Eagles Can’t Afford Rotten Game Before Bye Week: A Fan’s Analysis

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The Philadelphia Eagles likely need an early rest after facing the Detroit Lions on Oct. 14. Eagles fans like myself are already exhausted after every Sunday - usually when we debate how much longer we can stick with Michael Vick. But if Vick and his team tank against Detroit, it will trigger an even more exhausting and frustrating two-week period.

If Vick costs the Eagles another game with a turnover, or if Philadelphia gives away a win in some other fashion, the next two weeks will be filled with calls for change. Whether it is for Vick to be benched in favor of Nick Foles, or some better play calling, or basic fundamentals period, we would complain long and loud for two solid weeks.

A loss would put the Eagles at 3-3, with the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons looming on Oct. 28. That kind of scenario is ripe to trigger a season-jeopardizing free fall, especially if the status quo remains. As such, a bad performance on Oct. 14 would pressure Philadelphia to make changes, and fast, in order to keep this season afloat.

On the other hand, a convincing win over the Lions - the first convincing win of the season, at that - would pacify us for a little while longer. Every two weeks, Philadelphia has pulled out a win at home that has quelled our fears - at least until it collapses again on the road the next week. But this coming week is at home, so the pattern bodes well for the Eagles to get their act together. They had better do so, since the alternative is not very pretty.

A two-game losing streak, a loss at home to the 1-3 Lions and a renewed quarterback controversy is not a good way to enter a bye. Granted, Andy Reid has been incredibly resilient after an off week throughout his tenure. Yet there's no reason for Vick and the Eagles to make it that much harder for him this time.

Even with a nice win over the Lions, it won't solve all of the Eagles' problems. Until they can protect the ball for more than one game at a time - and win before the last minute a few times as well - their lingering problems won't go away. However, Philadelphia can keep itself from bottoming out a while longer - and if an ugly loss to Detroit before an off week isn't the bottom, it would come too close.

Eagles fans throughout Philadelphia would like to relax and be at ease for the first time all year. And getting two weeks of peace before revving up for a statement game with the Falcons at home would be a generous gift. But if the direct opposite happens and we have to chew on another rotten, mistake-filled game for two weeks, the Eagles - and Vick in particular - will hardly get to rest too much.

Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Eagles since he was eight years old.

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