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2017: Why are so many Eagles fans jumping ship?


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Why are so many Eagles fans jumping ship?




By Reuben Frank December 29, 2017 9:00 AM

I'm pretty sure people have lost their minds.

Not everybody. Maybe not even most people. But some of the stuff I've seen on Twitter and heard on sports radio and read in the comments section under our stories lately is so bizarre I genuinely can't believe what I'm seeing.

They have no chance. It's hopeless. There's no reason to even care anymore. It's over. Why even bother playing?

I've seen bandwagon fans abandon the Eagles in past years because they're losing.

I've never seen them bail out because they're winning.

Yes, the Eagles miss Carson Wentz. Yes, Nick Foles was horrible Monday night. Yes, they struggled to beat two teams with losing records the last two weeks.

Does that add up to a team with no hope of advancing in the playoffs? 

You've gotta be kidding me. Have some faith, darn it. This is getting out of control.

It's just sad to see so many Eagles fans jumping ship. Are the Eagles favorites to reach the Super Bowl? Probably not. But they didn't get to 13-2 by accident. They didn't get to 13-2 only because of Wentz. They got to 13-2 because of 53 guys playing smart, physical, disciplined, unselfish football. And an MVP QB didn't hurt.

Bottom line: A team that finds ways to win games when things aren't going perfectly is a team that should be admired. Not doubted.

Let's go back to Dec. 10 at L.A. Coliseum. Can you imagine how jarring, how devastating, it was for this football team to see its MVP candidate hobbling off the field, his season over? A few plays after Wentz threw his final pass, his final record-setting touchdown of the year, the Rams took a four-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

So the Eagles lost their quarterback, lost the lead, were on the road against an 11-win team, 3,000 miles from home, and how did they react? They scored three times in the final 10 minutes to get out of Southern California with a win.

A week later, the defense allowed over 500 yards and three touchdowns in the game's first 16 minutes. Then allowed just six points the rest of the game. And the Eagles got out of East Rutherford, New Jersey, with a win.

And last week. Foles was historically bad, and the Eagles trailed in the third quarter. But the defense allowed just three points over the game's final 42½ minutes and Foles hit four straight passes when he had to, and Jake Elliott banged a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to win the thing.

See a common denominator?


And last I checked, winning is a good thing.

We've spent so much time over the years talking about how various Eagles teams are talented but don't know how to win. Can't finish. Don't have what it takes at the end of games. Now we have a team that three weeks in a row, with its franchise quarterback on crutches, twice on the road, has faced some pretty serious adversity and has laughed in its face each time and won the football game.

This is exactly the type of team Eagles fans have been waiting for. Exactly the type of team fans have demanded for years.

A team with integrity. A team that never stops fighting, no matter the score, no matter the situation. A team that's unafraid of a challenge. That doesn't back down from the best teams in the league. That's proud to wear that Eagles jersey. That's unselfish down to the last guy on the practice squad.

And now they finally have it, all we hear is … "They have no chance." "The season's over." "There's nothing to play for." "No way they can advance."

No, not everybody. Not even most. But way too many fans have already given up on a team that's done nothing but win more football games than any team in the NFL and needs to win only twice at home — where they haven't lost in more than a year — to get to the Super Bowl.

I don't know. Maybe I'm dreaming. I get the Eagles may not even be favored to win in their own building in the postseason. I get the task is much harder with Wentz on the sideline. I get the odds are against them and they have to play better than they have the last two weeks.

But since when has stuff like that been a reason to stop believing?

We're talking about a defense that over the last two years, has allowed an NFL-best 14.5 points per game at home. We're talking about a quarterback who's won nine straight at the Linc and 16 of his last 20 starts as an Eagle.

I don't know how far the Eagles will go this postseason. But I do know that if you've already given up you're not a true fan. And you probably never were.



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