Each week Dave and Patrick discuss the week that was (there's wasn't one) and the week that will be. It's Two Guys Internetting Football!
Patrick: Dave, Eagles fans are mad on line.
At the halfway point, this season has been a lot of things: disappointing, agonizing, at times fun but often rage-inducing. But I think the best word to describe the Eagles' 2015 campaign through seven games is "confusing".
What the heck is going on with this team? It's a lot of things. The defense has played great, but the offense has looked abysmal at times, and "pretty okay" at others. There's plenty of blame to go around. Sam Bradford's been bad. The running backs are taking some time to get going. The line is dealing with injury and bad play. And then there are the receivers. Drops, injuries, missed connections with the quarterback.You name it, we've seen it.
And after seven weeks, all this confusion and anger and disappointment has begun to turn inward. The Eagles should've never traded that second round pick! The Eagles should run more from under center! Start Ryan Mathews! Bench Jordan Matthews! You're an idiot, no you're an idiot!
Football is supposed to be fun, and save watching the defense make plays, this season has been anything but. And fans aren't making it any easier. Dave, is it just me? Or is all the fighting and misery online, on the radio and in real life making this season even harder?
Dave: It's real, and it's spectacular. (It's not spectacular.) People are in fact mad on line.
We've got reason to be upset, this season has been one big frustration. The offense was dismantled and rebuilt, and the overall reasoning behind it was sound: Kelly got the players he didn't chose as far as they would go, personnel that better fit his vision would make it even better. Instead, it's been ugly. We had high hopes for this season, but the team is mediocre, and it's really frustrating. Adding to it, the offense is wasting a great season by the defense, and an easy season in the division. It's all so frustrating. Nobody's happy. Nobody should be happy.
But like you said, the way that we are venting this frustration is different. Usually we all wallow in the misery together. This year feels fractured. Part of that is because some of the struggles were predictable. Murray was coming off a huge workload, Bradford struggled in St. Louis and was coming off major injury... there is a sense of inevitability going on. There's an "I told you so" factor going on. And that gets old and irritating fast.
This whole season has gotten old and irritating. Each week it's the same thing: is Bradford going to get better, is the run game going to find any consistency, is the offensive line going to play better... it's repetitive, it's been frustrating, it's been no fun.
But that could change this week. This week the Eagles can give us joy. They can give us something to be proud of.
They can bury the Cowboys.
Beating Dallas would put the Cowboys at 2-6, and no team since 1990 has started 2-6 and made the playoffs. They'll be dead and buried. The rest of the season might suck, but that won't. Beating Dallas is never not fun.
Patrick: I'm expecting a slopfest on Sunday night, but it could just as easily be a comfortable win for the Eagles. Just about the only thing that scares me about Dallas' offense is that offensive line and the one good leg of Dez Bryant. The running backs are laughable - so long and thanks for all the yucks, Joseph Randle - and Matt Cassell hasn't done a thing in his two starts. Well, other than botch a potential game-winning drive in hilarious fashion. I would imagine the guys in the Eagles secondary are licking their chops over this one.
But the Eagles offense is the biggest question mark of the game. I expect Sam Bradford to play better, even if Jason Peters is sidelined. I'm not expecting mistake-free football, certainly, but Is it too much to ask for three touchdowns, one pick and somewhere around 300 yards?
Dave: Yes, but not for the reason you're thinking. I think those totals are optimistic because I expect the Eagles to run the ball a lot, particularly in the red zone. So I don't see the opportunities for Bradford to have a good statistical day presenting themselves. With the rest of the bye week (hopefully Sam Bradford did 30,000 leg presses and squats during it), I think they'll want to use a heavy dose of Murray and hopefully Mathews, really get the running game going against a mediocre Cowboys defense and "establish their identity" and other cliches. If Jason Peters can't go against Greg Hardy, and it doesn't look like he will, then I think that will give them even more incentive to pass less. And in the first game, the Eagles ran for seven yards. There's no way that's not on their minds.
Before the bye week, Malcolm Jenkins talked about how there needed to be some soul-searching among some of his teammates. We see all the time that a team coming off the bye week plays better because the coaches do a lot of self-scouting and correct flaws. So hopefully we see a team that plays with a bit of an edge. Bury the Cowboys. Bury them in concrete.
Patrick: Everyone wants to see a win. But after the first seven weeks, is a big statement win so much to ask? A primetime blowout to end Dallas' season could really go a long way in a year like this. And better yet, it'd give the team and fanbase some hope going into the stretch run here.
And that reminds me, Dave - what's your favorite Eagles-Dallas moment?
Two Drink Minimum
I know most people will say 44-6, and with good reason. But for me, it was Terrell Owens' return to Philadelphia in 2006. Watching Drew Bledsoe march down the field was nerve-wracking, but Lito Shepherd's coast-to-coast pick six? I don't know if I've screamed that loudly before or since.
Dave: 44-6 is as good as it gets, because of everything that happened that day. The Eagles started the day off needing three teams to lose to even have a shot at making the playoffs, and they all lost. So come kickoff, excitement had built to a fever pitch. And then they thoroughly, colon cleansingly destroyed the Cowboys. It was an incredible day.
TO's return to Philly is definitely up there. That was another doubly rewarding game. Owens had a quiet game, Lito sealed the deal, great fun. There's so many to choose from.
The other game from that season was fun too. We're coming up on the holidays, let's get back into the spirit with this game (that's the best quality clip--the only clip--I can find).
1995's 4th and 1 was a special one too. There's a fine line between clever and stupid, and calling the same play when it didn't work the last time and you got a reprieve from the refs is that line.
A repeat of this by DeMarco Murray would be hilarious. Cowboy fans would proclaim he did it out of respect.
And the Pickle Juice Game. And Kyle Orton in 2013. There's plenty of others I'm not even remembering off the top of my head. Ending the Cowboys season may not save the Eagles season, but it'll save it from being completely forgettable.