Listen, when Andy Reid tells you to listen, you really ought to consider it. Because, listen, the Eagles are a good team - or so the head coach claims.
The Birds are on a bye this week. Good thing. They could use a little rest and recovery time after getting thumped by the Tennessee Titans. But if you're worried about how Kenny Britt and the boys raced up and down the field against the Eagles' defense, just relax. You worry too much. Kick back and help yourself to some of the midnight green Kool-Aid that the organization and Reid have provided. There's plenty. Drink up.
"It's a crazy league right now," Reid said recently.
That part made sense. He should have stopped there.
He didn't stop there.
"We're sitting there [with a record of] 4-3, man, and we're right there in the hunt in a good way," Reid said. "And I know I have a good football team. And we have to knock a couple things out here and get it straight."
It apparently doesn't matter that the Birds allowed Britt to score three touchdowns and amass 225 yards in one game - which, upon closer inspection, turned out to be more yardage than the Rutgers product had previously totaled the entire season. It also doesn't matter that the Eagles were incapable of stopping Detroit's Jahvid Best and watched the running back gash the defense for 153 total yards and three touchdowns.
Nope. Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter that the Birds have beaten just one team with a winning record this year (Atlanta). The other three victories were gifted to them courtesy of Detroit, San Francisco, and Jacksonville, three franchises with a combined record of 5-15. Nor does it matter that, so far this season, they surrendered 27 points to Green Bay, 32 to Detroit, 24 to San Francisco, and 37 to Tennessee.
Doesn't matter because, listen, the Birds are a good team. As an aside: For those of you playing the "Andy Reid Listen" game at home, he said his new favorite word an impressive nine times during the news conference the day after the Titans thrashed the Birds. The teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off would be proud.
Under Reid, the Birds have traditionally played better in the second half of the season. They've been known to go on late runs and make the playoffs when you least expect it. That's going to be a touch tougher this time. The Eagles have nine games remaining. Only three - two against the Cowboys, one at home against the Vikings - will feature teams that have losing records.
In the interim, the Gold Standard will no doubt unfurl more of its unique, misguided in-house definitions. The franchise, which still hasn't won a Super Bowl, has long considered itself elite, so there's probably no surprise that a team that's one game above .500 and has struggled against quality competition thinks of itself as good instead of merely average.
In college, one professor used to tell us that average was OK, that we shouldn't expect B's or A's because those grades were reserved for students who were better than most. That was a sound philosophy, but one that's fleeting. These days, everyone wants a sticker or a ribbon simply for competing - the Eagles and Reid included.
Tony Romo has a broken collarbone and might miss the rest of the season. I'm sure you're all broken up about that. Luckily, Page 2 traded Romo from one of its (many) teams before he went down. That's called a real football/fantasy football win-win. Unless you're a Cowboys fan or the guy who ended up with Romo in that deal.
QB: Donovan McNabb, Kyle Orton, John Kitna
RB: Ryan Torain, Marshawn Lynch, Thomas Jones
WR: Dwayne Bowe, Kenny Britt, Mike Wallace
Flex (RB/WR/TE): Beanie Wells, Steve Smith (Carolina), Heath Miller
QB: Brett Favre, Matthew Stafford, Ryan Fitzpatrick
RB: Ryan Mathews, Brandon Jackson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
WR: Michael Crabtree, Donald Driver, Jabar Gaffney
Flex (RB/WR/TE): Shonn Greene, Eddie Royal, Jeremy Shockey
(Home team in CAPS)
Steelers +11/2 over SAINTS: How many boxes of beads will Ben Roethlisberger bring to the Big Easy? Or do you think he'll just buy in bulk when he lands in New Orleans?
CHIEFS minus-71/2 over Bills: Every year a bad team has a dramatic turnaround that no one expected and makes the playoffs. Kansas City is that team this season.
Redskins plus-21/2 over LIONS: Someone has to win this game. Probably. Unless they tie. Alert Washington's quarterback just in case.
Panthers plus-3 over RAMS: Matt Moore is back as Carolina's starting quarterback. Jimmy Clausen is cutting out the middle man this time and has agreed to punch himself in the eye.
PATS minus-6 over the Vikings: If you haven't seen the Saturday Night Live skit for Brett Favre's "open fly Wranglers," you ought to Google it posthaste.
Titans plus-31/2 over the CHARGERS: A fun Halloween idea for you: Dress as Kenny Britt and head over to the NovaCare Complex.