Eagles still lack heart of a champ

The Eagles are still very much an enigma despite a 7-4 record. Sure, they’re good enough to make the playoffs — and possibly win the NFC East — but they are simply not good enough to win a world championship.

The Eagles began last Sunday’s game with a ridiculous onsides kick, they repeatedly allowed third-down conversions, they were plagued by stupid penalties and they struggled mightily to gain a yard near the goal line. Oh, yeah. And they won, 27-24, over the Redskins. Go figure.

This franchise has been one, big puzzle since the arrival of Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb more than a decade ago, and no Eagles team has been more bewildering than the current edition. Fans don’t even know how to react after big wins anymore. Should they be happy that McNabb led his second fourth-quarter comeback in two weeks? Or should they be disgusted that the Eagles almost lost to a bad team?

And then there’s the attitude. Reid continues to carp at the media about the issue of late comebacks, even though it’s a matter of statistical fact that his team was terrible at it for more than a season. Believe it or not, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is getting snippy now, too, and he has a career record of 5-27 as a head coach.

Happy or disgusted? Jason Avant made two miraculous catches to rescue the Eagles from the brink of defeat in the fourth quarter. Michael Vick gained a grand total of four yards on three more embarrassing plays. Jeremy Maclin set up the winning field goal on a brilliant grab near the sideline for 35 yards. Leonard Weaver got so frustrated at the short-yardage failures that he lost his temper on the sidelines.

Glass half-full or half-empty? Asante Samuel made two key interceptions. Asante Samuel didn’t make a single tackle. David Akers has kicked 16 straight field goals. David Akers screwed up the onsides kick.

There is no solution to the puzzle, just more pieces that don’t seem to fit. Yes, the Eagles are a playoff team; they might even be a division winner if they can beat the Cowboys in Dallas. But they are nowhere near the elite in the NFC, the Saints and Vikings. They are pretty good, just not good enough.

In this post-World Series championship era, wins like Sunday’s are not as satisfying to Philadelphia as they used to be. It’s tougher now to embrace a flawed team like these Eagles, even after fourth-quarter comebacks.

We know what a champion looks like now. And these Eagles are no champion.

– Angelo Cataldi is a Metro columnist and host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs
weekdays from 5:30-10 a.m.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Please send 400-word submissions to letters@metro.us.

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