Yes, that's right. A 26-10 win on the road in which the defense recorded nine sacks and dominated for all four quarters was the worst possible thing that could have happened to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tempting as it may be to celebrate a December victory in which the team looked pretty strong on both sides of the ball, I consider Sunday a setback.
Not only did it keep the team's minuscule playoff hopes alive and unjustifiably keep the fans' hopes up, and not only did they hurt their draft position by winning, but another win or two like that and they might actually do something even more unspeakable: save Andy Reid's job.
Even worse: As we've learned over the years from Angelo and others, the biggest reason Andy needs to go isn't his stubbornness, his strategic blunders or refusal to run the ball- it's that he's so arrogant in press conferences. Andy's never more of a jerk than after a big win- and there's absolutely nothing more unforgivable a coach can do than get snippy with reporters.
At any rate, let's not kid ourselves; the season is over. Here, in an ideal world, is how I see the next few weeks playing out:
1. At the Eagles home game against the New York Jets next Sunday, regardless of the score at the time, Eagles fans stage a mass walkout at the end of the first quarter. Sure, the Reid-apologist TV network cameras will ignore it, but I feel it would make a strong statement that true Eagles fans don't tolerate the last 14 years of failure.
2. At the final home game against Washington in Week 17, once again at the end of the first quarter, Eagles fans rise as one and turn their backs to the field, remaining in that position through halftime. Then, as soon as the third quarter ends, everyone present rushes out of the stands in order to stage a mass burning of their season tickets and seat licenses at midfield. Once again, think of the message it would send.
3. As Pro Football Talk wrote this week in a report so airtight it didn't require any hints of a named source, Andy Reid will need to fire Juan Castillo in order to save his own job. As soon as the season ends, he does- but then the Eagles fire Reid anyway.
4. The Eagles realize that they need a head coach with gravitas, a Super Bowl ring, and the ability to get through to Michael Vick. That's right: Tony Dungy.
5. Eagles management wisely realizes that Tampa Bay wasn't able to break through and win a Super Bowl while Dungy was there, so they immediately fire Dungy and replace him with Jon Gruden. Ron Jaworski returns to the Eagles as offense coordinator, with Mike Tirico taking over as GM.
I don't think anyone's ever pointed this out in regards to the Eagles before, but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Albert Einstein said that, or maybe it was Ben Franklin, or Martina Navratilova's ex-lover. This scenario, if you ask me, is the only way the Eagles can guarantee their first championship since 1960.
Other Philly sports takes:
- Another caller on WIP over the weekend made a good point: The Eagles' struggles this year are Ray Didinger's fault, because he wasn't able to persuade Andy to listen to him.
- Seeing Sun Life Stadium emptied out after the Eagles' game was over gave me a wistful, nostalgic feeling about all those Phillies games against the Marlins. I'm really going to miss all those empty seats.
- If Casey Matthews' fiancee doesn't want to be hassled at a game, maybe Casey should play better. This is Philly!
- Albert Pujols ended up signing with the Angels for exactly twice as much money and twice as many years as Ryan Howard got. The lesson, as always: the Phillies are cheap.
- No Philadelphia athlete should ever leave a game because of a "boo boo," as Ilya Bryzgalov did on Saturday. I'm going to pretend that didn't really happen.
- The Philly Passion of the Lingerie Football League, who defeated the Toronto Triumph 74-0 last week, are the best football team in Philadelphia.