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Even one of Philadelphia’s biggest haters admits he’s impressed by the Eagles

Philly has broken one of their biggest critics.

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

I can’t believe I’m saying this about the guy who once said “Philadelphia is the dumbest sports city in America” but Colin Cowherd actually had a really good take on the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this week.

You would think that Cowherd might rip the Eagles for how their 2018 season ended, calling them a “one-year wonder”or a “fluke.”

But he didn’t. Instead, he actually went on a long rant about how the Eagles were incredibly impressive in their playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Entire transcript below:

Tip of the cap to Philadelphia.

How in the hell is Philadelphia driving for the win in that game?

Philadelphia is using a backup quarterback. They’re on the road for the fifth time in six weeks. Their defensive linemen all took turns getting hurt and they lost their second best offensive lineman during the game. They’re on a fourth string running back and using recycled soda cans in the secondary.

And it took amazing Drew Brees feats — 3rd-and-16, 3rd-and-13 — to escape with a win.

I mean, Philadelphia, that coaching staff? Give them all raises. They had no business being in that game. They had no business taking a lead. They had no business being the team that came out with energy.

I mean, for the first hour of that game, they had the Saints on the ropes! If the Saints don’t get that first down on that fake kick, I’m not sure that game’s not over.

Because, I mean, New Orleans needed everything. Fake kick, dropped pick by the Eagles, [and] multiple injuries to win that game.

And Philly was driving. Philly was driving to win that football game.

It’s nothing against New Orleans. I was blown away by Philadelphia. I was as — and I’m not joking when I say this — last year, everybody fell in love with Nick Foles. But they were playing home games, I mean, it was like, they were healthy, they were a really good football [team].

[This year,] they were all beat up! They had secondary guys I’ve never heard of! I watch every NFL game. They’ve got guys I’ve never heard of. They’re on fourth string running backs. You know how hard it is to win on the road five times in six weeks? You saw the Chargers on back-to-back roadies. The Chargers, a great roster, on back-to-back road trips did not show up. They were out four minutes into the game [against the Patriots], it was over.

For Philadelphia to be in that game to the end with a backup, I mean, I’m blown away by Philadelphia.

So, don’t sell your stock on the Eagles. I mean, because they’re going to be — Carson Wentz is back. They’re going to be significantly healthier. They’ve shown the ability to acquire free agents at a high level and draft at a high level. I’ve said their owner, their GM, their coach, and their quarterback are all A. They’re all A-talents. So when you’re an A going into the season every year — owner, GM, coach, and quarterback — you’re not going anywhere.

If you told me today there’s a team that’s going to dominate the NFC East and I had to pick one, I’d pick Philadelphia. THAT was character. That was impressive.

I know how it works. If you win a game, you’re a genius, and if you lose a game, you’re a bum. That’s the way it works in sports.

Blown. Away. by Philadelphia yesterday. Blown away.

I mean, I took them with the points. I thought the Saints would win, and I thought Philly will keep it close … the first two rounds of that fight, the Saints were almost on the canvas. In the Superdome!

All the other teams that got rest dominated. KC off a bye, great. Belichick off a bye, great. Rams off a bye, great. Saints off a bye? Almost got knocked out in the second round.

I mean, a fake punt literally saved them. BYU quarterback [Taysom Hill] basically saved them. They needed Drew Brees to do these … it’s why I say Brees is one of the eight best quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. He had to do 3rd-and-13, and 3rd-and-16. And Drew’s Drew, I mean you can’t draw up the stuff he does.

Putting aside a few inaccuracies (we all know the Eagles were NOT a healthy team in 2017), I think Cowherd said it pretty well. This year’s team was an impressive group.

As we reflect on the season, I can’t help but feel like the 2018 Eagles were like the first Rocky movie. The comparison obviously isn’t perfect since they were coming off a Super Bowl win. But the end of the Eagles’ season, and how it’s being viewed, reminds me of Rocky Balboa losing the match to Apollo Creed but earning everyone’s respect in the process. Not unlike Rocky surprisingly dropping Apollo to the canvas, the Eagles gave the Saints a much bigger scare than anyone reasonably expected. And though the final results weren’t the desired outcome, ultimately we could be very proud of the side we cheered on.

Now, hopefully 2019 ends up being like Rocky II for the Eagles.

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