Former Eagles coach Andy Reid pumps his fist before the NFC Championship trophy presentation at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
All that, particularly the hopefulness of the Owens watch, lent an atmosphere of expectation to the bye week that is harder to muster this time, with Carson Wentz on crutches after ACL surgery and unable to play until September or so.
But even if Wentz isn’t in a position to vow to return to these playoffs, at least he isn’t angry at his teammates for saying they think they can win without him, something that actually happened that bye week with Owens.
They had lost three times in a row in the NFC championship game, an ordeal that someone whose byline is on this column just might have referred to in print as the “Lords of the Ringless Trilogy.” Their most recent failure had made them the first team to ever lose back-to-back home NFC title games.
So there was a sort of bored impatience at work that does not fit this year’s dynamic. The difference is that in 2005, as the team took the field for a few workouts before watching for its opponent on wild-card weekend, it was welcoming back defensive end Derrick Burgess, sidelined since suffering a sternum injury Dec.
AT&T Station on the Broad Street Line is just a short walk from the front doors of the Linc and the Wells Fargo Center.