The highly inflated balloon of Great Eagle Expectations burst in the opening game Monday night.
Philadelphia’s 26-24 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta wasn’t exactly the Hindenburg disaster, considering that you don’t want to overreact to one loss.
Still, the Birds splattered like spaghetti sauce in a busy Italian restaurant kitchen.
The Super Bowl Express engineered by the Mad Scientist, a.k.a. Chip Kelly, hit a big speed bump.
Too damn many mistakes, too damn many penalties, a first-half effort that was about as inspired as an accounting webinar, a pathetic running game that sucked early and then was abandoned (all that money for DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews?), an offensive line (so much for Kelly’s off-season changing of the guard) that couldn’t block a hat for much of the game, a torched secondary (Julio Jones undressed overpaid free agent Byron Maxwell), a quarterback who spent the first half knocking off the rust of two years spent rehabbing instead of playing, and a missed 44-yard field goal by the struggling Cody Parkey doomed the Eagles.
If there was any good news blinking through the fog of the loss, Sam Bradford, after showering with Evapo-Rust at halftime, played a second half that was pregnant with future promise.
After going 15 for 27 in the first half that included a pick that gift-wrapped an Atlanta score, he was as sharp as a prick CEO in the second half.
He went 9 for 10 on a 95-yard drive and finished 21 for 25 for 219 yards and a touchdown in the second half en route to a 36-for-52, 336-yard debut.
Granted, considering that Bradford is about as durable as porcelain, the Eagles had better do a much better job of protecting him or else we will be seeing Mark (1 and 1) Sanchez alternating touchdown passes and interceptions.
With the dreaded Dallas Cowboys coming to Philly Sunday, the Eagles’ season already could be on the brink.