As the NFL season rolls on, no team has been a bigger bust through it’s first six games than the Philadelphia Eagles. Proclaimed the “Dream Team” by backup quarterback Vince Young, the Eagles have been far from dream worthy. Their record stands at 2-4, and they are currently last in the NFC East. How they have played in their first six games was not in the plans going into a season of high hopes. They have been shown up on both sides of the ball, and beaten in many aspects of the game they were once dominant at. Should all hopes be lost?
Their season started out as expected, an easy 31-13 win over the St. Louis Rams, as they showed the NFL they were here to play. Their hopes took a turn for the worst in their second game of the season, as the Falcons took the game 35-31. They lost their ten point lead in the fourth quarter in Michael Vick’s homecoming in Atlanta. After the loss, many questions were left to be answered. Would the Eagles bounce back? How would the coaches address the issue of the team’s tackling issue? How will Vick bounce back after a three turnover game?
Those issues appeared once again going into a major divisional game, against their rival New York Giants. They appeared as if they only wanted to play for the first three quarters of the game, blowing another fourth quarter lead in their eventual 29-16 loss. Their inability to tackle ultimately led to many of the Giants long scores, which showed majorly on Victor Cruz’s 74 yard TD reception, as the wide receiver broke numerous tackles on his way to his first of two scores on the game. All this while Vick took hit after hit. This led to taking him out of the game because of injury, and leaving third-string QB Mike Kafka virtually defenseless, as the Giants intercepted him twice. This led to the same questions asked at the end of the game the previous week, and the question, “Will Vick play next week?”.
The next two weeks proved as hard as the previous, as the Eagles took home losses to the 49ers 24-23, and the Bills 31-24. Their sloppy defense proved to be the biggest of disappointments in the games, as the issue of tackling plagued them all game long both weeks. It ultimately caused a change in starters at the linebacker and safety positions, to try and cope with the lack of tackling. Not to mention the troubles both the offensive and defensive lines were having. Vick was on the mark at times, but turned the ball over five times in two games. This left the team in a frenzy, and many wondering who was to blame for this skid of four games. Many were quick to criticize Andy Reid and Juan Castillo, but most of the downfall fell on the shoulders of the players, and their inability to make the necessary plays.
Coming into the second divisional game, and sixth of the season against the Redskins, many wondered what Eagles team they would see. To the delight of fans, for the first time since their week one game, they were able to come away with a win 20-13. Their defense made the plays, and the offense rolled, despite two turnovers. Kurt Coleman came up huge for the secondary, intercepting three passes, which ended with the benching of Redskin’s QB Rex Grossman. This win took them into the team’s bye week, where many questions about the team were hoping to be addressed.
Coming out of the bye week, the Eagles will be facing their major rival, the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have really turned it on coming into this game, and the Eagles hope to inch their way closer to a .500 record. The Eagles do bring into this game the number one rushing offense in the league, and third overall offense. This will be the biggest match-up for the team, as the Cowboys have the number one rush defense in the league, and the number seven overall defense.
Only time will tell if the Eagles can turn their year around, and their time is running out. They can make a big statement coming into the game with the Cowboys, if they can stop the Cowboys’ number six ranked offense. The questions will still be looming going into the game. Will the Eagles defense stop the Cowboys? Will Vick turn the ball over? Can the team still contend? All the questions will be answered on October 30th, at Lincoln Financial Field, in the City of Brotherly Love.