"It All Came So Close to Never Happening"

Monday, December 29, 2008 ·

A game of inches. Football is nothing more than a game of inches. A few goalline stands, a missed field goal, stops in short-yardage situations; this is football. These are the things that can make or break an NFL season.

Then, there was a tie. A tie against the lowly Bengals. A tie that could have cost us a playoff position, but it was the tie that kept us alive. Late in overtime, Shane Graham missed a field that would have given the Bengals the win. Our season would have been over. The emotion of yesterday would have never happened. All that we have to talk about with excitement this week, would have never happened.

Every game this year happened and we cannot change it. The plays that were called, the execution or inexecution, it all happened. The regular season is over. The second season is here. Cherish it. You never know when it'll end. Andy Reid, McNabb, and the defense won their first playoff game of the season when they routed the Dallas Cowboys. It was the biggest must-win game of the season. It decided their playoff fate and it all came so close to never happening.

It took victories by the AFC "nots" in Oakland and Houston over Tampa Bay and Chicago respectively. The Eagles were given a present and they took full advantage of it.

It was the red zone offense AND defense that stepped up huge. It was a team effort that built the biggest margin of victory ever against the Dallas Cowboys. McNabb threw for touchdowns and ran for one. The defense took two in for touchdowns. It was a dominance. It was brilliant.

Are the Gods shifting our way now? Did the Phillies' World Championship lift the demons? Is everything starting to fall our way after so many years of the ball bouncing the opposite way?

Remember, it was a missed field goal. It was great run by Michael Bush against Tampa Bay. It was a strong second quarter by Andre Johnson against Chicago. We needed help and the aid came in bunches. We needed a miracle and it was delivered.

Everything that has happened in the overall scheme has happened. Andy Reid's team made the playoffs for the 7th time in 9 seasons. I don't care about how it happened, but it happened. Donovan McNabb set a franchise record for most passing yards in the season. Donovan McNabb threw for 23 touchdowns, third highest total in his career. Thankfully, it was not all for not.

Myself and the rest of the Philadelphia fans, may say whatever they want, but we have to admit that McNabb, Reid, and company delivered. They've delivered more often than any coach or quarterback in the history of the Eagles.

It was an inch lost or gained. It was an inch left or right. Are we starting to realize how lucky we've really been as a franchise. Next Sunday's game came all so close to never happening. Back in the playoffs. Back where we belong.

Now it just comes down to one thing. 'You gotta believe.'

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A small introduction...

We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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