It is absolutely impressive that we started off 1-5 and won 10 straight regular season games. The feat shows a level of fortitude from the staff and the players that should make any fan proud. Not only should it make any fan proud, but more importantly it should leave them at peace with the fact that this group of guys will never cheat them out of their hard earned time and money with a lack of effort. However, the satisfaction that we find in that feat is largely based in revisionism.
Going into the season we all thought we had a Super Bowl caliber team. Many respectable NFL pundits believed the Chiefs had a Super Bowl run in them. Fast forward to today and it's like many of us forget all of those expectations heading into the season simply because we started off with 3 close losses in games where we should've came out the victor (DEN, CHI, MIN). What gets lost in the turnaround by far too many people, is that this team finally started playing the football that they were supposed to in the first place.
So when we go into New England and let the Pats dominate us on offense without handing the ball off. When we go into New England and let their two ONLY weapons scorch us like we had never seen Rob Gronkowski or Julian Edelman play before. When we go into New England with damn near 3 minutes on the clock with the ball at the opposing 1 yard line and 3 Timeouts and we don't come out of that situation with a TD, a 2 minute warning and 3 timeouts...the last thing I'm thinking about is how happy we should be to even be there.
This team had all of the talent, even with the injuries, to make a push for the Super Bowl. When I watched this game, I didn't come away thinking, "well only if we had Jeremy Maclin and Spencer Ware" or "only if we had Justin Houston." Do we have a better shot at winning with those guys healthy? Absolutely. But what I ultimately saw out there against New England was 22 men who weren't being put in positions to succeed. It came down to game planning, discipline and clock management; that is where we took the L. And those are areas where there is only so much room for improvement without changing who is in charge. So with that in mind, it is fair to wonder if the level of optimism surrounding this football team should be static.
The biggest roadblocks in yesterday's game were the same roadblocks that we faced versus Indianapolis two years ago, Reid and Sutton. These guys are only getting older and their methods are only becoming more predictable. I understand that they are likely the best options available for those two positions. But the real question we have to ask about this football team is, how much talent do we need in order to transcend the ineptitude that Andy Reid and Bob Sutton exhibit in big games against the elite head coaches and coordinators that this league has to offer? Because for all the talent Philadelphia had during those years in the Reid Era, they could never get it done in big games and it was for the very same reasons we haven't been able to come out the victor in our playoff losses and many of our regular season losses against the better football teams in the league.
I'm not saying anyone should be fired (at this moment, at least). I'm not saying that I or any other fan should jump ship. I'm not trying to dictate how anyone should FEEL about this football team. I have absolutely no qualms with anyone being happy about the season that this team put together because its a season that 90% of the fans in the league would love to have. Though what I do ask is, why should we THINK there is room for ample improvement given the fact that the men who will be calling the shots are the same men we've always had calling the shots?