Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Eagles!


The Eagles are playing in the NFC Championship (is a very strange thing to say). 

It's shocking how quickly this Philadelphia Eagles team came together. It was 9 years ago that the Eagles were last here, in what would prove to be Donovan McNabb's final game in a Philly uniform. It feels like a lifetime ago. The franchise has gone through some dark days since then, including a stretch where I refused to watch any of the games when Michael Vick was under center. The team quickly turned around from the Chip Kelly experiment, finding themselves a win away from their first Super Bowl appearance since 2005. They face the same franchise they beat in 2005 (Vikings), and would likely face the same team they faced in the Super Bowl (you know the one). Of course, all of the faces have changed, except the dastardly Brady and Belichick, of course.

But we're getting way ahead of ourselves here. Let's relax for a minute and check out a few 2017 Panini Prizm cards I picked up on Listia. This was basically a mini-team set purchase for a small amount of credits. I just checked, and am now just missing Torrey Smith and a bunch of rookies (well, all of them.)


Zach Ertz has been Carson Wentz's go to guy since Wentz came into the league. Ertz has started chewing up yardage the way he chewed up yardage in the Pac-12 at Stanford. The long and mostly successful run of offensively skilled Eagles tight ends has continued throughout various coaching changes.


I feel like it's every Eagles receiver's responsibility to be at least a little disappointing, and it was easy to feel that way about Alshon at times this season. He's starting to grow on me, though.


And then, of course, we have Carson Wentz. Wentz was the odds-on favorite to win MVP this season until he went down with a season ending ACL injury. This is pretty much what happens to everything and everyone I root for in this stupid sport people call football (but mostly only in this country). Wentz was essentially the perfect player for the Eagles sometimes suspect and always injury-plagued offensive line, as his ability to scramble and improvise were keys to some huge wins all season long. Now the offense is under the direction of the capable pocket passer Nick Foles. You could certainly do a lot worse for a backup quarterback than Foles. I wouldn't trade him for some team's starters. But his stationary style combined with the Eagles fairly conservative play-calling has shifted the focus dramatically towards the running game. Of course, it was the defense that bailed the Eagles out time and time again last weekend, and it will be needed to come up big again against Minnesota.


This isn't an Eagles card, per se, but it was included in the lot I purchased as Jay Ajayi was the rare midseason acquisition that bolstered the Eagles season which ultimately led to their #1 seeding throughout the playoffs. In fact, trades in the NFL are so rare, let alone midseason trades, that Ajayi is the first player to rush for more than 300 yards for two different teams in the same season*.

All in all, no matter the results of Sunday's game, it was an extremely successful season. Did anyone see this coming?

*Source: Me. This is probably a completely made up stat, but I swear that I heard it during a game broadcast recently. And Ajayi actually topped 400 yards this season for both franchises.

1 comment:

SumoMenkoMan said...

I wasn't expecting it, but I'll be cheering them on this weekend. Sucks that Carson went down and I really liked him and thought he was class act.