This whole series was set up for a miracle finish. Eagles driving down field the Seahawks during their wild card weekend match up. McCown making his first playoff appearance despite playing 16 years in the league. He was tossed into the game after starting quarterback Carson Wentz had been knocked out of the game with a concussion in the first quarter. Injuries throughout the season had been piling up resulting in 2 all pro starting line men being out for this playoff game along with the three starting wide receivers on the roster. And yet, Mccown found himself on the Seahwaks 10 yard line, one score down with 2 mins left in the game and an opportunity to be Philly’s new playoff hero.
Of course, this is a documentary about the Eagles season and not just one game. So let’s rewind a bit. And let’s start with one of the main stars of this documentary series, Carson Wentz. I liked Wentz. Seemed like a decent guy. Even when a seven year old quizzed him on his inability to hold onto the ball, he stood there and took the criticism. Throughout the show, there was consistent reminders that he was an “elite QB” or the teams only positive in the 2019 season. What the show failed to mention was those fumbles the seven year old was so eager to point out was not highlighted. If you were hoping to see a show about a potential superbowl team melt as the season continued, you will be slightly disappointed. Although the team’s troubles were shown at times, the documentary did focus on the positives of the season. And Wentz dragging his tema to the playoffs was a major positive.
Looking at who Wentz had to throw to, it continually changed with injuries, making Wentz season all that more impressive. Before the season started, we learn of “DNA”; Desean Jackson, Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery. A receiving group perceived as one of the best in the league according to the local commentary. And in Week 1, they lived up to that with -Desean having 2 TDs on his return to playing with Philly with Jeffery snagging another. But that was the main highlight for this potential boy band. Jackson and Jeffery struggled with injuries throughout the season and ended up on IR. Agholor struggled to catch the ball before too getting injured. At one point, back up QB return McCown was readying himself on the sideline to come on and play wide receiver. Unfortunately, that never transpired.
These injuries lead to the feel good story surrounding Greg Ward. Ward signed as a undrafted free agent in 2017 with the Eagles only to be released and resigned multiple times. He found his way to the AAF in 2019 and impressed. THe AAF would go bust after that one season of course and ward resigned with the eagles hoping to end the previous cycle he had experienced there. With all the injuries, he finally got his chance to play. He started the 5 last games of the season including the playoff game finishing the season with 28 receptions and over 250 yards. It remains to be seen where he will end up next year and will his role be more substantial than previous seasons.
The two leading receivers in 2019 were both tight ends; Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. While Ertz did make some appearances in the documentary, Goedert was a staple in his breakout year for him. It was the bromance between Goedert and Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox that stood out. All good football shows have one. From talk of getting matching engraved footballs to needing each others opinions on getting a Christmas Trees, the pair seemed to be inseparable. There was other key players who got plenty of air time. Brandon Graham was a consistent player who had signed a massive contract during the offseason to see him remain in the Philly for the foreseeable future. Malcolm Jenkin’s work both on and off the pitch featured, including the criticism he received from ex colleague Orlando Scandrick. Brandon Brooks opened up about his stress related anxiety disorder with lead him to vomiting on game days.
And being based on a football team, there was also football. The eagles season did not live up to expectations as mentioned above. Well, at least the fans expectations. With clips of fans booing and quotes such as “they better fucking win this sunday, i swear to god”, Phily did not like it’s team losing. Throughout the series, we had input from multiple radio station who churned out the negatives after each performance. And it’s not hard to see why. They were humiliated against the Patriots at home followed by a loss to the 2-9 Dolphins. But worst of all they went to Dallas and lost 37-10. The rivalry between the Cowboys and the Eagles is huge and this defeat was disastrous.
But their tide turned and they found some form in the latter half of the season, beating the 3 divisional rivals in the final 4 days. And one of those games was the return leg of the Dallas rivalry. Before that, Zach Ertz gave a speech to his defence recalling the story of Hernán Cortés arriving with his army in the new world. He decided to burn his fleet sending a clear message to his men; conquer or die. And that is exactly what the Eagles did.. And ultimately they won a NFC East title in the most unlikely of fashions. But in truth, it was everyone else lost it .
Back to the 4th and 7. This documentary wanted to show that the people of Philadelphia were all about passion. And a display of passion was how this show ended. But it was a 40 year old man who had no ties to Philadelphia that showed it. A man that made his playoff debut and gave it everything he had to just come up short. A man that ultimately broke down around the corner from the media. A man that had not even played a full game for this team this season but solely felt that the lose was on his shoulders. The passion displayed by Josh McCown was humbling. His passion for football is clear to see. And ironically, he is a man that grew up as a Dallas Cowboy fan.