It’s only the second week of the NFL season, but the Philadelphia Eagles are already rising the collective blood pressure of football fans throughout the area. For the second straight week, a late-game touchdown drive was needed for the Eagles to be victorious, this time by a 24-23 score over the Baltimore Ravens.
Despite solid yardage and completion numbers, quarterback Michael Vick was sloppy with the football again, throwing 2 interceptions and losing 1 fumble. Running back LeSean McCoy also lost a fumble.
The primary recipients of Vick’s 371 yards passing were TE Brent Celek (8 catches – 157 yards) and WR DeSean Jackson (7-144). WR Jeremy Maclin only had 1 catch, a 23-yard touchdown reception, before leaving the game when he aggravated his hip injury from Week 1. On the defensive side of the ball, LB DeMeco Ryans was a beast, recording 7 tackles (6 solo) with 1 sack, 2 tackles for a loss and 1 interception.
With the win, the Eagles joined only 5 other teams in the league with a 2-0 record. A sixth undefeated team will likely be added after tonight’s Monday Night Football game, unless the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons play to a tie. Sunday’s win was even more important when you consider that the next four games on the team’s schedule are against what, on paper, are tough teams – at the Arizona Cardinals (2-0), home versus the New York Giants (1-1), at the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) and home versus the Detroit Lions (1-1).
A win is a win, but the Eagles know that they can’t continue to play sloppy offense and expect to pile up win after win. In two games, they’ve now allowed 4 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss and 9 turnovers. Performances like that don’t often equate to wins, so the Eagles should consider themselves lucky to be in the position they’re in.
On the MLB
The Philadelphia Phillies were a long shot to make the playoffs before this weekend began, but it doesn’t make their three losses in four games to the Houston Astros any easier to take. In what was a golden opportunity to move closer to a Wild Card playoff spot, the Phillies (73-74) failed miserably against the league’s worst team, the Astros (48-99). Now, instead of being inches away from that playoff spot, it looks like miles from where they are in the standings.
With 15 games left to play, the Phillies are 4 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals (77-70) for that Wild Card spot. To make matters worse, they trail three other teams in the standings – the Los Angeles Dodgers (76-71, 1 game back), the surging Milwaukee Brewers (74-72, 2.5 games back) and the fading Pittsburgh Pirates (73-72, 3 games back).
Miracles have happened before in baseball, so the Phillies aren’t completely dead to rights yet. But they have no room for error after this weekend’s debacle. Realistically, they’ll have to win close to 12 of their final 15 games to even have a shot at the postseason.
It’s too bad they weren’t healthy all year.
The Phillies travel to face the New York Mets for three games starting tonight, before returning home to face the Atlanta Braves on Friday. The projected pitching matchups for the first series are Cliff Lee vs. R.A. Dickey tonight, Tyler Cloyd vs. Matt Harvey tomorrow, and Cole Hamels vs. Jonathon Niese on Wednesday.