It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish: NFL 2016

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

Who is the best team in the NFL this year? Or should we say, right now?  Well, the Minnesota Vikings are undefeated at 5-0, and the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys are 5-1. Seven other teams are 4-2, including the Falcons (but do they really count?), the Bills, the Broncos, the Steelers, the Texans, DA Raiders, and the Washington Redskins. Yes, I said it – the Washington Redskins. AND those same Redskins beat my Eagles yesterday, 27-20. Oh yeah, and the Seattle Seahawks are 4-1. And last year’s NFC representative and Super Bowl Runner up, the Carolina Panthers, are 1-5. Go figure. That’s 11 teams with strong resumes, and 12 teams make the playoffs.

This leaves my Eagles who are sitting at 3-2, if you want me to round out the playoff field. So who’s the best team right now? You have to take the Vikings at 5-0, with the Pats and the Boys as runners up, with the (swallow hard) ‘Skins as honorable mentions since they’ve won four in a row and are looking better every week.

But back to my Eagles. We looked bad yesterday because penalties will kill you every time. In sports and in life, when you are called for a foul, it’s not a good thing. And when the yellow flag flies, it’s always a bad thing.  Penalties are a function of a lack of discipline and concentration. So think about it; how many infractions and mistakes and missteps do you make week in and week out?  If the number is high and your self-control is low, then you know what you need to do.

So to be the best, you must beat the best (a quote from Kobe Bryant, to mix my sports metaphors) and the Eagles, in the first few games at least, are only beating the worst teams. In the next few weeks, we’ve got the best teams coming up, starting with the Minnesota Vikes. Yikes!  In actuality, the Eagles are beating themselves, like so many of us tend to sometimes do.

So the real question of this early NFL season is this: Is Dak Prescott for real and are the Vikings for real? Ok, that’s two questions, but it’s a two for one deal. Both Dak and the Boys are impressive and Philly’s former QB Sam Bradford is looking more and more like an MVP candidate every week. Go figure (where was all that last year?).  Nonetheless, it remains to be seen which team can hold on and hold out till the end. And the same goes for us in life too.

Because it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

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