What Would Buddy Do?
Official prognostication in re: wins and losses
Posted on September 9th, 2007 at 8:26 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

The 36 chambers of Brian WestbrookThe short answer is that I think the Eagles are going to win the Super Bowl.

(I say this every year, and you can check my old blog if you’re not convinced. I say, put it in writing, wager on it, etc etc. I’m — unfortunately — something of a true believer w/r/t the Eagles’ Super Bowl chances each year since, oh, about the age of fifteen.)

But if you really want my slightly less partial opinion, I think that the NFC is pretty weak this year, the NFC East is even weaker (I’m not really buying the Dallas hype — I think folks have tape on Romo and the secrets are out), and despite the Birds’ problems on defense (which are non-trivial), they’ll be able to score enough points in the first eight weeks of the season to let some of those guys (specifically the comically inexperienced linebackers) get their bearings and learn how to play.

Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook are superstar NFL players. Full stop.

They play behind a dominant offensive line. Full stop.

If the superstars stay upright, and Shawn Andrews can avoid future tear-jerking moments, this team can hang with anyone in the NFC. Anyone at all. They’re going to score lots of points. But let us now all make our peace with the fact that they will also give up lots of points, and on the weekends that the offense is flat, they’ll lose games. When you see Dunavin bouncing quick outs? When you see Westbrook plowing into the pile for a gain of one? Problems.

So if you’re a hater, you’re saying things like “But McNabb gets hurt every year, what makes you think he’ll survive this year, and knowing that, how can you expect this team to be good?” That’s where the magic of Andy Reid and Tom Heckert comes into play: the Birds are deep! They’re deep at offensive line, they’re decently deep at defensive line, they have backups who can play in the secondary — these are all good things. I even think they make the playoffs if McNabb misses half the season (full disclosure: I think Kolb can play).

There is only one guy that the Eagles can’t afford to lose: the 36 chambers of Brian Westbrook. The entire offense is — to borrow a phrase that I read in the papers last year and which was absolutely perfect so I’m stealing it — predicated on the Eagles coaches playing “Hide The Westbrook.” There’s Brian at tailback. There’s Brian in motion. There’s Brian at wideout. There’s Brian in the slot. Westbrook goes down, and this thing is in trouble. He’s literally the whole thing.

Exhale.

All that said, I have a really good 12-4 vibe right now. I think Andy Reid gets some karmic love for the nonsense with his kids. I think Dunavin gets a little dose of karma too for dealing with all this crap for the past eight years. And I think the Eagles are going to win the Super Bowl.

Let’s go football!

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