Friday, November 15, 2013
Only Eagles can end talk about home streak
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- If the Eagles are sick and tired of hearing about their home losing streak -- and they are, as evidenced by the deep sigh that greets every question about it -- there is, of course, a simple solution.
Win a stinking home game, already.
They realize that, of course.
"We want to win," tight end Brent Celek said. "It's a big week. Obviously, our record at home has been terrible. That's got to change."
The formula for doing so as soon as Sunday, against a Washington team they handled in the season opener, isn't that complicated.
"We've just shot ourselves in the foot at home," Celek said. "Especially early in games. This game is huge. We've got to come out like we did the first time (against Washington) and then finish."
Celek is right. The Eagles have fallen behind in each of their four home losses this season. They have never held a lead, not for a moment in any of those games. A couple of three-and-outs and the frustrated crowd at Lincoln Financial Field tends to escort the offense off the field with a chorus of boos.
That dynamic is what led wide receiver DeSean Jackson to speak out this week.
"Sometimes it's three minutes into a game and you hear boos and things like that," Jackson said. "It's kind of crazy to hear, especially at home. But you never blame that for the reason why you're losing because we're professional athletes and you've got to go out there and win a game. Just saying, that energy helps us get going."
Considering people have paid thousands of dollars each for the privilege of sitting in the stands, the club suites and the luxury boxes and watching 10 losses in a row, that booing is perhaps understandable. And it's not like it all started with the streak. The Eagles are a total of 5-15 at the Linc since the start of the 2011 season.
"Everywhere I've ever been, we talked about winning at home," cornerback Cary Williams said. "Win your home games and split the rest of them and you'll be all right."
Ultimately, the fans can't make the players perform better. The best way, the only way, to turn this thing around is to come out and play the way the Eagles did at Washington and Tampa Bay and Oakland. Score 26 first-half points, as they did against Washington, or score touchdowns on their first four possessions, as they did in Oakland, and they'll hear plenty of cheering from the home crowd.
The booing will stop, and so will the questions about the 10-game home losing streak.