While watching the St. Louis Cardinals hoist up their 11th World Championship in franchise history, I thought to myself, why can’t the Eagles put together a story book season of their own.
For the Cardinals it started in Spring Training when Adam Wainwright went down for the season needing Tommy John Surgery. Down 10.5 games on August 25 to the Atlanta Braves, they put together one of the greatest runs in sports history. They won the Wild Card on the final day of the season, without ever leading the Braves in the Wild-Card standings in September.
But that was just the beginning.
They dispatched the 102-win and title-favorite Philadelphia Phillies in five games in the NLDS. They mowed through Milwaukee in the NLCS. Down two strikes, two runs with two outs, TWICE, in Game 6 of the World Series, the Cardinals somehow pulled that one off. And finally after tossing a forgetful outing on his first crack on three days’ rest, Chris Carpenter guts out six-plus innings and gets the win for your 2011 MLB World Champions St Louis Cardinals.
David Freese sets a postseason record with 21 runs batted in.
I can go on and on about the storylines, but I think Philadelphia is sick of baseball right about now. It’s football season!
It’s time to find out what type of character this Eagles team has.
From August 25 on, every game was a playoff game for St. Louis. The Eagles played their first of 11 playoff games against Washington in Week 6, at least until the regular season concludes. We’ll find out in a few months if this Philadelphia squad has what it takes. They certainly have the talent to make something magical happen.
But before any of that can be talked about, they have to beat Dallas first…
PHILADELPHIA RUSH DEFENSE VS DALLAS RUSH OFFENSE
DeMarco Murray had a career day rushing for 253 yards, including a 91-yard TD gallop, against the 32nd-ranked rushing defense in the NFL, the St. Louis Rams. Murray broke the single-game Cowboys rushing record of 237 yards set by Emmitt Smith against Philadelphia on October 31, 1993. The rookie’s 91-yard scamper was the second-longest in franchise history after Tony Dorsett’s memorable 99-yard dash at Minnesota on January 3, 1983.
Philadelphia has the 23rd-ranked rush defense, but held Ryan Torain to 22 yards rushing on 10 carries in Week 6 against the Redskins. With the linebacking core struggling, the Eagles tightened up the ‘wide 9′ and found success against Washington.
But how good was that Washington rushing attack and will the run defense do the same against Murray?
PHILADELPHIA PASS DEFENSE VS DALLAS PASS OFFENSE
Tony Romo is as inconsistent as they come at the quarterback position. He’s had chokejobs against Detroit and New York Jets in the second half, but has also shined against San Francisco and New England.
It’s all about not making mistakes with him.
Look for Romo’s safety valve, Jason Witten, to have a field day against the Philadelphia linebacking core.
Philadelphia is tied for 11th in the NFL with seven interceptions, with four of them coming against the Redskins in Week 6.
Speaking of that Washington game, again, Kurt Coleman had a career game with three picks. It looks like finally, maybe, and I stress MAYBE, the Eagles have figured things out at the safety position.
And what about Asante Samuel? Will he continue to whine, complain and pout, or will he have a big game playing with a chip on his shoulder. He’ll have Miles Austin to deal with all night so the spotlight will be on him.
Nnamdi Asomugha will match up against the talented second-year pro from Oklahoma State, Dez Bryant.
Since the Eagles shrunk the wide 9 a bit, at least on first and second downs, how will that effect them getting after Romo.
EAGLES RUSHING OFFENSE VS COWBOYS RUSHING DEFENSE
LeSean McCoy is seventh in the NFL in rushing yards with 569, and leads the No. 1 rushing attack of the Eagles.
Dallas counters with the No. 1 rush defense in the NFL, limiting its opponents to just 69.7 yards a contest.
Linebacker Sean Lee, a guy the Eagles could’ve had in the second round, but traded the pick to the Cowboys, has been phenomenal and the breakout player on defense so far in 2011.
Philadelphia ran a bunch of draw two weeks ago against the 3-4 of the Redskins. Dallas, like Washington, has an attacking 3-4 and the Redskin outside linebackers were getting too far upfield. How will the Cowboys handle the draw play.
And Andy Reid has to stick to the run. Even if it’s not working in the first half, keep feeding McCoy the rock. The kid’s just too talented.
EAGLES PASS OFFENSE VS COWBOYS PASS DEFENSE
Philadelphia is still trying to figure out things in the passing game. Last year, the aerial show of Jackson and Maclin was showcased, but in order for that to happen the offensive line must give Vick time to get the ball downfield. That hasn’t happened so far.
At least they get Jason Peters back in time. He’ll go against DeMarcus Ware, who has eight sacks on the season.
They’ve gone to more quick, three-step drops on offense and there’s been more of a flow. Philadelphia’s still trying to get the ball downfield, but not as often the last few weeks.
PREDICTION- Phi 27-24
I’ts a must win for Philadelphia (2-4), and a very important game for Dallas (3-3). Andy Reid has an impressive 12-0 mark coming off the bye.
I think we’re going to see a shootout with the Eagles getting the ball last and the rookie kicker will get a chance to prove himself.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!