The Philadelphia Eagles’ 2013 season will either come together or completely fall apart over the next five weeks. Or perhaps even worse, it’ll be somewhere in between.
The Eagles could find themselves in first place in the NFC East with a win against the Giants coupled with a Dallas loss to Denver. Since it’s highly likely that Dallas will lose, the only question is if the Eagles can beat the struggling Giants to claim first place.
The following four games are at Tampa Bay followed by two home games versus division rivals Dallas and New York (again) and then a trip out west to Oakland. They will have four division games in the books and how they fare will likely determine how the second half of this season should be approached.
The schedule appears favorable for the Eagles to go on a five game winning streak and could be standing at 6-3 after Week 9. But, are they good enough to do this?
If it happens, Eagles fever will be in full force and everyone will be talking playoffs.
However, what happens if they either lose them all or are only able to muster one or two wins?
If the Eagles are 3-6 or worse after Week 9, how will they approach the rest of the season? How should they approach it?
The most important decision to be made would be what to do at the QB position. Chip Kelly would have to decide about whether or not to stick with Vick or see how Foles or Barkley fares in his offense.
The smart thing to do would be to give both Foles and Barkley time so he can make an informed decision in the offseason about whether he needs a QB in 2014.
What would be frustrating is for the Eagles to be sitting at 4-5 after Week 9. That would indicate a potential 8-8 or 7-9 finish and end up with a mid first round slot in April’s draft.
Furthermore, it would likely mean that they’d still be in contention for the division and we’d never get to see Foles or Barkley in action unless there was an injury to Vick.
Worse yet would be an 8-8 record that lands us in the playoffs where we get eliminated in the first round. That would guarantee a draft slot of no better than 21st. And let’s not kid ourselves, unless this team does a 180, they have no shot at competing for a championship.
I’d rather go 4-12 again than go 8-8. Unless we see Foles or Barkley in action this year and one of them sparks hope for 2014, we will need a franchise QB. And in order to get one of those, having the best draft slot possible is what we need.
For now, though, let’s see if the Eagles can get this thing turned around. If they can string together a few wins it will restore hope for this season. With their next five opponents, this is their best chance to gain some confidence and get some momentum.
In 2010, the Seahawks won their division with a 7-9 record and went on to actually win a playoff game. I don’t want the Eagles to be the second team in NFL history to do that because it would mean an even worse draft slot.
If we make the playoffs, I’d rather make it with a winning record and at least some confidence that the team will be competitive. Making the playoffs because you’re the least worst team in the worst division in the NFL is not the way I want this season to go.
It’s still early in the season and it’s still possible that the Eagles will turn it around. They’re still learning and adjusting to the new offensive and defensive schemes. It’s not uncommon for teams to start slow and pick up steam as the season progresses.
I’m hoping this team does the aforementioned 180 and starts playing better in all three phases of the game. However, if we go based on what we’ve seen on the field through the first four weeks, this team would be lucky to get four wins this year.
Bill Davis recently asked for our trust that the defense is heading in the right direction. Well, that’s about all we can do right now is “trust” or hope that he’s right and that their progression rate triples in speed.
Lose against the Giants this week and the wheels may start to come off the bus a little bit. A win provides a little hope and at least another week of entertaining the thought of salvaging this season.