It’s time for the Philadelphia Eagles to break out their black jerseys again.
Two weeks ago, it seemed that the Eagles would pack in their black-on-black jersey combination for the rest of the season, since they seemed unlikely to play a meaningful game again the rest of the year. After all, after two consecutive performances that saw the team give up 45 points, what sense did it make to try to get fans excited about what jersey the team was wearing?
Had the Eagles continued down the path they seemed headed in the final two games of their former three game losing streak, it would have watered down the excitement about them wearing their black jerseys, perhaps permanently. And that would be bad marketing.
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Fortunately, the team has rebounded drastically the past two weeks, effectively ending any discussion about Chip Kelly’s future with the team, and putting them very much in position to make a run to the playoffs in the weak NFC East.
And with their week 15 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, one of the NFL’s best teams, being flexed into Sunday Night Football, I’m left with only one conclusion: it’s time to wear the black-on-black jerseys again.
One season ago, the team dubbed their week five matchup with the New York Giants #BLACKSUNDAY, getting fans excited for the debut of the team’s black pants, which matched their black alternate uniform. On paper, the idea of getting excited about black pants sounds pretty silly, but the campaign was nothing short of marketing genius, and the Eagles won 27-0.
They did a similar thing this year, defeating the Giants 27-7 on Monday Night Football in week six, while donning the black jersey combination. That week, the team announced the jersey pairing early in the week, dubbing it #BACKINBLACK.
So would they wear the black jerseys a second time in the season? A year ago, in a move that wasn’t announced until game-day, the team broke out their black-on-black jerseys for a second time against the Seattle Seahawks, while playing in FOX’s America’s Game of the Week. That game turned out to be the only time that the team has worn the black jerseys in the last eight years, with or without the black pants, and lost.
Based off of last year’s formula, this is a prime-time game, late in the season and it is at home, so there’s no reason the team wouldn’t be able to wear the jerseys. If it was a day game, given how warm it has been this year, they may have to worry about the jerseys being too hot, but fortunately the game was flexed into being a night game.
There’s even quite the history of the Eagles wearing their black jerseys against the Cardinals. On Thanksgiving 2008, a week after being benched, Donovan McNabb led the Eagles past the Cardinals 48-20 in the jerseys. Perhaps they should saved the jerseys for the NFC title game, which they lost to the Cardinals. Also, the team wore the black jerseys against the Cardinals, a game they would win 24-21.