The Philadelphia Eagles won the NFC East after all. After being the pre-season favorite, and then falling off the map during the season, and then enduring multiple injuries along the way, the Eagles put together a late season march through their NFC East opponents and won four straight to finish 9-7.
Itwas improbable, and at more than one point it seemed impossible, but those plucky Birds pulled off a comeback for the ages. The Eagles turned their torrid season all the way around, and now they are in the playoffs for the third straight season. It took leadership and perseverance, and grit, and Fletcher Cox has all these, and some.
For many of us, 2019 was that kind of year. It began with high hopes and powerful promise, but along the way the wheels came off and I was left on the side of the road for dead. But that’s just when Heaven starts helping and God get’s going. God honors faith. God rewards faith. And God expects us to have strong faith to endure the tests and trials that face us.
So take it from me, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. So finish 2019 strong, and let’s begin 2020 with the faith to believe that we can conquer anything and everything that life may throw our way.
As for my Eagles, I pick them to go all the way! And why not, we’re underdogs again, just like 2017 when we won Super Bowl LII.
They said Dallas was the better team. They said the Eagles didn’t stand a chance. And they said Wentz was overrated and all washed up. But the final score said the opposite. The final Score was Eagles 17, Dallas 9. In this game of arch NFC East Division rivals, the Eagles “D” held the No. 1 offense in the league to three field goals! Nuff said! This was an upset win for the ages, and the Eagles did it with backup, underdog players due to multiple injuries to numerous all pro starters. It was a great team win, a Christmas present from Santa, and a Christmas Miracle, all raped up in one.
It took prayer and faith, pleas for good fortune and fortitude from fearfulness. It took it all and a little more to win this game.
Now the Eagles just have to win the NFC East, right? Right! In my book, Upsets, Comebacks and Turnarounds, here’s how I describe this Eagles’ win, and every other upset win of epic proportions:
“In the World of Sports, there’s nothing like an upset win, a comeback from way back, and a complete turnaround. The same is true in life. In sports, we celebrate the underdogs, both the teams and the players who are at a distinct disadvantage and are expected to lose. Yet some way, somehow, these teams and players find a way triumph in spite of adversity.
Upsets, Comebacks, and Turnarounds looks back to those who have already overcome and looks ahead to those facing overwhelming obstacles yet to be overcome. This book examines the intersection of God and sports and the connection of sports and spirituality. It is dedicated to those in life not favored to win; to those voted least likely to succeed; and to those picked to finish dead last or not at all; in other words, the underdogs. The Bible is chock-full of unprecedented upset wins.
The Holy Writ is replete with remarkable, courageous comebacks. And scripture is saturated with stories of tremendous turnarounds. Leah, Ruth, Jonathan, Moses, and Elijah are just a few of the faithful who overcame overwhelming odds and were victorious. They found a way to believe God for, and experience, miracles. This is a telling of their side of the story. This book is a tribute to all of the biblical long-shots. to all those who “didn’t stand a chance.” Biblical stories of men and women of the faith are inspiration and motivation for us all. At one point in their lives, ordinary people just like you and me were spiritually empty, bereft of hope and brimming with despair. But God turned it around. He did it for them, He did it for me, and He can do the same for you too.”
Anybody hate, and I do mean HATE, the Dallas Cowboys!
Today’s game is essentially for the Division, the NFC East, and the season is on the line for both teams. Both teams are a mediocre 7 -7, both teams have marginal quarterbacks, and both teams have an equal change at victory. So what will determine the outcome? Preparation.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” The key word in this age old adage is “preparation.” Then the next most instructive word is “prior.” Let’s unpack them both.
According to one source, “apparently the saying came from the British army and is a shortcut of the original 7Ps which mean Proper Planning and Preparation Prevent P. . . Poor Performance.”
Preparation is “the activity of putting or setting in order in advance of some act or purpose.” Preparation is also “the activity leading to skilled behavior.” And this one must do in ADVANCE. In the moment mental muscle is great. However, for physical strength, you need to go to the gym and work out prior to showing off your agility and physicality in a game. Mental toughness is built the same way.
Today’s Eagles Dallas game is the biggest game in Eagles’ history since the Super Bowl LII win against the Patriots. And in order to win, hopefully Carson Wentz and the Eagles have prepared themselves. And hopefully this preparation will lead to skilled behavior on field, aka, a decisive victory.
This is a great life lesson. So let’s apply it and learn from past mistakes. Let’s prepare more, and prepare better. Let’s not rush to judgement or be in an unnecessary hurry for anything. God prepares, so me should prepare. David said that the Lord “prepared a table before him in the presence of his enemies.” Anybody like that verse? I do! (And to be sure, the Dallas Cowboys are mortal enemies to all Eagles everywhere!)
Let’s prepare for victory. And that will take coherent, cognitive activity, including, perception and reasoning. For the Eagles to defeat Dallas today, Wentz will have to be at his cognitive and coherent best. And then there’s the whole Christmas Miracle thing, but preparation sure won’t hurt the Eagles, and it certainly will help you and me too.
The Eagles just got one, as they defeated the New York “Football” Giants, 23-17 in OT on Monday Night Football (in the rain, mind you!) at Lincoln Financial Field. After a dismal and tragic first half, the Eagles scored 20 unanswered points to pull out a thrilling, come from behind, turnaround, must win game.
Can a Christmas miracle come in four parts? If it can, the Philadelphia Eagles just got Act One. Shakespearean plays are divided into acts and scenes – and always have a Five Act structure, no exceptions. But for the Eagles, we’ll make an exception here, because they need just three more wins, or “Acts,” to win the Division.
Do you believe in miracles? After tonight’s win, you just have too. The Eagles season has been somewhat of a Shakespearean Tragedy, and the heartbreaking first three months of the 2019 season has felt like and has been full of calamity and catastrophe, just like Shakespeare would draw it up.
But that was then, and this is now. Now, with this win, the horrid and hideous opening of this season can now lead to a tremendous, comedic conclusion. The Eagles are now 6-7, a losing record not so far removed from their historic Super Bowl LII win.
For the Eagles to comeback from way back, you must believe in miracles. This season has had more than enough heartache and had looked like it will end in heartbreak before tonight’s miraculous and momentous end. If the Eagles win their remaining games, they win the NFC East and move on to the playoffs. But they will need a miracle to do it. And they just got part one, thanks to a touchdown from Wentz to Ertz in overtime
Do you believe in miracles? You must. Christmas is all about miracles. The miracle of the virgin birth paved the way for every other miracle, including the one we just got tonight.
Was I watching? No. I couldn’t bear to watch, so instead my wife and I had on a heartwarming miracle movie on the Hallmark Channel. Yes, the Hallmark Channel. After the Eagles were down 17-3 at the half, I tuned out and turned the game off. But they won without me. We got the miracle we needed to keep our playoff hopes alive.
Do you believe in miracles? Yes it takes faith and it requires hope. And you must love this Eagles team, warts and all. Yes, I believe in miracles. And if you’re an Eagles fan, you just have to.
Dak Prescott after the 26-15 loss to Buffalo on Thanksgiving Day
If there was ever a team destined for drama, it is the Dallas Cowboys. They have a prima donna owner, a puppet of a coach, and players like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot that just keep the story line going. And they play in the world’s most bodacious stadium.
And that’s how some people are; full of hype but no hope, full of fluff but no real stuff. They’re just good on paper. And right now, the Dallas Cowboys (and my Eagles too!) are just good on paper.
According to NFL custom, yesterday the Cowboys played their annual Thanksgiving Day game. The fans in the Jerry Dome (a.k.a. AT&T Stadium) were joined by a national television audience that watched in horror as the ‘Boys proceeded to lose to the Buffalo Bills, 26 -15, and it wasn’t that close. The Buffalo Bills entered their Thanksgiving Day matchup with an impressive 8-3 record, but most analysts didn’t give Buffalo much of a chance to contend in the playoffs, and they were 6.5-point underdogs in Dallas on Thursday. But after an impressive, opening first quarter drive that made the ‘Boys look invincible, they managed to literally fumble and bumble the game away.
Now let’s provide a little context. This was the game after the game that they lost to the World champion New England Patriots. After the loss to the Pats, their prima donna owner ripped Head Coach Jason Garrett and the coaching staff a new one. Jerry all but threatened to fire the entire coaching staff for the poor performance on the field.
But were taking about Dak here. Coaches can’t control performance and execution, and Dak hasn’t being playing well of late. You would think that Dak would come out and play lights out like Lamar Jackson, especially AT HOME on Thanksgiving. Nope. Didn’t happen, at least not for the last 50 minutes of the game. You would think that Dak would dance his way back into the favor of Cowboy Nation and put some distance between them and Philly; strike two. And you would think that the entire Cowboys team would show up and show out if they wanted to save their coach. Clang. That one bounced off the back of the rim. Game, set match, Buffalo Bills.
Maybe Dak needs to do his pregame dance a little more? (Or is a little less?) Oh well. It all may come down to a Eagles/Dallas showdown in Philly in a few weeks.
This blog was originally entitled, “Don’t Give Up On Your Team, Vol. II, a.k.a., ‘What’s With Wentz?’ Instead, “Good On Paper” says it all.
At the beginning of the 2019 season, the Philadelphia Eagles looked good on paper. They had speed at the wide receiver position in DeSean Jackson, they had depth on defense, and — ahem — presumably they had a healthy Carson Wentz, our franchise quarterback, ready to return to his vintage form. But that was then, And THAT was on paper.
Carson Wentz had arguably his worst game as a professional yesterday as the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 17-9. Wentz committed five, count’ em, FIVE turnovers, and lost four, with two interceptions and two fumbles. Two words immediately come to mind: unbelievable and unacceptable.
Dude. Brother. Homie. I mean really? Seriously? C’mon Man! Man up, settle down, bring her in and get the lead out. Wentz, you are better than this. But you’re not showing it. And the Philly Faithful is holding out hope that you will return to the MVP form you had at the beginning of the 2017 Super Bowl Season. Did I mention the Super Bowl LII win? Surely I digress, Yes, Philly fans are still holding on and holding out for a repeat performance from our wonderful Wentz of a quarterback. But Man! Is this guy making it hard or what?
For the Philadelphia Eagles, to say that this season has not gone according to plan is putting it mildly. The Eagles are a paltry and pitiful 5-6, and there are at least two games that we’ve, I mean THEY, have lost early on in the season that should have gone the other way.
But some say that there’s still hope. Some say that the Eagles still have a chance (a fat one?) at winning the Division, the NFC East. The Eagles have a light schedule against pancake teams the rest of the way, such as Miami, the Giants TWICE and the Redskins. But there is no guarantee that things will get better. Based on Carson’s play yesterday, things could absolutely, utterly and totally go from bad to worse. There is no guarantee that these Eagles, or more specifically, Carson Wentz, will right the ship and earnestly and honestly content for a crown, this year or even next.
But we must not lose hope in our team, right? We must not throw the baby out with the bathwater, and we must not jump to conclusions, right? But we also must lift our faith from the pages of the Bible to the table or our hearts. Faith without works is dead. And thus far this season, this Eagles team has given us little faith and less to work with.
ON PAPER, we should still hold out and hold on to hope: Here’s how heavy.com put the Eagles chances:
“The Eagles’ record stands at 5-6, while the Cowboys dropped to 6-5. It’s a one-game difference with five games to play. The way the Birds have played in recent weeks leaves room for doubt. Maybe their offense can’t score enough points to even win another game. Hold on. Look at their remaining schedule.
Philadelphia has the 12th-easiest schedule the rest of the way, according to Team Rankings. Their opponents’ records are a combined 18-41 while the Cowboys still face stiff tests against the Bills (8-3), Rams (6-4) and Bears (5-6).
(On paper,) the Eagles should reel off three straight wins starting this week in Miami, with a showdown at Lincoln Financial Field versus Dallas on the horizon in Week 16. That game would likely decide the NFC East. As bad as Philadelphia has played, (on paper), it’s all in front of them.”
In other words, the Eagles have a chance of making the playoffs, as their chances of winning the Division are good, but they’re only good on paper.
Good on paper. For more than a few folks, everything adds up, on paper. It’s sad to say, but most of the majority of mankind (in the West, at least) may well have it all together, on paper. That’s what some people are like. They appear good and they show well. They have a good job, they drive a nice car and they live in a big house in a nice neighborhood. They may even go to church, but that’s all on paper.
Truth be told, some Christians look good, but just on paper. They do the right things, use the right words, and give the right answers. They look nice and shiny on the outside. They go to church every week; they may even sing on the choir or play on the keyboard or even unlock and lock the church doors. They may serve as an usher or a deacon or a Sunday school teacher. They may even preach in the pulpit. But that’s all on paper.
Real people are more than the sum of their parts on paper. How do they actually live? What’s actually in their heart? And why do they do what they do? What is their motivation and inspiration for life? Do these “good on paper” people actually believe that Jesus Christ is the center and focus of our life of faith?
Alright enough; enough about those “good on paper” patsies. How about you? Does Christ dictate what you do and what you say? Are you authentically altruistic, genuinely genial and wholeheartedly wholesome?
This Christmas, let’s do better than be good on paper.
What’s wrong with Wentz? (And the rest of the Eagles, for that matter) The Eagles lost momentum, and they lost the game because of it. Wentz played adequately and respectively for three-quarters, and then the bottom fell out. With less than a minute left in regulation AT HOME, on the potentially game willing drive, Wentz forced a pass into double coverage to Alshon Jeffrey, a pass that should have been intercepted in the end zone, when a WIDE OPEN Wendell Smallwood was clearly within reach. If you could see me right now, as I write this blog, I’m just shaking my head. I spoke to a dear friend Sunday night after the game, and he was still heated; we were HOLLERLING at each other about how bad the Eagles played compared to how good we were last year.
The sportsman’s Bible says this: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for wins, for they shall be rewarded with victories.”
Ok, ok, ok, no that’s not exactly what the actual Bible says, but it’s close. Hunger and thirst are perquisites for accomplishing and achieving our goals. Last year, my Eagles were flying high; they had all of the right ingredients to win, and they won big. They had coaching, running, receiving and a defense that could actually stop the other team when necessary. And they had momentum, right up through the Super Bowl; through injuries and replacement players and a backup QB leading us to front and center in the football world. But that was then. And this is now.
Now, my Eagles couldn’t stop granny from robbing a bank with a Beebe gun. They can’t seem to stop the bleeding because they can’t even afford to pay attention. This Eagles team couldn’t stop payment on a check for $0 if their life depended on it. The Eagles had a 17 point lead over the Carolina Panthers in the FOURTH QUARTER and still lost! They allowed Cam Newton to drive downfield for touchdowns on three consecutive possessions, AND allowed a two point conversion. They allowed the Panthers to come back. When it mattered most, the Birds couldn’t hold onto the ball to sustain a drive to save their lives. Yeash.
So, here’s the question: will Wentz wither away or will he WILL himself and his teammates back to respectability and out of this abysmal mess? It’s like my parents used to tell me when my sisters and I wanted something that we probably weren’t going to get; we’ll see. The Eagles were celebrating prematurely, and the Panthers saw it and seized “it” right from under their noses.
So . . . , let’s learn the lesson. Don’t lose momentum. DON’T give your opponent the ball when they have the momentum. Don’t do it. Do whatever it takes to hold onto the ball and maintain possession, especially when they have the hot hand. Note to file, NEVER EVER give the ball back to the other team when they have the hot hand.
Momentum is energy and force and motion. It means to push and to drive forward no matter what. But momentum is a funny, tricky thing. Momentum is electric and elusive. Momentum will spark your battery and spur your inner horses. You can’t really quantify it, but it’s tangible nonetheless. Either you have it or you don’t. And when you have it, you protect it with your soul and you hang onto it for dear life; because you never want to lose it, or worse yet, give it away. The irony is, you know when you have it, and you can barely fathom when you lose it. Because momentum is “it”, and you’ve got to have “it” to win.
Spiritually speaking, momentum lies in your heart. The Bible says to “keep your heart with all diligence, for out it flow the issues of life.”
The Carolina Panthers couldn’t spell touchdown for three-quarters of football, and yet all of a sudden they seized the momentum from the Eagles. All of a sudden, they flipped the script. All of a sudden, they could drive down the field like it’s a walk in the park and punch it in. Seriously? C’mon Man! How’d they do it? They realized the mystery of momentum.