The truth is I started this post a long time ago, shortly after the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha. The reason? I’m secretly hoping he turns out to be an overrated player who looked like a diamond in the rough on a bad overall Oakland Raiders team. But the truth is he may end up being just another tin can on a trash heap now that he’s in Philadelphia surrounded by more overpriced talent, with bitter rivals of the NFC East looking to tear that team a new one. And with the Eagles looking to revive a fallen defense ever since the passing of Jim Johnson and the departure of Brian Dawkins to Denver… the pressure is going to be on the Eagle secondary now more than ever. If last night was any indication – the much hyped and revamped Eagles defense has a long way to go before they’re ready for prime time.
My opinionated, long overdue rant about why the Eagles aren’t that good is after the jump.
The truth about Nnamdi Asomugha is that he’s statistically sound. Head over the Pro Football Focus, a stat service steeped in its love for consistency play in and play out — and you’ll see Asomugha as a top CB every year. That’s not to say he’s #1 every year, but he’s ranked right up there against formidable talent each and every season. So there’s the stat/talent angle — nothing doing. He’s a good player. DR-C is not as highly regarded, and a lot less consistent than Asomugha or even Asante Samuel for that matter. But last night all three got torched as the Eagles secondary couldn’t seem to stop the Steeler offense from marching down the field over, and over, and over again.
But, as I sat on my couch last night talking trash via Twitter to those Eagles fans that actually follow GMENHQ…. I began to pontificate. Admittedly, I was an ass about the Eagles failures — but like a pig in you know what, I was LOVING the collapse that we were witnessing from the Eagles. And why not? It was a big night for Vick, he was obviously distracted about the GQ article, and he performed terribly. And so did the rest of the team, especially the defense.
So I began to draw parallels between the over-hyped Dallas Cowboys of recent memory, and even my beloved NY Yankees who’ve won only one world series in over a decade despite opening the wallet for top talent year after year. The brutal reality is — it doesn’t usually work! And we saw shades of that last night, preseason or not. Teams built and hyped on the premise of talent alone rarely win it all. It takes a little things called chemistry too. Team chemistry. And the Eagles didn;t have it. We’re not talking about the Lakers, Celtics, and Bulls here. We’re not talking about the Detroit Red Wings or the 18-1 2007 Patriots (see what I did there?). We’re talking about an all hype, nothing to show for it, over before it started, holdout ridden, media distracted, complete wreck of Titanic proportions showing from the entire Philadelphia Eagles organization last night.
Their first and second team offense just didn’t have it… and make no mistake about it they had every reason to get up for last nights game and make a statement with the Steelers. They failed to do so. Turnover after turnover for the offense, gash after gash on the defense. What “dream team” are we talking about here? Can we even for a minute discuss why cramming all these overpaid egos into the same locker room might be a bad thing? I mean, is it possible that all those free agency moves could backfire on the Birds? Are the Philadelphia Eagles the new Dallas Cowboys?
WOW. Let that sink in for a second.
Yes it’s preseason… but hype should be a two way street. If you can hype a team to the point of annointing them Superbowl Champions before the season’s even begun, you should be allowed to torch them when the product on the field looks the way it did last night.
Think about this — every summer for the past 10 years I’ve had to listen to analysts pick the Cowboys to finish first in the NFC East, and I can’t remember one time the Giants were picked to do anything better than mediocre. Yet, the Giants somehow beat the best team in the modern Superbowl era and they’re still the underdogs in the NFC. In 2008 – they were picked to finish last in the division again, after they won a Superbowl! Yes, hype should be a two way street.
With every pundit out there is saying the Giants are going to finish 8-8 at best in 2011 with all their botched offseason transactions, while the electric, brilliant, and all-hype Eagles are going to handily win the division and play the Steelers/Jets in the Superbowl… and likely win… as a Giants fan you like to see this kind of performance come to pass. The reality is, it’s football. It’s 60 minutes of who knows what’s going to happen – and if like me you’re sick of hearing about how good the Eagles and Cowboys are going to be year in and year out… you’re reveling in the aftermath of yesterday’s events from top to bottom.
Yes hype should be a two way street — and that’s the way I’m going to be approaching the Eagles and Giants respectively this year. No one thinks the Giants are going to do anything, and that’s when they rise to the occasion. Everyone thinks the Eagles are going to be champions for the first time — and that’s why it’s so much fun to see them collapse like they always have.