We were so psyched about going to the Eagles game yesterday in Miami. From the parking lot to the stadium entrance, the crowd was skewed heavily in favor of Eagles fans. After all, Dallas had been very accommodating in leaving the door open for an Eagles victory over the hapless Dolphins to result in a first place tie in the division.
And then, once into the stadium, we headed to a wonderful suite courtesy of our son Elliot’s Florida connections. To our pleasant surprise, the suite was largely populated by Eagles fans and was close to the 50 yard line.
Eagles fans filled the stands first. There was seemingly little reason for the 2-9 Dolphins fans to rush to the game. One suspects most of them had put their tickets up for sale on the secondary market anyway. That was evident by the volume of cheers as the Eagles took the field.
Here’s Rodney McCleod Jr. giving his fellow defensive secondary mates the 360 pre-game pep talk.
And the motivational speech seemed to work because, on the Dolphins first possession, cornerback Ronald Darby picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick to put the Eagles in perfect position for a score to take the early lead.
Which is precisely what they did, jumping out to a 7-0 lead on their first possession.
After a field goal put the Birds up 10-0, it looked like a romp might be on. Yet the Dolphins showed signs of life, and heading into halftime it felt like the Eagles might have a tough time putting this team away. Even after they scored a TD to go up 28-14 early in the second half, the sense of relief was short-lived. Hard Rock quickly turned into Roller Darby, as Ryan Fitzpatrick and his receivers victimized the Eagles secondary repeatedly.
To get an idea of how poor the defensive backs were yesterday, take a look at the touchdown play on which Ronald Darby was victimized. What wasn’t obvious in real time was that Fitzpatrick could have just as easily hit his receiver on the other side of the field in stride, who had six degree of separation from Rodney McLeod, for an easy TD.
And yet it was still hard to believe that when Carson Wentz’s heave into the end zone went ho, that the game was really over with the Eagles on the short end of a 37-31 score, effectively ending our season. The only saving grace was male bonding in the suite among the Press Boys.
For the all of the fans dejectedly leaving the stadium, there was no opportunity or point of singing “Fly Eagles Fly, or chanting E-A-G-L-E-S. No high five. No “Go Birds”. Just the downer of shuffling along with the masses, under and over the pedestrian bridge, to the crowded parking lot and the long drive to wherever.
It’s time for a major overhaul of this team, top to bottom. Perhaps even a fire sale after yesterday’s self-destruction.