As Sunday’s game plugged on, many titles for this post ran through my head. “More of the same,” “Typical Eagles” and things of that nature. I’m happy to report the second half of yesterday’s game against the Cardinals was nothing of the sort.
Yes, they still fell short. Yes, Reid is now 1-4 in NFC Championship games. Yes, perhaps we are still waiting for the exception to prove the rule and, for now, we are still stuck with a football team that can’t seem to get the job done. But, we do not need to hang our heads in shame. There was the good (14 points in under 4 minutes!) and the bad (missing an extra point in a dome!?) but after dropping down 24-6, the second half at least proved the Eagles had the right to be there.
The Cardinals got a bit lucky and sometimes outplayed The Birds. Asante Samuel was essentially a non-factor (except negatively with a crippling holding call). But there were plenty of fateful turns, such as a blocked pass serendipitously landing back in the arms of Warner. I do agree Larry Fitzgerald is a talented WR, but catching a 62-yarder with Quintin Demps tripped and laying at your feet is hardly a display of athleticism. He made up for it a bit later, but I was underwhelmed.
All in all, as the first half came to a close it seemed inevitable the Eagles had beat themselves. In the second, they let the Cardinals know they were going to have to put on the finishing touches. Unfortunately, Warner was up for the task and though there were times of glimmering hope for Iggle nation, they seemed to be outmatched by the fairy-tale magic of this year’s Cardinals.
Another day, another disappointment that will undoubtedly be tacked on to the woeful list of could-have-been Philadelphia success stories. In all truth, it shouldn’t be, it was better than that.
On the other side of the league: For those of you who watched the AFC game between the Steelers and Ravens, Willis McGahee went down after a hard hit and was carted off on a stretcher. Latest news is that doctors looking after the injured Raven say he is “neurologically intact.” Hopefully that is good news. These contests are hard fought and we talk about sports as life and death, but at the end of the day there are more important things and all those in the NFL community wish McGahee a full and speedy recovery.