Aug 13, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley (2) hands the ball to running back Chirs Polk (32) during a joint practice with the New England Patriots at the Patriots practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

PRESEASON: Philadelphia Eagles Get Pats On The Back

Philadelphia Eagles Get Pats On The Back

After a less then exemplary showing in the preseason opener, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and the Eagles defenders found themselves as the topic of waves of questions from fans and media. Is Foles inaccurate? Can the Eagles generate ANY pass rush this year? Was 2013 an anomaly? Questions seemed to multiply over these Eagles, despite the reality that this is the first preseason game and the scores only matter to the fans who paid or tuned in to watch.

While premature to judge this team, it certainly reveals the mental state of the Philadelphia Eagles fan base right now. Sucked in by a 2010 season where a Philadelphia Eagles team overcame injuries and NFL opponents to end up in post-season. The following year, and with some level of desperation, the team signed a number of free agents who, on paper, appeared to make the team formidable. But the unthinkable happened. The 2011 team fell to 8-8, while the 2012 version fell to 4-12.   2013’s 10-6 record seemed to spring from nowhere.   But…. was it real place, or was this just fantasy? 

Tonight against the New England Patriots, Eagles fans will get some answers.   A short year ago, the Eagles practiced with the New England patriots and it was apparent that, as far as the defense, the Eagles would have a very long season.   Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appeared nearly flawless against a defense who were trying to learn where they needed to be.  And then, having been shredded by the passing offense all week, the Eagles were doubly embarassed when the Patriots running game decimated them in their 2013 preseason game.    The only saving grace for the Eagles last year was the fact that Tim Tebow did not help his chances to play in the NFL with his performance against the Birds.

My what a difference a year makes.  So far this week we’ve been reading about tight end Zach Ertz and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.  We felt hope build when we learned that these Eagles CAN defend against wunderkind Tom Brady.

But it all goes for naught if that new and improved team does not show up in the preseason game tonight.  It’s too soon from the 2012 disaster to forget just how bad this team can be.   It’s too premature to let 2013’s success build our hopes too highly.

Yes, this is preseason.  Sure the score is not counting anywhere but a line in a preseason historical accounting of today.

But to Eagles fans, tonight is important.  Do we find reason to give ourselves Pats on the back, or just pat our heads and go to our rooms?

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