For NFL fans playing in survivor pools, the first week of the season is often the most stressful one. With regulars playing fewer and fewer minutes during preseason games, we make our predictions based upon expectations, without benefiting from recent history. And it’s not much fun to be eliminated before Week Two even begins.
Reviewing the options to begin the season, many of you came across a 10-point home favorite and thought, “Oh, oh, there’s a solution.” You believed it would be safest to wanna Fly Like an Eagle, by picking Philadelphia over the Washington Redskins. But, things looked bleak during the game’s first drive, when Redskins tight end Vernon Davis caught a short Case Keenum pass and made some nifty moves by Eagles defenders, who looked like they had no shoes on their feet. Davis ran 48 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. The ‘Skins also scored on their next two drives, following an Eagles punt, and a failed 4th-and-2 attempt at a first down. Dustin Hopkins’ 41-yard field goal, and “Scary” Terry McLaurin’s 69-yard TD reception, gave Washington a seemingly commanding 17-0 lead – just five minutes into the second quarter!
Fortunately for the Eagles, time kept on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’, into the future, giving quarterback Carson Wentz and company the chance to turn the momentum in their favor. Wentz hit DeSean Jackson with a 51-yard TD pass to put Philly on the board, but the Eagles still trailed 20-7 at halftime, causing would-be survivors to rely on their spirit to carry them through the second half. And it worked! Wentz threw two more touchdowns – another to Jackson, and one to Alshon Jeffery, who also crossed the goal line a second time on a carry. The Eagles increased their lead to 32-20 in the fourth quarter, on their way to a 32-27 victory, and a big sigh of relief for many a survivor.
And what better place than Philadelphia to fly through the revolution? Now, let’s march on to Week Two. Among the early considerations, with early point spreads provided by fivethirtyeight.com:
Baltimore Ravens (-10) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Houston Texans (-10) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
New England Patriots (-9) at Miami Dolphins
Take a break and check out this very trippy version of Fly Like an Eagle, performed by the Steve Miller Band, on the classic 1970s television show, Midnight Special: