Who ties the Cincinnati Bengals? Your 2008 Philadelphia Eagles that’s who. I am still trying to decide if tying the Bengals is worse than actually losing to them. It’s a conundrum for sure, but then again confusing questions have plagued the Eagles since mid September.
The promises of August have slowly morphed into the disappointments of November. After losing the heart-breaker in Dallas, a “good” loss that displayed grit and solidarity, the Birds have steadily declined into a middle-of-the-pack team. Inconsistency and lack of focus are the only recognizable traits seen week to week.
A football team loaded with talent has failed to find its identity. The Giants and Titans are running teams with tough, physical defenses. The Cardinals and Broncos are pass-first teams with defenses that struggle. What exactly are the Eagles? One week the offense racks up 500 yards and appears unstoppable; the next week they can barely muster a first down and look out-of-sync. One week the defense registers nine sacks and plays lights-out football; the next week they are a step slow and softer than Charmin.
To succeed in the NFL a team must formulate a persona, an edge, something that separates them from the rest. When a team fails to find themselves by Week 11, they need to stop searching. The elusive answers they seek should have been discovered during training camp. No amount of “doing a better job” or “working harder” will get a stuck-in-neutral team moving. It may be difficult, but at some point, you must accept your deficiencies and realize the Super Bowl goal is unreachable. It’s not giving up, it’s being realistic.
Perhaps the 2008 Eagles can best be summed up by their Pro Bowl quarterback’s lack of NFL rulebook knowledge. How does Donovan McNabb make it ten years in the pros and not know regular season games can end in a tie? In his 31 years he’s never witnessed or heard of an NFL matchup resulting in a deadlock? It would seem not. Like most things Eagles, it’s a head-scratching quandary impossible to figure. These are your 2008 Philadelphia Eagles.