Source – The defending Super Bowl champions are hitting a make-or-break point.
The Philadelphia Eagles sit at 4-5, already with two more losses than they experienced all last season, on the precipice of being regarded as mostly irrelevant heading into December.
Center Jason Kelce identified one key difference between the Lombardi-hoisting squad of last year and the 2018 version: accountability.
“Last year, it just seemed like everybody was clicking,” Kelce said, via ESPN. “We had guys like Brent Celek who had been here a long time who was very accountable, Torrey Smith who had been in the league for a long time, very accountable. Mack Hollins was a guy that gave great effort. LeGarrette Blount and all of these running backs that, they had their limited amount of stuff that they had to know, but they knew what to do, and they knew how to do those things. That’s what we’re missing. We’re missing that accountability. …
“From a players’ standpoint, it’s on you to make sure that you’re watching the film, you’re doing everything during the week necessary for you to improve. … And it’s also on the coaches to make sure everybody’s ready to go,” Kelce said.
“[Last year] there was a much greater level of accountability from a cohesive standpoint of everybody working together, and part of that is just on the makeup of the team and guys having done this for a long time and knowing the ins and outs of the game.”
Major credit to Jason Kelce for possessing the balls to speak the truth about his own team. It can’t be easy to admit to the world that you and your teammates have been halfassing it all year. That’s not him being a Try Hard, it’s just him being honest. And I admire the courage that takes.
And hey, there’s no shame in the Eagles mailing it in after winning a championship. As a matter of fact, it’s the most common thing in the world. Why do you think we don’t see teams making it back to the Super Bowl once they’ve won one? The 2014 Seahawks are the rare exception. (And where have they been since?) Typically they’re one-and-dones. Like your Ravens, your Broncos, and now your Eagles. It’s one thing to pay the price to get there. But once you do, it goes against human nature to be willing to make those same sacrifices all over again.
I mean, for a great example, look no further than Philly’s own fictional athletic hero. What did Rocky do after he pretend won the made up title at the end of Rocky II? He got a statue built of himself. Did credit card ads. Magazine covers. Went on The Muppet Show. Bought luxury cars and a sex robot for Paulie. For sure he wasn’t running through the streets and punching sides of beef in a meat locker. So many times, it happens too fast. You trade your passion for glory. Jason Kelce’s team has lost the Eye of the Tiger. It happens to the best of them.
But that’s not what really matters. What’s important isn’t that they’re under .500, haven’t won back-to-back games all season, just lost a division game at home and are almost certain to miss the playoffs. What matters is that they’re having fun.
And in that critical area, it’s Mission: Accomplished. Accountability, effort and sustained, consistent success aren’t everything.