Today is a sad day - the last regular season weekend of the NFL season is here, and while we will still have football for another month, we won't have another full dose of the NFL until next September.
It also means that the season is over for 20 of the 32 teams in the league - and barring some kind of unforeseen turn of events, it will be the third time in four years the Philadelphia Eagles find themselves home for the playoffs.
In today's Philadelphia Inquirer Phil Sheridan, who may be the most under rated sports columnist in the country (most likely because he doesn't appear on ESPN) discussed how this may be the last game Donovan McNabb plays, and possibly Andy Reid coaches, in Philly. Phil knocked the column out of the park.
His column hits on all the salient points Eagles fans have been mulling over for the last couple of years - and includes eerie similarities to the end of the Paul Pasqualoni era in Syracuse. In discussing the Reid/McNabb combo, Sheridan says:
"Some fans will welcome any change, just as a break from the same old, same old. Familiarity, in this case, has bred a certain amount of contempt and an awful lot of fatigue."
Sound familiar Syracuse fans? A great start to Reid and McNabb's tenure in Philly has tapered off to mediocrity - to fans seeing the same mistakes week after week and year after year. There are now fewer wins than there once were, but are still enough to keep the team from becoming the Oakland Raiders. The team is stuck perpetually in middle of the pack - in kissing your sister territory.
I am a firm believer that McNabb, if he was surrounded with better play makers and asked to hand the ball off more, would be extremely successful. I believe Reid needs to at the very least give up personnel and play calling authority - or move on. I don't believe he's capable of changing a flawed philosophy. What is scary is that I no idea what would happen if he moves on - because for every Paul Pasqualoni, there's a potential Greg Robinson waiting to take his place - and that would really suck.
I also believe that at this point, the Eagles will end up starting the 2009 season wihth Andy Reid on the sideline, Kevin Kolb behind center and McNabb somewhere else. If it happens that way, it is a mistake. But there needs to be some change, and I think right now number 5 will be the fall guy.
So today we say goodbye to another NFL regular season, and we may be saying goodbye to Donovan McNabb or Andy Reid in Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, but I'll close with another Sheridan line -
"The most compelling fact: The only full season McNabb played with a great wide receiver, the Eagles went to the Super Bowl. That should end the argument."
It should end the argument, but I doubt it will.