How will this story transpire? When will this story end? Will this team raise the Lombardi once again?
This Sunday, we may get a piece of those answers as the Eagles face the Seattle Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.
On Friday morning during an airing of Good Morning Football, Kyle Brandt produced another epic episode of the show when he compared the Eagles to the "Wolf of Wall Street." Brandt of course became famous in Philadelphia in 2017 during the Eagles Super Bowl run as he adopted them as his team of choice.
Since 2017, the Eagles have a 20-9 record (including playoffs) from the month of November on. After the Super Bowl win in 2017, the team won a road playoff game in 2018 before ultimately losing to the Saints in the Divisional Round.
This season, after a terrible loss to Miami the first week of December, the team went 4-0 down the stretch to secure its first Divisional title since 2017. This team is battle tested. This team is hungry. Hungry dogs run faster.
And now the team is being compared to wolves. What do wolves do best? They smell blood. I think Mr. Brandt is on to something here. Everyone else is counting this team out and that's exactly why the Eagles are dangerous. The 2017 version used the underdog mentality to its advantage. They rode that narrative all the way to Minnesota.
The 2018 version used the same mentality taking the much favored Saints down to the wire in NOLA before the untimely loss.
And now we have the 2019 group. Injuries have once again ravaged this team. In fact, no one would have been surprised if the Eagles did not make the playoffs. Yet here we are, two days from hosting a home playoff game on Sunday.
Some people would label this group "The Replacements." That would be a highly accurate nick name as the team is playing with many players that have come from the practice squad heap. Wide Receivers Greg Ward, Deontay Burnett, and Rob Davis. Tight End Richard Rodgers and Josh Perkins.
As mentioned, many pundits and analysts are counting this team out and mostly because of the current state of this roster. And really, on paper the Eagles should really not have any business being in this position. But don't tell anyone on this team that.
This is a team that believes in its leader. Carson Wentz proved a lot of his haters and doubters wrong down the stretch and that in itself is a true testament to why this team has a legitimate shot to go far here. The sky is the limit folks. The chips are down once again and the wolves are on the prowl.
Doug Pederson is the leader of the pack. He will have this team ready no doubt. Doug smells blood.
Carson is the teams general. Wentz will provide the energy and the wherewithal to drive this machine forward. Carson can see the promised land.
The remainder of the pack is primed to follow. They are loyal and will die for their leaders. The players are programmed to do whatever it takes. The prey has been spotted in the distance. The Seahawks have been circled.
Wolves are territorial by nature and this Eagles team is no different. While the team has had some success on the road, they definitely play their best football at home.
No unit has been more effected by this notion than the defense.
In fact, since 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles defense has allowed the fewest points per game at home in the NFL and this includes the playoffs. The last time these two teams met, the Eagles held the Seahawks to 17 points. Defense wins Championships and the defense will once again have to bring its "A" game.
This brings me to my keys of the game:
- Contain Russell Willson
- Force Turnovers
- Limit Big Plays by Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf
- Stop the Run
- Put Pressure on Russ
- Limit Turnovers
- Utilize the Screen Game
- Get Carson Wentz out of the Pocket
- RUN THE BALL
- Maximize Clock Management
Prediction: Eagles- 24 Seahawks-17
The story is not finished yet. Pieces of the puzzle are starting to get put together. Sunday's outcome will tell us a lot of what we do not yet know about this team...but there is one thing that I already do know...
The wolves of Broad Street are ready to pounce. Everyone is counting them out. We have been here before. The scenario is familiar. The stage is set. I am definitely feeling good about this teams chances. The sky is the limit folks. If the Eagles win Sunday they will get a healthy Desean Jackson back for Round 2 and anything can happen from there.
Hungry dogs run like the wind; while intelligent wolves definitely run faster and are trained for the kill. This team has that killer instinct when they smell blood. NFL beware...The EAGLES have finally landed! #FlyEaglesFly