When your local football team is playing on Monday Night Football the stakes are high. Week two of the NFL season gave Eagle Nation one of the most dramatic victories in recent memory against a quality opponent in the Indianapolis Colts. When the schedule was released at the beginning of last summer most of us, including myself, had this game marked down for a loss. On the road, in a dome, in a hostile environment, going up against one of the best young QB’s in the NFL who is armed with one of the best group of receivers not many gave this Eagles team a chance to win.
For the second straight week the Eagles fell behind early and had to overcome a double digit deficit in the second half. Early on the Eagles looked well moving the ball downfield but the offense stalled in the redzone each time. Throw in a Cody Parky missed field goal and you had a recipe for disaster for the entire nation to witness under the bright lights of Monday Night. At the half the Eagles trailed 17-6 and the team just looked noticeably flat.
The second half was a different story though as the Eagles offense woke up and came storming back. The Eagles put together a solid drive which resulted in a LeSean McCoy 1 yard touchdown to get things going. Following the touchdown Fletcher Cox stripped the ball from Colts running back Trent Richardson deep in Colt territory which set up the game tying touchdown to none other than Darren Sproles.
On the next Colt possession Andrew Luck and company drove the ball 80 yards and scored on a 7 yard play action pass to former Giant Ahmad Bradshaw. The Colts took the lead 27-20 and got the ball right back after the Eagles failed to score on their next drive. The defense then stole the show as new Eagle safety Malcom Jenkins intercepted a pass by Andrew Luck which was intended for TY Hilton. Now this is where things got hairy with the refs according to fans around the country that aren’t Eagle fans. It appeared Brandon Boykin knocked Hilton over and held him which resulted in Jenkins having the opportunity to intercept the pass. I have to say the call could have gone either way on that play but at the end of the day no matter what sporting event you’re watching the referee will always sometimes miss a call and great teams will get a lucky break or two throughout the season. Well the Eagles actually received two lucky breaks because following the interception the refs called a horse-collar tackle on the Colts for a tackle on LeSean McCoy which didn’t appear that the tacklers hand was inside the numbers. Another blown call by the refs? Possibly. But again I say all great teams receive a few breaks along the way to glory. The Eagles continued to drive down field and Foles eventually through the game tying TD to Jeremy Maclin for his 2nd TD of the season.
Luck and the Colts offense would have a chance to drive down the field and win the game. Now here is where I say for anyone out there who believes the refs blew this game you’re clearly not thinking straight. If you’re a Colts fan scheming up the dream scenario for how to win a game at home I guarantee you 100% of the time you’d want the ball in Andrew Luck’s hands with a tie game and less than 5 minutes to play. So as bad as the missed calls were by the refs the Colts still had the chance to drive down field and win the game. Instead Colts coach Chuck Pagano decided to run the ball twice which set up a 3rd and 5 play. The Eagles brought pressure on Luck who threw an incomplete pass which resulted in a punt back to the Eagles. So for anyone out there who wants to tell me the refs gave this game to the Eagles I say to you the Colts blew this game with a horrible selection of plays on the potential game winning drive by not playing to the strength of their own offense.
One again the Eagles rode the back of Darren Sproles on a nice screen pass to set up the game winning field goal by none other than former Colt Cody Parky. The irony of Parky kicking the game winner was that he was in Colts camp and traded to the Eagles midway through the pre-season. I was very skeptical of Parky throughout the night since he missed his first field goal attempt but he came through when it counted most and that’s more than Alex Henry ever could. The Eagles came all the way back to win 30-27 in dramatic fashion and improve to 2-0.
Now for those of you out there jumping for joy and thinking all about a Super bowl I warn you to not get ahead of yourself. If you recall the last time the Eagles started a season 2-0 was in 2012, Andy Reid’s final season when they beat Cleveland and Baltimore to start the year. They eventually went on to a 3-1 start which normally would be fantastic except that season the Eagles finished 4-12 and well you know the rest, Reid gets fired and in comes Chip Kelly. I’m not saying that scenario will happen this time around as clearly this is a much better team than the 2012 version of the Eagles but let’s not get ahead of ourselves as plenty of season is still left to be played.
The good thing about the first two games of the season is that as bad as the Eagles have looked in the first half of games they are showing grit, toughness and the ability to come from behind which all championship caliber teams need in order to succeed. The scary thing for the rest of the NFL is that once the Eagles actually work out the kinks and start playing efficiently for a full 60 minutes who knows what they are capable of. Next up on the schedule will be a visit from our old pal DeSean Jackson and the Washington Redskins. I expect this to be a close game especially now that Kirk Cousins will start in place of RG3. I do believe the Eagles will win though as the Skins are not as good as the Colts but I think we’ll be in for another nail biter early Sunday afternoon.