Since the 2011 season is all but “mathematically” over for the Philadelphia Eagles, the next best thing to happen is for the Eagles to lose. And lose as much as possible.
I’m generally an optimistic person when it comes to the Eagles and there is still a small part of me that hopes for the impossible: that the Eagles will go on a seven-game winning streak and make the playoffs.
However, I’m also a realist. The chances of this Eagles team making the playoffs are about as good as Jeff Sandusky becoming Troop Leader for the Boy Scouts of America.
For the first time since the 2005 season, the Eagles are basically out of playoff contention before Thanksgiving. It’s a depressing notion, really.
At this point, the Eagles might be better served in the long run if they just continue to lose. Here are the two main reasons why:
They’ll get a better pick in the draft and it will force a change in the coaching staff.
Seriously, what good will it serve the Eagles if they win a few more games and go 8-8? Teams say that winning is always better. That victories towards the end of the season carry over into the next season.
I say that’s complete hogwash.
There is no “momentum” that teams carry over from season to season. In football, momentum can carry over from week-to-week but not year-to-year. Too many things change from one year to the next for momentum to carry over.
Plus, injuries can derail the greatest of momentum in the blink of an eye. There can be teams that start winning towards the end of season and are seen as a team on the rise for the following year.
However, that is typically reserved for those with young and upcoming quarterbacks and head coaches, not for older veterans trying for one last hurrah such as Andy Reid and Michael Vick.
I’m not saying the Eagles should tank the season, because that would kill the integrity of the sport. I’m just saying that the Eagles and their fans would be better served next season if they continue to lose this season.
Think about it: Would you rather the Eagles go 8-8 and get the 19th or 20th pick in the draft or go 4-12 and get a top 10 (probably top five) pick? In my mind, if you don’t make the playoffs you might as well get the best possible draft slot.
Though not always true, logic dictates that the higher the draft pick, the better the player.
Entertain the notion for a minute, since Eagles fans can’t get excited about a playoff run, that could be replaced with excitement come April’s NFL draft. Imagine all of the possibilities if the Eagles had a top five or top ten pick.
By losing, the Eagles could ultimately be in the position to draft their next franchise quarterback. Or if you’re optimistic, finally get a stud linebacker.
The Eagles may have the rare opportunity to get a high draft pick while already having a team that is just a few tweaks away from being a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Imagine if they can pick up a quarterback, such as Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, or Landry Jones, who can take over for Vick in 2013 and keep the Eagles from entering another dark age of perpetual losing seasons.
Wouldn’t that be worth losing a few more games in a season when they won’t make the playoffs anyway?
Finishing with a well-below .500 record would also all but guarantee a significant coaching change. For those who hope that Andy Reid will be gone, this would be your best hope.
However, right now I’m thinking more along the lines in that it will force them to bring in a legitimate defensive coordinator. You know, someone who has actual experience running a defense.
The front office could certainly tell Andy Reid that if he wants to stay, he’ll be required to hire a legitimate guy. That would be tough for Reid because I’m sure he’d want to replace Juan Castillo with Doug Pederson, the QB coach.
Put it this way, 8-8 would almost mean status quo with only a few changes in personnel, a crappy draft slot for a non-playoff team, and one more year with Castillo. 4-12 would almost guarantee the proper changes take place and give better hope for next season and the future.
At this point, I’m okay with making another run next season with Andy Reid and Michael Vick leading the way. As long as they make a couple of key personnel moves on the defensive side of the ball (coordinator, linebackers) and re-sign DeSean Jackson.
I cannot root against the Eagles, it’s just not in me to do that when I’m in the heat of the moment watching the game. So when they play the Giants this week, my heart will be hoping they crush them.
However, my brain will be telling me it’s better if they lose.