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At the quarter pole of the NFL season, what’s not to love? The Eagles are 1-3, the Chiefs are 4-0 and the Manning brothers couldn’t be at more opposite ends of the NFL hierarchy.
Are the Eagles where you expected they would be? Did you think they would be better or worse? I expected a 6-10 season from Chip Kelly and the burgeoning Birds. In no way did I foresee the first-half onslaught the Eagles carried out in Washington. I also didn’t think the Birds would be as big of an enigma as a Cowboys fan who has never been to Dallas. Have you met those people?
This year, I figured the Eagles would have considerable defensive missteps over a season filled with a lively, rhythmic offensive scheme. Four games in, where are all of the unique offensive wrinkles? Where are the well-timed trick plays and dupes (swinging gate notwithstanding)? Even Andy Reid had a crafty onside kick, opportune fake punt and Rick Burkholder’s pickle juice in his days of football alchemy. Four games in, surprisingly, the Eagles’ offense is only a few rungs away from the D -- each W.I.P.s (works in progress).
The 0-4 Giants give the Eagles both their easiest opponent and toughest task. An Eagles' victory over New York and an odds-on win by Denver over Dallas would put the Eagles in a tie atop of the division. A loss to winless Big Blue would be the football equivalent of jumping off the roof of City Hall into a swimming pool of sharpened push pins -- just don’t. I’m not one for overreaction theater, but pushing Eagles fans past the borders of tolerance just five games into a new regime is not advisable.
Heading into Week 5, the Eagles’ defense ranked last in the NFL in both total yards allowed and yards allowed per game, while sitting second-to-last in total points allowed and points allowed per game. With 25 percent of the season gone, the Eagles defense’ is on pace to be as bad as ever.
Who is the worst team in total points allowed and points allowed per game? Glad you asked. You will see them this Sunday, at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, wearing blue led by a quarterback named Eli Manning.
What’s not to love, indeed.