Eagles experience the best possible Sunday off in Week 6

Eagles experience the best possible Sunday off in Week 6

This was a very beneficial weekend for the Birds. 

While the Eagles' players and coaches enjoyed some well-earned rest, Week 6 was one of the stranger NFL cards we've seen in while and a lot of the wackiness aided the guys in midnight green.  

Let's start with the biggest news to come out of this weekend: Aaron Rodgers broke his right collarbone in the Packers' loss to the Vikings. It goes without saying that you never want to see anyone get injured, but this is especially the case with one of the all-time greats. The league is better with Rodgers playing, plain and simple. But from a practical standpoint, his loss affects the Eagles and their NFC conference chances greatly. With Rodgers' weekly magic acts now disappearing, Green Bay becomes just another team, at best.

Staying in the conference, the Redskins squeaked by a winless 49ers team at home. Granted, San Fran plays everyone tight. The Niners are the first team in NFL history to lose five straight games by three points or less. Washington barely escaped against a C.J. Beathard-led team. Kirk Cousins tried mightily to give the game away. Not the kind of performance you build off as you head to take on an Eagles that already beat you, on Monday night.

The defending NFC champs, the Falcons, lost a game at home Sunday to the Dolphins that they led 17-0 at the half. Atlanta is now 3-2 overall and 1-2 at home. Can you say Super Bowl hangover? 

The Buccaneers, another team thought by some to be a contender in the NFC, lost to the same Cardinals team the Eagles smoked in Week 5.

The Cowboys had a bye week, but the specter of Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension and how negatively that will impact them continues to loom. Dallas has as many losses through five games as it had all of last season. And not having Elliott to lean on to chew clock and keep the other team's offense off the field will expose their defense. 

The Birds own the best record in the NFC at 5-1, and now with Kansas City's loss to the Steelers, there are no longer any undefeated teams in the NFL. Granted, this is an "any given Sunday" type of league, as witnessed by underdogs' 10-2 record against the spread this weekend. 

You don't want to get too crazy just six games in, but it's hard to not feel optimistic about the way things are set up for the Eagles (see Super Bowl odds). They've been able to overcome injuries, mostly on the defensive side, and while teams like Green Bay and the Giants have suffered catastrophic casualties, the Eagles have not. In fact, they appear to be getting some serious firepower back, like Lane Johnson and Ronald Darby.

It's not false hope or viewing things through green-colored glasses to think the Eagles are one of the better teams in the league. They are. Do they need the requisite breaks like staying healthy to win a playoff game for the first time since 2008? Yes. But that applies to every team. The Birds are strong in the trenches on both sides. Their run defense makes opposing teams one-dimensional, and they have a budding star quarterback who gets better every week. 

It was indeed a nice Sunday off.

Win over Cowboys cements Eagles' status as legit Super Bowl contender

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Win over Cowboys cements Eagles' status as legit Super Bowl contender

Philadelphia sports fans have earned the right to lack optimism when it comes to their teams. Years and years of heartache, disappointment, expectations and injuries have brought about a psyche of waiting for the safe to drop on their heads.

That next shoe will be dropping any time now. Some would describe the collective sporting outlook as “Negadelphia” and there is some truth that. There are some fans in this city that can tend to see the mole on the supermodel. But for the most part, they’ve come by their skeptical point of view through good ole fashion practice and repetition.

Randall Cunningham in 1991, the 2011 Phillies, the Tampa NFC title game, Joe Carter, Leon Stickle, Patrick Kane. Those names and events leave scars. And I’m one who generally subscribes to the never-get-ahead of yourself philosophy. But what I’m about to say flies in the face of even my own personal creed.

They are that good. Say it to me, they are that good.

One more time, they are that good.

Speaking of the 9-1 Eagles, of course. The same Eagles team that has scored 320 points through 10 games. The most in the NFL and in franchise history through that span of games. The same Eagles team that is eighth in points allowed and the best in the league against the run. They're tied for the fourth-most sacks. And, oh yeah, their quarterback has 25 touchdowns to five interceptions and is the frontrunner for the MVP.

Did I mention the coach?

Doug Pederson has pushed every right button. Take Sunday vs. the Cowboys for example. The Eagles' offense was listless and struggling in the first half. They managed only seven points, even after being gifted two turnovers.

Pederson didn’t feel the need to flip tables or make some drastic adjustments, he simply instructed his players to stay the course, to believe in what they’ve done all season. The Eagles outscored Dallas, 30-0, in the second half (see story).

The point is, they are a complete team. They've won eight in a row. They're 4-0 in the NFC East, 7-0 in conference and 4-1 on the road. They are not a fluke.

And it's OK to enjoy this.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to smell the roses with this special team. Live in the moment. Revel in it, in fact. This doesn't happen very often. Let's get ahead of ourselves a little.

I know you've been burned in the past. I know the futility of never winning a Super Bowl and going 40-plus years without a Cup or more than 30 years without an NBA championship can beat you down. But savor this.

In the history of the Eagles organization, which dates back to 1933, the club has gotten off to a 9-1 start five times. The previous four seasons, they've won a championship twice and twice they've been to the Super Bowl.

Does that mean this team is guaranteed anything? No.

The playoffs and a division title are a pretty good assumption at this point, beyond that all bets are off. Injuries are always the x-factor, home field, etc., we know all the requisite reasons why things can change quickly especially in that league.

But that same logic applies to every team. The Eagles have overcome losing their future Hall of Fame left tackle, their middle linebacker and do-it-all running back/return man and have yet to lose without them. You’re not jinxing or mushing them by believing in them and puffing your chest out a little.

This team is built for the long haul, they are young and good in most positions, which bodes well for the future. But we’re dealing in the here and now and this team has a legitimate shot at winning the whole thing. And it’s OK to say out loud.

They are that good.

Former NFL wide receiver Terry Glenn dies at 43

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Former NFL wide receiver Terry Glenn dies at 43

DALLAS -- Former Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn died Monday following a one-vehicle rollover traffic accident near Dallas that left his fiancée slightly hurt, officials said. He was 43.

Glenn died shortly before 1 a.m. at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office. Irving police are investigating the cause of the wreck at 12:18 a.m. on eastbound Highway 114, said Chelsey Jones, a police department spokeswoman.

Glenn, a former star at Ohio State who lived in the Dallas area, was driving when the vehicle left the highway, struck a concrete barrier and rolled, authorities said. Glenn was ejected. Jones said his fiancée was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Her name and further details weren't released. Jones had no immediate information on whether the couple wore seatbelts.

Glenn played 12 seasons in the NFL, from 1996 to 2007, including six with the New England Patriots five with the Cowboys and another season with Green Bay. He finished his career with 8,823 yards and 44 touchdowns.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick mourned the loss.

"I was pretty close with Terry," Belichick said. "His rookie season was my first year here in '96, so I had a lot of interaction with him and other people that were involved in his life and his upbringing separate from the Patriots. Terry's a very smart individual. Had, obviously, a lot of physical skill and talent. Could do a lot of things on the football field very naturally. And I think was, deep down inside a good person with good intentions and a good heart. Obviously, it's a very unfortunate passing and a sad day."

Former Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe expressed his sorrow via social media.

"Loved this man. My son asked me a decade ago who my favorite receiver ever was because he wanted that jersey for Christmas. He got a Terry Glenn jersey from Santa," Bledsoe wrote. "TG overcame horrible adversity to become a really good man. May your soul rest in peace my friend."