• 79°

NFL: Cardinals-Eagles – Lessons learned in defeat

By Barry Wilner
Associated Press
TEMPE, Ariz. ó The lessons of losing have not been lost on the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles.
One step from the Super Bowl, both can reflect on how tough times helped them get this far.
The Cardinals, of course, are far more familiar with the tail end of the NFL, having occupied a variety of divisional basements whether they represented Chicago, St. Louis or Arizona.
Although the Eagles have experienced far more success, they have not won a league crown since 1960. They have felt the sting of losing three NFC championship games and a Super Bowl this decade.
So can that much losing eventually help you win?
“Obviously, the lows would be the losses that we’ve had,” Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said as he prepared for Sunday’s surprising NFC championship matchup with the Cardinals. “The things that stick in your mind in situations like that are the opportunities that you had that you didn’t capitalize on; the Carolina game (in January of 2004), the Tampa game (in January of 2003).”
McNabb refuses to view those defeats, plus one to St. Louis after the 2001 season ó when current Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner was the league MVP and guided the Rams into the Super Bowl ó as lasting negatives.
“No, as opportunities, just like any other regular-season game that we didn’t take full advantage of,” McNabb said. “Knowing the magnitude of it, obviously, we win and we move on. But I don’t put them as low points in my career.”
For the Cardinals, one of six current NFL franchises never to reach the Super Bowl ó hey, Arizona was the only NFC team never to make the conference title contest until now ó there’s isn’t much more than a litany of losing to reflect on. So this mid-January stuff is totally new.
But so are the Cardinals, in makeup and attitude, safety Adrian Wilson insists.
“I think this team is a lot different than teams in the past,” said Wilson, a former N.C. State star and the longest-tenured Cardinal at eight seasons. “Just because I think we actually do want to get the organization turned around and not always have a sense of disrespect.
“Whenever you get out on the field, people always have that same old thing in the back of their mind that we’re the Cardinals. You have to get that turned around and have teams come in and respect you.”
Not even Warner, the eternal optimist with a history of winning, was certain such success would happen now.
“I really can’t say what my expectations were,” Warner said, “although every year I go in hoping to go to the Super Bowl and preparing that way. It’s probably exceeded my expectations as well, but it’s fun and I’m glad I’m here.
“It’s funny because, even though we’ve exceeded expectations, now that we’re here, I’m not satisfied.”
The Eagles have been this far many times since Andy Reid became coach in 1999.
They’ve lost. And they’ve learned.
“As a player, I think that you understand that the window of opportunity is not going to stay open forever,” running back Brian Westbrook said. “But if you have a very good team you could go back year after year and hopefully have the opportunity to achieve your goal. We have a very good team here and we really don’t think about it. We really don’t worry about the window of opportunity. We try to make the most of every opportunity that we have, and if we do that, then we’ll be right where we want to be at.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Landis

Landis town staff, Duke Energy work through the night to fix major power outage

College

College baseball: Top-seeded Arkansas routs NC State 21-2

Crime

Teacher accused of assaulting at-risk teen at New London military-style school

Education

NC court: Students can use constitution to fight bullying

Coronavirus

Vaccine surplus grows as expiration dates loom

Elections

Justice Department will review restrictive voting laws in Republican-controlled states

College

Wake Forest adding Ole Miss graduate transfer Khadim Sy to basketball squad

Local

Gov. Roy Cooper appoints new Rowan County Superior Court judge

BREAKING NEWS

Sheriff’s Office: Gold Hill woman likely killed during break-in

Crime

Fatal car crash turns into homicide investigation

Crime

62-year-old man killed in Wednesday murder

Business

Solar farm plans in Gold Hill met by resident concerns

High School

High school tennis: Salisbury’s Campion/Wymbs, Carson’s Perry/Conrad claim doubles titles

Local

Quotes of the week

Health

Local lawmakers weigh in on state budget process, potential for Medicaid expansion

Local

Salisbury-Rowan NAACP President Gemale Black discusses meeting with Department of Justice, calls for action

Education

School staff members to receive payments from unprecedented RSS bonus package June 23

Nation/World

Senators eye $579 billion in new infrastructure spending as part of $1 trillion plan

News

Veto likely for state bill on abortion limits

Coronavirus

Wealthiest nations expected to pledge 1B vaccine doses for world

High School

High school baseball: Raiders win first conference tourney in 18 years

News

North Carolina Senate gives final OK to $2B tax-cut plan

Education

Gov. Cooper visits Knox Middle School teacher, gives TikTok a try

Coronavirus

Salisbury Police officer dies after contracting COVID-19