NFC East standings in almost every way. Same overall record (3-3), same conference record (3-0), and division record (2-0). The only thing separating them, if the season ended today, is a "strength of victory" tiebreaker. 1-15 is the combined record of the three teams the Eagles have defeated.
Speaking of that weak strength of victory, it's a weird situation. The Eagles have only beat weak teams, but the teams that have beat them are among the best in the NFL. So before we say the Eagles haven't beaten anyone good, let's acknowledge they haven't lost to anyone bad either. Sunday's game is the perfect time for the Eagles to win victory over a beatable, yet quality opponent.
As always, it won't be easy. Dallas sports an impressive offense that includes names like Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and emerging wide receiver Terrence Williams. Philadelphia's poorly rated defense will once again have their hands full. Bryant will be especially troublesome against the Eagles CBs. The Cowboys are averaging a third best 30.5 points per game while Philly is allowing a third worst 29.8 ppg.
The Dallas Cowboys defense is another story. It's not nearly as bad as the Eagles', but it's still a below average defense allowing 25.3 ppg. Chip Kelly will be licking his chops at the chance to destroy Monte Kiffin's defenses just like he did when they were coaching college ball at Oregon and USC, respectively. (h/t FishDuck)
Dallas is dealing with a number of injuries on the defensive line, which may include DeMarcus Ware missing the game, so it could be a good day for the Eagles' offensive line to control the line of scrimmage.
The stakes are high and the rivalry is intense. This just has the feeling of a game that will come down to the wire, and even the simulations support that theory. It's time for the Eagles to show if they're serious about winning the NFC East. The crown is certainly within reach. It's also time for the Eagles to win a damn home game. It's been since September 30, 2012 against the Giants... days ago, way too long. I can't think of a better time than Sunday to break that losing streak.
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