Guarantee: Eagles in Super Bowl XLI

By Os Davis  |   Thursday, December 28, 2006  |  Comments( 10 )

Philadelphia Eagles
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Maybe when we're watching Drew Brees complete long passes against Sandianapolis or Brian Urlacher repeatedly crushing the Raveriots quarterback in the Super Bowl, I'll blame this column on the bad influence of the Roy Williamses and Chad Johnsons of the world. Or maybe it's the Bill Conti music that has invaded my headspace since I broke down and sat through (a ripped copy of) "Rocky Balboa."

To paraphrase smilin' Roy, you can write this down, call it a guarantee or whatever, but your NFC champion this season will be the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now, if this writer's Namath-like assurance isn't enough to get you to put down your life's savings on the 5-1 (and falling) midnight green dark horse, I'll include a case for Andy Reid's boys. To wit:

They are the hottest team in the NFC and, maybe barring December juggernauts the New England Patriots and remembering the Tennessee Titans, in the NFL. The Eagles are 5-2, including their current four-game winning streak, in what should have been an elimination-type schedule. But Philly came out fighting with new toast of the town Jeff Garcia.

The reality of the playoffs in today's major sports is not that the necessarily best team plays for all the marbles, but rather those that get hot at the right time. While wire-to-wire leaders are still seen in the NFL these days, for every 2001 St. Louis Rams or 2004 Patriots, there's a 2000 New York Giants or 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers. Garcia is 4-0 as a starter, Brian Westbrook has gotten 25 touches four times in the second half (as opposed to once in the first half) and is maintaining an average of five-plus yards per carry, penalties are down and the 'D' is up.

The competition. (What competition?) Assuming the Eagles finish third, a playoff opener in Philly should be a cakewalk against the marginal squad backing in at 8-8. Up next would be America's (New) Team, the New Orleans Saints. Now, yes, it would be a heartbreaker to see the feel-good story of the year go down so quickly, but isn't this what pundits and commentators are talking about when "playoff experience" enters the monologue? It says here these Eagles, on a mini-dynastic run in this decade have more big-game experience than anyone.

As for the odds-on favorites, the Chicago Bears, well. Doesn't anyone remember 2001? In Dick Jauron's only year as a winning coach, the "surprise" Bears, anchored by the recently again traditional monster defense ran up a 13-3 record against the easiest schedule ever seen in Western Civilization. Sandwiching 2001 were seasons of 5-11 and 4-12. With shaky-at-best Rex Grossman as QB, former University of New Mexico Lobo Urlacher's not the only one having flashbacks. If Bear backers speak of déjà vu, they're not talking 1985.

And then there are the Dallas Cowboys. "Oh, thank you, Cowboys," reads Reid's open letter to his NFC East rivals. "Thank you for showing your true colors and imploding just in time, making yourselves easy prey despite carrying superior talent and one of the league's top three or four teams on paper."

For no good reason at all, the Cowboys are rolling over, essentially asking the Eagles to take first-round home-field advantage. Tell you what: When effusive Andy is thanking his players, especially Jeff Garcia, for his second NFC championship in three years, he should save a kind word or two for the Lone Star Headcases and Jerry "Daddy Warbucks" Jones.

They have the look. Sorry for the vaguery here, but the Eagles are flying high with that indescribable spark that forces most sportswriters and talking heads to speak of "intangibles." The insertion of Garcia into the starter's role has melted the veneer of these formerly slick sang froid Eagles. Garcia's key play of this Eagles run? In the fourth quarter against the Giants two Sundays ago, frisky-feeling 36-year-old Garcia takes matters into his own hands a la Donovan McNabb (Who?), scrambles for 10 yards before being pushed out of bounds. Garcia then gets in young Gibril Wilson's face and gets called for taunting. No matter: Garcia had growled and bit like an angry pitbull; this is the sort of fire that can heat an entire football team, in this most emotional of sports.

Ladies and gentlemen, yourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr 2006 NFC champions, the Philadelphia Eagles! (Cue "Gotta Fly Now.")

I guarantee it.

Insights into the Philadelphia Eagles at (Even if they get bounced early.)
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About Os Davis

Os Davis has taken a twisted route to get to in his nearly 17 years in professional writing, working in any number of capacities in the sportswriting, news reporting and film criticism worlds. In print media, Os has served as editor at a few publications, including Albuquerque's...
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CommentsComments: 10  |  Sign Up  View all comments
jerry stiglet
06:07 AM
phiplly couldnt beat the saints when they had donvan . and at the time people like u were riding high on them then saying they...
10:52 AM
When I saw Jeff Garcia in the preseason playing for the Eagles I thought what a great pick up for back up QB, but I had no idea...
12:23 PM
An Eagles fan, I would be happy to see them represent the NFC. They are arguably the hottest team in the league at the moment,...
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