Monday, November 14, 2016

The Eagles rediscover a home-field advantage

As a longtime proud denizen of the upper reaches of the 700 Level at Veterans Stadium, something has always bothered me about Lincoln Financial Field.

It was too pretty.

The Vet, where I watched so many Eagles games, was South Philly.

The Linc was the Main Line.

There was an "atty-tood" that went with the Vet.

Maybe it was the concrete surface. Maybe (at least we always thought so) it was the snarling fans.

Opposing teams absolutely hated the place. Some of them were beaten before they walked out onto that frozen turf.

It was a huge home field advantage.

Then the Birds moved across the street to the plush Lincoln Financial Field.

Something was missing.

Maybe, just maybe, it's coming back.

The Eagles pounded the high-flying Falcons into submission yesterday. That runs their home record to a spotless 4-0 this year. Yesterday's game plan was pretty simple. The Falcons came into the game with maybe the NFL's most prolific offense.

The easiest way to control was to keep Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and company off the field.

That's what Doug Pederson did, with an offense that focused on running the ball behind a rejuvenated Ryan Mathews.

The Eagles defense smothered the Falcons, keeping them out of the end zone aside from one hiccup, a third-quarter 76-yard TD pass to a wide open Taylor Gabriel, who had slipped behind the Eagles defense.

The win also marked the first time that Rookie QB Carson Wentz led the Eagles from behind in the 4th quarter to a win.

But this one was won up front, where the Eagles physically beat the Falcons on both sides of the ball.

The Eagles needed this win badly, snapping a tough two-game loss streak after consecutive games they know they probably should have won.

The good news? After a cross-country jaunt to Seattle, the Eagles play the remainder of their games at home, with all of the NFC East rivals still due to come to South Philly.

That new home-field advantage just might deliver them a wild card spot yet.

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