09.29.22

Eagles: Time for Me to Eat Craw?

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:01 pm by Administrator

back in august, i predicted the eagles to start the year 0-3 before ultimately surging to a 5-3 record, teasing eagle fans with playoff aspirations before blowing the closing stretch of games to end 8-9 and out of the playoffs. i predicted that the eagles would struggle to make use of aj brown and that devonta smith would regress for lack of opportunities. and i predicted that both jalen hurts and jonathan gannon would fail to make a leap this year because of innate and unshakable flaws in their fundamental approach to the game.

here we are at the cusp of week 4 in the NFL, and the eagles are undefeated. they are not only undefeated but winning in all the ways that i could not have predicted: by spreading the ball around, passing effectively into the middle and deep field, running the ball at will, and producing sacks and turnovers on defense. the 9-sack performance by philly’s defense against the commanders was emphatic and solidly closed the door on any possibility of a comeback from a hapless carson wentz. as an aside, it continues to amaze me how ugly every carson wentz sack looks, as he continues to be totally unaware of his inability to make a play while being actively sandwiched from three different directions. ouch!

is it time for me to eat craw?

i must be the least excited eagle fan in the world, because i continue to be unimpressed. and i’m not trying to remain unimpressed. it’s just that i see an eagles team that has beaten three of the worst seven defenses in the league. detroit, minnesota, and washington all have legit talent on the offensive side of the ball, and i earnestly believed all three teams would get the better of philadelphia, but i really underestimated how poorly they would challenge jalen hurts (and their other opponents for that matter as well). i do have to commend the eagles for containing justin jefferson in the vikings game and manhandling the commanders’ o-line at will this past weekend. to me, the first three weeks of this season demonstrate three things about this eagle team: 1) they’ve got a solid game plan week to week, 2) they’re executing that plan, and 3) jalen hurts’ accuracy on a wide range of throws has definitely improved. the guy put in work, and it’s showing on the field.

beyond the ease of our schedule thus far, what concerns me is this. occasional brilliance from jalen hurts is nothing new. last year, he started the season flawlessly with an absolute beat-down of the atlanta falcons. it could be argued that his win against detroit last season looked even more impressive than the win we escaped with in detroit this year. coming off an ankle injury last year, he crushed washington in week 15 with accuracy, physicality, and tenacity. jalen hurts has shown these flashes, especially when he’s faced defenses that struggle to stop the run. the thing that faded my interest in jalen hurts last year was how quickly he was reduced to being below-average when teams with good defensive fronts settled into zone coverage and forced him to play honest football in the pocket. for every game last year when he flashed game-breaking big plays with his legs and with the deep ball, there was a game when he simply looked helpless—unable to throw a man open, indecisive to a fault, and overly reliant on his legs, to his own detriment.

i’ve never in my life seen a quarterback with jalen hurts’ intrinsic limitations actually make the leap and become a consistent, accurate passer. i want to believe that hurts can do this, but i think it would be an unprecedented achievement and simply something i’m not willing to bet on. i would not be surprised if jacksonville and dallas both exposed jalen hurts very badly, as both defenses have the talent to put him in uncomfortable situations.

i am more optimistic about gannon and our defense, now that i’ve seen consecutive lock-down performances from that crew. this is a very talented group of defenders that just needs solid situational coaching, and it appears to me that gannon is demonstrating a better understanding of how and when to apply pressure. i’m a big fan of chauncey gardner-johnson, and even if there had been no other big additions to this defense, that trade alone would have been enough to take this defense to a higher level. kudos to roseman for making this happen.

the eagles are rightly a favorite to win the division at this point in the year, but i’m still skeptical and not budging from my 8-9 prediction. shock me eagles. prove me wrong. make me eat craw. if you win the conference this year, i’ll admit i was wrong about you, and i’ll never doubt jalen hurts again. til then, i’ll still be cringing as i wait for the inevitable meltdown.

GO EAGLES.

09.22.22

the tree

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:13 pm by Administrator

there are many reasons why people try to be mindful. some people learn to observe their thoughts so that they can be more productive. one rinpoche described, with some sadness, how snipers in the military use mindfulness to steady their hands, to be more effective as killers. indeed, those who are mindful can shape their thoughts; they can choose how to think, and they can choose what they want to achieve.

for others, a life of mindfulness is about evading pain or even preparing for death. indeed a whole lifetime can be spent in the management of suffering or in the anticipation of one’s demise. is it living, to live for one’s death? it’s certainly possible that at some point for everyone, there is no better application of mindfulness than in the active acceptance of one’s end.

i’d like to think that beyond furthering achievement or preparing for death, there is also the potential of mindfulness to enable one to see something that would have been impossible to appreciate otherwise. i was meditating on this, on a long drive this morning down a two-lane country highway, when i happened to see the trees. and, as is typical of observation when one is aware, i didn’t merely see a tree; i experienced the tree, in what i could see of it but also in what i could sense of its parts unseen.

i learned once that though a tree might seem stationary and inert, it is constantly having countless interactions with the world around it. whether in altering the composition of air, or in modifying soil in the process of absorbing particulate matter, or in shedding its needles or leaves which in turn impart acids and organic debris to the grounds all around, the tree is invisibly shaping its environment. a human might look at a tree and define it by its bark, its color, its leaves, and the shade that it offers from the sun. the person might attribute to the tree a pleasure or a purpose. but no single perception of the tree can possibly capture all of the infinite processes and changes that it is a part of. indeed, the tree anchors a whole universe of living things to a specific place; and as a result of that community of life, over hundreds or even thousands of years, a whole forest grows up around it.

i have spent a lifetime trying to understand the value that i offer to others, because this is a society that demands of its citizens a value proposition. why should we educate you? why should we employ you? why should we listen to you? why should we allow you to lead us? like the ones who approach the tree with axes and saws, or with pruners and landscaping plans, we regard one another with ambitions to own or to consume. but the tree, like the human life, offers no value. it simply is; and around its planted and flowering life, an ecosystem comes alive and sustains itself, in billions of unique and interdependent ways. like the tree, i cannot really be seen. i must be experienced by one who is aware of what i am. this can be another, or if there is no other, this can be the universal basic consciousness we have no name for. but i can be aware of myself. it seems like the least i can offer myself. indeed, it is the best thing that i can give to myself.

so to this person that i am, i say: you are the tree. i hope that you can remember all those moments with people that were so difficult for you. those pressured moments with the sick and with the dying. those seemingly unending moments with people who depended on you. those days in clinic long past, when you felt connected to those who suffered but felt powerless to help them. i know that you will remember these moments for the rest of your life.

remember them differently. those were the moments when you breathed yourself into the world. a root of your being inched deeper into the earth. a bud of thought in your mind came into bloom, and the fragrance of it entered the lives of those around you. a piece of someone’s life, spirit, or love climbed its way into a crevice of your being, like a little squirrel in winter, and birthed its young inside of you

09.20.22

the compassionate intent of the universe

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:09 pm by Administrator

this morning i couldn’t find my Mighty music device, just minutes after taking it off after a run. i’d had it in my hand at some point, and then my daughter ran by and distracted me, and then my usual post-run routine was disrupted, and then i discovered that the device was no longer in my hand. i spent five minutes on my hands and knees hunting for it in the bedroom. and then i yelled to my wife that i’d lost the device, which then prompted questions from her that i had no interest in answering as i tore through my laundry pile and the bedsheets. after a tirade of profanities and much storming around, i resigned myself to the fact that i had probably dropped the device on the road after turning it off.

as i put my shoes on to leave the house, i found the device where i’d left it, on the stool by the front door where i sit to take off my shoes.

later, i held this moment as i stood in the shower, and i observed myself, the one who acts out and makes a fuss when he is thrown off his rhythm. it struck me that i always have to make sure someone nearby is aware of my intense frustration in these moments, even if there is genuinely nothing that person can do to help me. in this case, i think i had partly blamed my daughter, who had interrupted my train of thoughts, and maybe even indirectly i had blamed my wife, who for some reason had not been closely following all my movements through the house to help my identify where i had left the thing i had lost. in truth, neither of them were to blame for my suffering, but when i suffer, my instinct is to blame someone or something else for my suffering. it’s been this way since i was a child.

the fact is that i am the cause of my suffering. whether the catastrophe is big or small, the suffering that results from it is of my own doing.

perhaps i was led to believe that my suffering is the fault of the universe. after all, i grew up reading bible stories that made it obvious to me that misfortunes were foreseen and intended for my good by an all-knowing god. as this was true for abraham (who was commanded by god to kill his own son), job (who was inflicted by the devil with god’s consent), and jesus (who died because he was commanded to do so by god), this had to be inevitably true for myself as well. so when i stubbed a toe, or was mistreated by a bully, or subjected to racism, i attributed these things to the divine intent of god, who wished to redeem my innately imperfect life through suffering. like jonah, i learned to resent this form of patriarchy; but i also learned to love it, because my suffering made me feel connected to Christ, who had also suffered. in this way, i was much like the victim of an abusive relationship. my suffering drew me into intimacy with my oppressor, whom i hated and also loved.

nowadays, i understand it differently: that it is my own mental workings and expectations that cause me so much suffering, even beyond the momentary bodily pain or psychological shock that my circumstances might cause me. it is my fixation on how things ought to be, my refusal to accept how things ended up being, and my obstinate wish to assign blame for what shouldn’t have happened that all collectively unearth such frustration and anger about my state of being. all of these things are attachments of some kind; they represent identities, outcomes, and destinations that are often arbitrary but strangely important to me nonetheless. being mindful of my thoughts, i understood this morning that i could not stomach the loss of my Mighty device because i am so often fixated on a specific idea of how a day or a week in my life should proceed.

my daughter gave me a special hug before i headed out the door to work. she could sense my frustration at the universe in general. i appreciated her in that moment—the one who could see the child in me. though i am the cause of my suffering, i am also the one who can observe that suffering, as one who is sufficient and connected to the universe that shares this awareness. in my daughter’s gesture of kindness, i felt the compassionate intent of the universe, which does not inflict me

09.15.22

the unexpected

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:23 pm by Administrator

it has been a very challenging first week of work at my new company, here in this new town and new state that i’ve settled in. there are serious interpersonal conflicts i’m already managing; serious staffing issues impeding our work; decisions about facilities and leases that have to be made right away; and major process gaps that have to be addressed and fixed within 1-2 weeks. yesterday, i visited one of the company’s sites without advance warning, assuming that it would be difficult to have much meaningful conversation with the staff there, but within fifteen minutes of my arrival, there were three people lined up to sit down with me for one-on-one time in a private office. i never finished a tour of the site; by the end of the morning, i had had 7 back-to-back meetings, each going at least 15-20 minutes, to address sundry concerns with staff who were anxious and even crying during their time with me.

there was a very familiar feeling in my body after the hectic morning of intense conversation and note-taking. my head was buzzing; my neck was tense; my chest felt constricted; i was wired and tired at the same time. on the forty-five minute drive back to another office, i felt myself nodding off at the wheel. i kept thinking to myself that maybe i’m not up to this task. all these people are counting on me, and i’m bound to let them down. i can’t keep things straight; i’m seeing too many sides of every issue; i’m not seeing a clear path forward. how do i move forward?

when i was a medical student some twenty-five years ago, i remember that on rare occasion i would have a brief encounter with a medical leader in administration. in retrospect, these people did a lot of what i’m handling now: managing practices, maneuvering around difficult staff, talking down anxious providers, pushing teams to produce more visits and with greater efficiency. it was generally acknowledged that these directors and deans had thankless jobs, and for their part, the leaders always made it clear that they were reluctant leaders who strongly preferred to be focused on their clinical practices. just a few of these leaders seemed to be thriving in that role. they had a certain charisma with people, and it was clear that they were respected for their ability to communicate, negotiate, and ultimately manage a vision. these people—white men with magnetic personalities—seemed worlds apart from anything i imagined that i would become. as a young student trying hard to find my place in the world, the one thing i knew is that i’d never become that—an administrator.

twenty years later, i have very oddly become the thing that i never thought i would want to be. and there isn’t a day that goes by when i don’t feel entirely adequate to the task. i’m always surrounded by people with MBAs, who made it their life goal to manage people and to lead successful organizations. i found my way into this kind of work because i found clinic work so difficult and exhausting and wanted to help colleagues build the kind of practice that might actually be sustainable (if not enjoyable) for them. i do the work of management not because someone asked me to do it but rather because i feel a sense of mission for the providers—the docs and nurses who get beaten up every day by difficult patients, annoying administrators, unsympathetic health plans, and systems and processes that are seemingly designed to torture them. in much of my work, i channel my own rage—decades of frustration and anger accumulated from the toil of working within a healthcare system that inevitably burns out its primary care providers—and i try to sublimate that rage into sympathy and understanding. sometimes i succeed. a lot of times i fail.

i know that someday when i decide to hang it up, i’ll look back that day and feel the same way about my career as i do know: that i was never up to the task, that i was always somehow faking it in order to make it every day, that i never quite got to the point where i was really succeeding at making the changes that i felt so passionate about. it’s too bad really that i’m such a pessimist, because the truth, if i’m honest with myself, is that i get feedback every day on how much people really appreciate the difference i make just by being who i am—one who listens, understands, and builds meaningful relationships. just this morning i got an email from one of the staff members that sat down with me yesterday to tell me her story and to ask for support. “you have given us hope with the fact that this company will only get better under your supervision,” she wrote me. my instinct of course is to dismiss this as false praise; after all, she does not know how little i know and how much is on my plate. but perspective pushes me to understand the truth that the universe has for me: that for the past twelve years of my career, people have thrived under my supervision because i truly am a servant leader.

and so, here at the precipice of what seems to be a sure descent into tragic failure, i am reminded of the difference between my feelings and what is true. i am here because i am good at what i do and because it fills my cup to be of service to others. every day that i come to work, i chip away at multiple problems, never fully resolving anything, but the end result of this daily commitment is transformation. i transform teams, and in the same way my teams transform me. after years of treading water and often feeling submerged, i come up for air and see the miles i have traveled. the universe demands this of me, that i see my life for what it is. it is quite unexpected. and it is, contrary to my own feelings about it, quite magnificent as well

09.07.22

the forest

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:28 pm by Administrator

yesterday, i waited for my daughter to come home, after her first day of school in this strange and new place. it was raining lightly, just enough to cool the afternoon but not enough to take the humidity out of the air, and beneath the canopy of the very old and very tall trees on our block, i felt like the earth was waiting with me, for the heavens to break open. a dense grayness hung upon the stubborn greenness of the darkening world, and at some point i became an inextricable part of its mystery and also its sadness, as dusk approached.

everything that i planned has come to pass, and most everything has worked out the way i expected it to. sixty or seventy dusty boxes have been exhumed of their contents and then smashed into flat and misshapen figures. articles of clothing have been hung in their proper places, anticipating workdays, seasons, and even skiing or hiking in some far off time. we’ve found all the holes and breaks and cracks that every house eventually surrenders to its intimates with enough time and scrutiny. i’ve had too many moments of longing, worrying, fearing to count.

every morning, i’ve looked out the second floor window into the dense forest that is my back yard, and in the shifting of colors and shadows i have learned to make out the branches, vines, and leaves that comprise this impenetrable thicket. we have dreams of cutting a path through these woods, for “forest bathing” as they call it. it’s suddenly strange to imagine that as foreign as this world of systems, rules, and relationships might seem to us just beyond what we can see from the edge of our driveway, it is the rugged wilderness creeping upon the patio of our home that best embodies what we have stumbled upon. we imagine our lives here; we superimpose ideas upon the everyday sights and sounds; but we cannot recreate what we once had. for all i know, the houses that we pass are empty of people, and the stores we drive by entertain no passersby and contain nothing to be sold. the flowers and the trees are unattached to my memory of what they were in the winter or in the spring, and the smell of the earth after rain has no name or meaning to me. the forest we have entered has no beginning or end, and it does not exist for our enlightenment. but someday, as it always happens, the mind begins to see it as a maze to be constructed; it connects the gullies and flats into navigable pathways; and soon enough, it is not nature anymore, because nature is nameless. once it is colonized with our thoughts and our ambitions, it is a park, or it is a plaything.

for now, it is large and forbidding and indecipherable. and by this, i know that i see it for what it really is. it is a glimpse into sunyatta.

these past few years in meditation, i have been like a child grasping at sounds, in an effort to learn a whole language. i have learned to recognize my suffering, in its many inevitable, recurring, and predictable manifestations. i have learned not to fear the emptiness that emerges after the thrills and horrors of life are held and seen in their transient and brittle codes of meaning. i have experienced moments that were indelibly mine, out of time and without purpose, and when i emerged from these moments i saw the futility of belief without feeling betrayed. to read this in these words, one might imagine these to be transformative changes; but they were trivial movements of my mind. after all, i was never completely unaware of how relentlessly i inflicted myself with preoccupation and obsession; i simply had to discover a mental space that was intentionally nonproductive in order to seize upon the irony of all of my productive mental processes. no, these were not grand epiphanies or magnificent discoveries. they were absolutely mundane moments of self-observation. i still obsess; i still suffer; i still hold sadness that i cannot account for and explain, and because of this i instinctively dread the life that i have yet to live. a part of me lives out the tragic story of my life without reason. still, another part of me, accidentally present and ever disinterested, now looks on without feeling or understanding. i wish i could say that the event of my suffering amuses me, but being both the one who is suffering and the one who is outside of it, i might say that it is much like having a phantom limb. i cannot stop being reminded of the thing i need and do not have; and at the same time i cannot stop seeing the fact that i do not have the arm that my nerve endings insist is there.

this is a new kind of suffering to me. wandering through the forest at this time in my life, without compass or any sense of location, is like submitting to sleep without any assurance of how long or where i will awaken. i am grasping at identity, but the universe at my door is beckoning to me with all the words of the insistent wind and deliberate rain not simply to be present with what is but to embrace what is empty. the world was cruel to you; embrace the world. work is hard and unforgiving; embrace that work. the body ages and breaks down, hinting at future pain and slow loss of function; embrace the body that is dying. the journey to enlightenment requires that i embrace what is empty of purpose and redemptive meaning, because unless i can accept what is then i cannot be true in my relationship to what is. there is no grand purpose for the suffering and the dying; these experiences are sufficient in what they are, and because my life cannot exist apart from these, they are already what i am. hundreds of billions of cells that bear my genetic code and that were once a part of my bodily organs have already departed from my form and become integrated into other lives. i have already died and come to life again. the neuron that i privilege as the seat of my consciousness insists that i should persist, while the rest of me has already come apart or come alive in countless cycles of rebirth and awakening. i cannot explain it; but the universe that speaks to me is already in possession of everything that i am, even as it birthed me into this glimpse of separateness and the gift that my consciousness affords her.

my wife worries that my rejection of meaning is nihilism, and it portends darkness. but the emptiness is dark and without hope; of this, i am certain. whether my instincts serve me or not, they tell me that i must first descend into despair in order to get free of hope—the waiting for what i do not have, the essence of refusing to accept what is. and when i have abandoned justice and all the personal vengeance that justice inevitably comes to mean for me, then i can settle even further into the deeper state of acceptance, within which there is no assumption of trajectory, or redemption, or destination. and when this acceptance is profound, enough to blur the distinction between life and death, between pleasure and pain, between individual human beings, and between earth and the cosmos, then an experience of unity can be achieved even within the consciousness that was designed for separateness. i can only imagine that it is this paradox—being without being—that so essentializes the universe from which consciousness was born.

even now, i am sitting at a table on the lower floor looking at the trees, which flow over the brick wall and over the patio that was designed for grilling and entertaining. there is a branch, and it is moving—no, it is waving—and it is waving not only to me but to everyone around it, and it is waving with the exhilaration that one can only feel when she is suddenly aware of all the precious and wonderful lives that are about to enter the darkness alongside of her and emerge from that mystery utterly reborn, in whatever form, to whatever day

09.01.22

Eagles: 2022 season predictions

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:44 pm by Administrator

after a dramatic NFL draft, an intriguing off-season that saw the integration of impactful new additions, and a pre-season that just culminated in two major trade deals, we have a philadelphia eagle team that looks significantly different from the 9-8 squad that in some ways exceeded expectations a year ago. what are we in store for in 2022?

a lot of pundits are expecting big things of the Eagles this year. i’ve seen preseason predictions revolving around 11 wins, with some media personalities predicting not only an NFC East division championship but also a clear run to the Super Bowl. DraftKings is somewhat more conservative, predicting 9.5 wins and a 38.5% chance of winning the division. what’s powering these relatively optimistic projections is perceived improvement at several key positions, specifically at wide receiver (AJ Brown) and on the defensive line (Reddick, Davis). beyond this, there continues to be undercover hype around Jalen Hurts, a fantasy football favorite but someone i continue to consider an enigma.

go back through my entries since the 2020 draft and you’ll see how my perception of Hurts has evolved: from underrated and spectacular 2nd round draft choice, to carson wentz’s heir apparent, to liability at the quarterback position. in brief, i didn’t see enough improvement over the course of hurts’ first full season to warrant confidence in his prospects; and i believe that ultimately it is hurts’ limitations as a passer that will cap the eagles’ ceiling for as long as they continue to start him.

it would be one thing if the eagles only needed Hurts as a game manager, as befitting of his cohort in the lower half of the league’s starting quarterbacks. i rank hurts in the 16-22 range, and the quarterbacks in that range (tagavailoa, tannehill, trubisky, daniel jones, and matt ryan, among others) can’t be expected to go out and win shoot-outs in the NFL. while tannehill, trubisky, jones, and ryan are going to be utilized appropriately at this stage in their careers, tagavailoa and hurts will unfortunately be called upon to lead pass-first offenses that will expose their weaknesses. both quarterbacks have been paired with elite receivers (tyreek hill and aj brown, respectively) by front offices convinced that they can turn tagavailoa and hurts into highly effective, prolific passers. for miami, there were probably limited alternatives to this approach, given the strength of the division and the relative weakness of the dolphin defense. but for philadelphia, the weakness of the NFC East, the strength of Philadelphia’s run game, and the infusion of defensive talent all suggest to me that the eagles could do just fine by doubling down on the run-first offensive mentality that sustained them through the second half of the 2021 season. recognizing hurts’ limitations and utilizing him as a game manager until they are able to replace him through the draft is the approach that makes the most sense to me. it may not yield a championship in 2022, but it would give us a better chance at winning the division and perhaps even a playoff game.

i don’t meant to imply that the aj brown trade was necessarily a bad one for the eagles—but i don’t think the trade will yield the results that we’re looking for until we give brown an NFL-level passer to feed him the ball. as it stands, i expect aj brown to post the worst statistical season of his career, with an average of under 60 yards per game and a catch percentage under 60%, as the eagles try to force looks that stretch hurts’ limited skill set. philadelphia’s offense is one that supports at most one primary receiver in any given game; goedert and devonta smith were more than sufficient in that regard. i fear that smith in particular will find his development constrained by the offense that the eagles are likely to manufacture for aj brown.

despite the inefficiencies i’m expecting from our new-look offense, the eagles can still win games if their defense can meet the very high expectations for the unit this year. i have my doubts here too, however. as the eagles clearly demonstrated with the “dream team”, you can’t simply buy your way to an ascendant defense, especially with a defensive coordinator as young and inexperienced as jonathan gannon. i continue to be a huge skeptic of gannon’s “systemless defense”, which produced the 5th lowest turnovers in the league while routinely yielding elite completion percentages to opposing quarterbacks. even with our first legitimate speed rusher in years (reddick) and a superbly skilled addition at safety (gardner-johnson), this defense requires an identity and an aggression that inspires fear in opponents. if gannon doesn’t get his act together this year, teams will continue to abuse our soft zone schemes in the short-medium passing game, leading to more of the long, demoralizing drives that kept our offense off the field last year.

the 2021 season wasn’t all bad, i should say. we beat 9 very bad teams and proved that we could run the ball effectively when we wanted to. the offense was good at avoiding turnovers, and our 3rd down conversion percentage was among the best in the league, thanks in no small part to the effectiveness of our run game. dallas goedert and devonta smith were standouts. coaching on the offensive side generally improved over the course of the year, though the game plan against tampa bay was atrocious and validated all the early season concerns about sirianni’s junior varsity play-calling tendencies. i would love to see a smashmouth eagle team this year defined by a dominant defense; but i wonder how long it will take this season for the eagles to settle into this identity.

here are my game-by-game predictions for an 8-9 season that will result in an NFC East division championship for the washington commanders.

Week 1 at Detroit: Loss. the eagles are going to come out passing early and often, which will give aidan hutchinson an amazing start to his HOF career.
Week 2 vs. Minnesota: Loss. somehow reagor is going to hurt us, which will be beyond annoying.
Week 3 @ Washington: Loss. wentz to dotson will be a big deal this year, as our aging secondary will soon discover.
Week 4 vs. Jacksonville: Win. DP will make it competitive.
Week 5 @ Arizona: Win. without de’andre hopkins, i don’t think the cardinal offense will look good coming out of the gates this year.
Week 6 vs Dallas: Win. i can definitely see our defensive line taking advantage of dallas’s tattered o-line.
Week 8 vs Pittsburgh: Win. at 4-3, the eagles will look like they’re turning a corner, but keep in mind Pittsburgh’s defense will be the worst one they’ll face after the bye.
Week 9 @ Houston: Win. it’ll be close, but we’ll take it to go up to 5 wins.
Week 10 vs Washington: Loss. two losses to the commanders will make it clear which team is the better one this year.
Week 11 @ Indianapolis: Loss. the colts will control this game end to end, by pounding the rock and stopping the run.
Week 12 vs. Green Bay: Loss. we take our 6th loss against a team that carves us up with screen passes.
Week 13 vs. Tennessee: Loss. our 7th loss is going to look a lot like the week 11 loss to the colts.
Week 14 @ NYG: Win. this game will be a toss-up. i do expect daboll’s team to be better at putting points on the board this year.
Week 15 @ Chicago: Win. we’ll be 7-7 after this narrow win that we grind out by leaning on the run game. i’m betting hurts will not be fully healthy at this point in the season, and his declining effectiveness on the ground will show it.
Week 16 @ Dallas: Loss. we’ll have our customary blow-out loss in arlington.
Week 17 vs. New Orleans: Loss. i expect the saints’ defense to be more effective than ours.
Week 18 vs NYG: Win. it will be a meaningless win, as the 10-7 Commanders win the division and the Cowboys edge us out for the final wild card spot.