The Philadelphia Eagles had a very disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 7. However, Eagles fans like myself knew that it technically followed the team's pattern. In every odd week of the season so far, Philadelphia has gone on the road and been mostly terrible, with several turnovers and missed opportunities. Yet in even numbered weeks, the Birds have been much better and have gotten to play at home.
As such, things look pretty good on paper in Week 6, since the Eagles host the Detroit Lions on Oct. 14. If it goes like Week 2 and Week 4 did, Philadelphia may struggle to win, but it will still prevail and look much better in doing so.
In both their home games against the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants, the Eagles have pulled out last minute wins and survived some big mistakes. This can pretty much be said about every Eagles game this year, but it has been easier to swallow in these two weeks.
Despite four more turnovers against the Ravens in Week 2, most of them weren't Michael Vick's fault. In addition, the offense was balanced and the defense put clamps on Joe Flacco for much of the second half. At the least, it was an easier win to sit through than the one over the Cleveland Browns the previous week.
Then in the next home game on an even numbered week against the Giants, the Eagles had a balanced offense again and let LeSean McCoy run loose in the second half. Eli Manning was relatively contained - as much as he can be these days - and Philadelphia didn't turn the ball over once. The only problem was that the Eagles settled for field goals too often and let the Giants come within inches of hitting the game-winning kick.
Still, these two home victories have been the best of the year by far, as they helped erase ugly road performances the previous week. Now in the game against the Lions, the Eagles have to erase how they gave a win away in Pittsburgh - and avoid any more fumbles at the goal line.
Even if they can do that, one has to wonder how long this pattern can hold. The Eagles don't even play on the road in Week 7, so at least they can't have another awful road game on that odd-numbered week. But they do host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8, so if this trend holds for that long, they would beat an unbeaten Atlanta team and improve to 5-2.
The Eagles will continue to go back and forth between home and the road from there, until they have two straight road games to start December. By then, it would be nice if Philadelphia could have a winning streak or two, instead of waiting until it comes back home to play better.
But for a little while longer, it wouldn't be so bad to have the Eagles only winning at home on odd-numbered weeks. Of course, they could still afford to beat the Lions and Falcons a lot easier than they held off the Ravens and Giants. However, with this rollercoaster of a team, it will probably still have to take baby steps first.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Eagles since he was eight years old.
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