The best benefit of having one of the best teams in the National Football League in town is being able to watch other NFL teams play while waiting for your team to hit the field.
The Eagles had a bye week followed by a Monday night game and the annual Thanksgiving weekend football feast before facing the Bills this weekend (a 37-34 overtime win for the Eagles). That’s two full weekends of games without the stress and drama of watching the Eagles try to make another Super Bowl run.
The more you watch other games from around the league, the more you appreciate just how remarkable the last couple of seasons have been in Philly.
Every week a different offensive of defensive coordinator has been fired by teams hoping for any kind of spark to keep fading playoff hopes alive.
Quarterbacks have been pulled in and out of the lineup across the league.
Teams routinely fold their hands when the Eagles tend to double down.
Perhaps the best example of the Eagles doubling down, of betting on themselves is the much-maligned “Brotherly Shove” or “tush-push.”
Across the league and in broadcast booths from coast to coast, the complaint is that the Eagles’ go-to play on third or fourth-down and short is an unfair advantage. It’s just not fair. It’s not a football play. The Eagles are cheating.
The truth is that no play boils down football better than lining up your 11 guys against their 11 guys and seeing which 11 are better. It is the ultimate expression of football.
More than that, it is the ultimate expression of Eagles football.
The reason the Brotherly Shove works is simple. No team practices it as hard or as well as the Eagles do. Every team has amazing athletes on its offensive line. Every team has a strong, smart signal caller.
The Eagles do the work. They put the hours in.
That’s why watching other NFL games while the Eagles wait for kickoff is so satisfying. You see where other teams don’t measure up. You see when other teams hit the panic button. You see all the little things the Eagles do just a little bit better than everybody else.
You see the steady excellence of quarterback Jalen Hurts. You see the fiery enthusiasm of coach Nick Sirianni. You see the quiet confidence of a team that knows how to win and understands how hard it is to win week after week.
The Eagles might not win a Super Bowl this year. There are no guarantees. Still, it’s hard to find a team that is better prepared to make a good run at it.
“I think there is a difference between confidence and overconfident, cockiness,” Sirianni said before facing Buffalo. “There’s a difference. It’s good to have confidence. It’s good to believe in each other, it’s good to believe in the team. But we also know that believing in ourselves and believing in this team is a product of the work that we put in not only the past, but more so about the work we’re going to put in this week to get ready for this game.”
So watch the other games across the league. Take a good look at what else is out there.
The Eagles will still be frustrating to watch at times. A play call here, a blown play there will come and go. No team is perfect. Just remember that no team is better prepared than these Eagles.
That’s what makes this season so special.
“There is a big power in belief, belief in each other,” Sirianni said. “When you believe in somebody, it takes the guy to another level. Coach to player, player to player, player to coach. So that’s a powerful thing.”