There IS such a thing as a good loss and the Eagles had one yesterday. What we have learned if the Eagles had won 38-35? That the Eagles can win this division? That the Eagles can score points? Nope, no new news only more bad that the Eagles defense was still a mess, not getting better and the defense vs. the Giants and Bucs was not us, but them.
We've all been shell shocked about our Defense since Sean McDonut...hitting the super-trifecta of crap: easy to score on, easy to take long time consuming drives on, unable to get off the field on critical 3rd downs, easily fooled, slow and worst of all, soft.
If Chip Kelly can't make the Eagles be amongst the league leaders in points with his schemes and Vick, DJ and LeSean's athleticism and a rebuilt and healthy O line, than forget it - all bets are off.
But it's the defense that should have all our attention (assuming a Special Teams calendar without April). And what did our 3rd most points in the league defense do against the Cowboy's 3rd most points in the league Offense ?! PLAYED STRONG and GAVE US HOPE
* yielded 17 points while continually being put back on the field (the Eagles offense punted 9 times and held the ball for only 23 minutes! most of which was 4th Q prevent D time)
* our CBs are getting better and better! It has been four years (4!) since we've seen our CBs near the receivers and batting down balls (if your secondary is not knocking balls down, they are not playoff caliber. INTs are great but can come with gambling - see Asante. But if you are knocking balls down, it means that the receivers are not getting open and it means that the opponent is trying to force balls in and that is a very good thing for a defense). Williams and Fletcher are better than any CB combo the Eagles have had in years.
* Earl Wolff is starting to show some Dawkins. He scouted as a big hitter out of NC State but drafted lower for among other reasons, getting fooled on the play action. He gets fooled less than Coleman, which isn't saying much but c'mon, you've got to be interested in his blitzing ability and his hitting. Dawkins wasn't born overnight - please Earl keep going and growing in the direction you are !
* the Cowboys could not run
* the Cowboys struggled to pass. For comparison, check our pass D against the Chargers
* Romo's scrambles were contained and pressure on him was adequate. Not outstanding but he knew each play that he had only a fair amount of time and it showed all game, where his passes were just off or the receivers needed a split second more to get into position.
* We actually had Blitzes that forced the opposing QB to make premature throws ! We blitzed on 3rd downs and forced incompletions and just as importantly completions that were short of 1st down (how many times did we see that yesterday!)
* Cowboys were 5 for 16 on 3rd down !
Yes, Virginia while there is NO Santa Claus, there IS such a thing as a good loss and when your offense struggles with your 2nd and 3rd string QB but your long running joke of a defense puts in the game it does - it gives hope.
Hope. What if Vick comes back....and Chip continues to ramp into the NFL....and Maclin comes back next year.....and Bobby April never wears an Eagles jacket again....AND this defense plays even better than yesterday? Plays full games like it's played several individual quarters this year and all day yesterday?!
Yesterday was a "good" loss because our future is not dependent on winning with a 2nd string QB having a terrible day and a 3rd string rookie playing his first real game time. No, our future depends on this Defense....and for the first time in a long time, there's reason to believe....now, we need to do it again against the Giants again and show that wasn't schemes or bad Eli but a superior Eagles defense..We just might have the makings of one
And that is more important than falling one game behind the Dirtboys