How the Philadelphia Eagles Can Regain Home-field Advantage
All week the talk has been of the curse on Lincoln Financial Field, the hex Andy Reid left behind in his journey into undefeated territory, and the curse in the form of a team still shaped by his looming shadow over personnel decisions and flawed philosophy. The media and fans have debated the loss of any home-field advantage with how the Linc is dead and the crowd is quiet. A year of home losing can do that to you. There is something poisonous about Jeffrey Lurie‘s country club to his Philadelphia Eagles. There are a few simple ways to regain an advantage at home, and this is the perfect week to make it happen.
First, hit somebody. This defense, other than Earl Wolff last week, has missed the big hit. No one has the edge to step up and flatten someone on a crossing route. The safeties do not inspire fear and the linebackers have struggled in coverage. The team sorely misses Brian Dawkins and Jeremiah Trotter asserting their authority and striking fear in the heart of opponents.
Second, light up the New York Giants. This is the week to put up 40. Michael Vick, by all accounts, will start the game. Hopefully his leg will hold up against runs and contact. DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy both need recovery games. McCoy can own the Giants and he needs to clear 100 yards rushing this week.
Third, better promotions. In terms of off-the-field, there are clear problems. The tickets are too expensive. Sound flies out of the open design and handicaps any crowd noise. Don Smolinski must start doing his homework. Yes a lot of engagement depends on the team, but in this season, the city’s favorite team is quickly facing an alienated fan base.
These things all depend on the future. If Chip Kelly can recover his mojo and live up to his hype, the fans will return. If he gets the Eagles into the playoffs, it will happen. He needs to grab his quarterback of the future and make some major moves to solidify the defense. The fans want a team that plays like it cares. Right now, the home losses are driven inside their heads. It will take a massive effort Sunday to turn it around and start winning in front of a home crowd. But if they can pull it off, it will be a huge monkey off their backs as the season continues.