Here are some quick reasons why I again pick the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East:
- Andy Reid. As long as Andy Reid is their coach the Eagles will remain one of the conference’s powers. Andy has a system that works day in and day out and his players believe in him. If Donavan McNabb can stay healthy, this club should win the East. If McNabb and Westbrook are healthy at playoff time this team can win it all. Next time we will break down why this club is improved.
- The Giants loss of Tiki Barber. The loss of Barber can not be overemphasized. As a Giant hater, I still am amazed whenever I would watch Tiki play. His speed, agility, bursts of power, ability to see the field, ability to break tackles along with his great intelligence made Tiki one of the most feared players to ever play the game. Tiki was vastly underated until possibly his last year. With flimsy armed Eli Manning now as the offensive leader, it could take the Giants at least two years to recover.
- Dallas is still too inconsistent, and coupled (or caused by) with the dissension that #81 brings to the field they again cannot match the Eagles toughness or grit when the going gets tough. Romo is not mature enough to handle the inevitable barbs from T.O. the Selfish and that club could be in for a long year
- The Redskins stink. Despite all of the money Daniel Snyder has thrown at that club over the years, the chemistry is and has not been there. Over the hill Mark Brunell was doing everyone a favor last year when he played. Jesse Campbell may one day be a fine quaterback, but his poor footwork and decision making under pressure still leaves him far from being a player who can lead his team under pressure.
My Ten Top Favorite Eagles 1980 To Present (coaches included):
Last week I listed my favorite birds from 1964 to 1979, I probably should have listed Dick Vermeil but I can’t cry over spilled milk > this list is tougher
1. Buddy Ryan > Buddy for all you want to say about him took a bad team with no pride or respect in itself and made it not only a winner, but a team to be feared. Teams used to kick sand in the face of the Iggles before Buddy took over (for those of you who may have conveniently forgotten). Buddy came and would have none of that. Though he did not win a championship he restored pride to the city and team.
2. Randall Cunningham > Randall was without a doubt the best quarterback the city has seen since, since well before I can remember (1964). He took over for a battered Ron Jaworksi and singlehandedly lifted the club to the playoffs. Randall’s running style was perfectly suited for a team with no running game, a bad offensive line and a division with the likes of Lawrence Taylor running amok. Had Randall been left to play his game and not converted by idiots like Rich Kotite he might still be known as the “Ultimate Weapon” that SI portrayed him as.
3. Reggie White > Reggie was the greatest defensive lineman to ever live. Eagle fans were fortunate to have him play his greatest years in Phila. Until recently he owned the league mark for sacks, and was double teamed on nearly every play. Reggie led the fearsome Eagles defenses of the 1980s.
4. Wilburt Montgomery > Underated great running back of the late 70s and of course a key member of the Eagles 1980 SuperBowl team. Wilburt’s long touchdown run in the NFC Championship game that year gave the Eagles the NFC crown
5. Ron Jaworski > The “Polish Rifle” reinvigorated a failing Eagles offense under the tremendous coaching of Dick Vermeil. Ron’s strong, accurate arm led the Eagles to the 1980 SuperBowl
6. Jerome Brown > Greatest defensive tackle I have ever seen play the game. Jerome dominated offensive lines by pushing the entire interior of lines back into the quarterback’s face. In Jerome’s time, the Eagles were impossible to run against.
7. Donavan McNabb > He could move to number 1 by next year
8. Brian Dawkins > Fierce free safety
9. Brian Westbrook > Does it all
10. Andre Waters, Eric Allen, Wes Hopkins, Byron Evans, et al
One Final Thing Eagles Nation. For those who like to say the Eagles haven’t won anything how about the 4 NFL Championships to their names: 1948, 49, 50, and 1960 (the only team to beat a Vince Lombardi Packers team in a championship game) (and if they don’t count because they are too old, lets not count any Yankees championships from those same time periods either), have appeared in 12 NFL/NFC championship games, have been 11 time division champions, and have made 20 playoff appearances including 2 SuperBowls. Not too shabby!
TILL NEXT TIME
FLY BIRDS FLY!!!ON THE ROAD TO VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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