Unfortunately, the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles season has reached the point of a real dilemma: Do we root for a win every week because that’s what we should do, as fans — or — is a better position in the 2013 NFL draft more important (which means they need to lose)?
I guess the better question is what you would prefer: Getting a few more wins or just continue watching this team go down in flames because it should be against our nature to “root” for the Eagles to lose?
I’m sure there are those out there who just want to experience the joy of victory at least one more time this season, but to me, that would last all of five minutes before a different kind of frustration sunk in.
That would be the frustration of the Eagles getting a meaningless win that only served to worsen their draft position. Therefore, I’d be pissed that the Eagles can’t even lose correctly!
In my way of viewing things, if the Eagles don’t make the playoffs in a given year, I’d rather see them finish with as worse of a record as possible. Like I said, I never root for the Eagles to lose, but rather it’s more like a preference at this point.
I’m embellishing a little bit here because I wouldn’t really be upset if the Eagles actually win a game. But, come April, I know I would have rather of lost if it meant that we’d be in a better position to snag a player we coveted.
You see, I’ve already finished my five stages of grief in regards to the death of this season. Wins now are just hollow and serve no real purpose for a team that’s about to get deconstructed this offseason.
To me, it makes no difference whatsoever if we go 9-7 or 0-16 if the end result is the same: no playoffs. People talk about building confidence for the following season by ending the previous one on a winning note.
That’s hogwash because there is so much change from year to year, nothing can carry over. Hell, the Colts went 1-15 last year and look at them now. There is no such thing as year-to-year momentum, especially when you’re going to change coaching staffs.
I’d much rather have a winning season and go to the playoffs over getting a good draft position. But, when wins no longer matter, I start looking ahead and want what’s best for the next year.
I’ll never understand those who feel good about winning meaningless games. It’s as if finishing 8-8 and picking somewhere in the middle of Round 1 in the draft is better than finishing 4-12 and picking in the top 10.
If you aren’t going to make the season interesting with a post-season appearance, you might as well make the draft more exciting and be able to land a true blue-chip prospect. In reality, meaningless wins at the end of a season do more harm than good.
The perfect example was just last year…what good did winning those final four games do for us? Did any momentum carry over to this year?
At 8-8 we ended up with the 15th pick in the draft, had we went 4-12 or 5-11 we would have likely been in the top seven and may have pulled the trigger on a trade-up for RG3. Or, at the least, been in a much better position to do so, since we were looking at doing just that.
Sitting at 3-8, the Eagles would currently have a top five pick in the 2013 NFL draft, possibly as high as pick No. 3 depending on the strength of schedule tie-breaker. Unfortunately, the consensus right now is that this seems like a weak draft, especially at quarterback.
There are no players named Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III coming out this year to get excited about. Had this been last year, or if Luck and RG3 had been born just one year later, we would be chanting the words “Suck For Luck” right now (or “Go Win-Free for RG3?”).
As far as first round prospects go, early reports are that this year’s draft class is deepest along the defensive and offensive lines. The QB crop is weak and there really isn’t a ton of talent at the offensive skill positions.
So, once this horror story of a football season comes to an end, there is no clear-cut prize to look forward to in the draft as a “reward” for our suffering.
As they say, timing is everything. Even still, I’d much rather be sitting in the best slot possible come draft time.
If Nick Foles, who has mixed-reviews so far and playing behind a poor offensive line, doesn’t pan out, QB will become our biggest position of need. As things stand right now, drafting USC’s Matt Barkley or West Virginia’s Geno Smith would be reaches in terms of value in the top five.
Those two quarterbacks are a far cry from Luck and RG3.
However, things can and will change immensely between now and April in regards to player evaluations and where certain players might get drafted. Players who aren’t getting a lot of buzz right now will sky-rocket up draft boards once more scouts and coaches start looking closely at game tape.
For examples of that, just look at Ryan Tannehill and even RG3 himself. Neither of those players started out as consensus top-10 picks, but rose up draft boards after game tape review and solid showings at pro-days and the combine.
Picking in the top-five of the draft would be exciting and provide an endless topic of debate leading up to April. The Eagles’ biggest positions of need are QB, OL, CB and Safety.
Also, if a new coaching regime comes in and and decides to install a 3-4 base defense, we could be looking at linebackers and edge-rushers as well. The point is, there will be several different positions the Eagles could address with a pick that high.
If I had to guess right now, the most likely prospects we could be looking at are OT Luke Joeckel or DT Star Lotulelei (not huge need, but he could be a special player and pair with Fletcher Cox to provide a formidable interior DL for years).
LB Manti Te’o will likely be the fan favorite because Philly loves linebackers. If we end up with a coach that decides to deploy a 3-4, Te’o might be the likely target too.
Much will depend upon the coach who replaces Reid, but when you’re drafting as high as the Eagles should be, it would be nice to come away with a stud quarterback. It just stinks that in the year we would be in a position to draft one, the quarterbacks who are coming out are more along the lines of Alex Smith and Christian Ponder than they are to Andrew Luck.
With that said, it would still be nice to be as high up in the draft as possible so that we’ll have our pick of players. Right now our competition for the top spots is Kansas City, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Carolina and Oakland.
There are five weeks left and much can change between now and then. We just have to take care of business on our end (aka…lose) in order assure the best pick possible, then root for the other teams to win.
The last time we were 3-13 we ended up with a new head coach, the second overall pick in the draft, and Donovan McNabb. That turned out pretty well, right? Is it possible that history repeats itself (3-13, new coach, new QB)?
Who we end up with this time is anyone’s guess at this point, but if you want a certain player, maybe you need to come up with a slogan like Colts fans had last year for Luck.
Ours could be “Whiff for Smith” or “Go Flat for Matt” or perhaps “Go for Te’o”…though they just don’t have quite the same ring to it as “Suck for Luck”.