The roller coaster ride known as this Philadelphia Eagles season came to its halfway point as the clock struck midnight on Sunday evening. When the Cowboys and Eagles meet up things tend to get exciting, and nothing is more nerve-wracking than an overtime game with your season on the line. This game included everything from defensive touchdowns, unbelievable catches, and controversial coin tosses. All of this culminating in Jordan Matthews galloping into the end zone as the Eagles dropped the Cowboys to 2-6. How sweet it is.
At 4-4 the Eagles are .5 of a game behind the Giants in the race for the NFC East crown. Somehow they have overcome shaky quarterback play (which I will admit was much better Sunday), back-breaking dropped passes, and poor execution to find themselves right in the thick of things with 8 games remaining. With the remaining schedule combined with the possible emergence of Sam Bradford, the Eagles could find themselves in the playoffs. Here is what Philadelphia is looking at the next 8 weeks:
vs. Tampa Bay
at. Detroit (Thanksgiving)
at. New England (ugh)
at. New York Giants
I have basically resigned to the fact that there is no chance that the Eagles march into Foxborough and defeat the Patriots in December. That is just not something that happens with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Bill Belichick’s record in December as coach of the New England Patriots is 54-10 (not counting last season’s playoffs). The craziest thing about this is that in his first three seasons he was 8-4 in December. From year four of the Belichick era to now, the Patriots have won 88% of their December games. Want to have the best franchise over a decade and win four Super Bowls? Win in December.
I am also comfortable chalking up the Arizona game as a loss but there is a lot of time left before the and the game is at Lincoln Financial Field. Other than those the Cardinals and Patriots, the other 6 games are very, very winnable. It is not inconceivable that as we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner the Eagles are on top of the NFC East with a record of 7-4.
The other part of this equation is the path of the division leading Giants. The next 8 weeks for them go as follows:
vs. New England
vs. New York Jets
The Giants don’t have the same good fortune as the Eagles do. They still have two undefeated teams left on their schedule, along with the Jets who will be battling for New York supremacy, and a Minnesota team that is a very quiet 6-2.
The schedule makers seem to get it right each year in the NFL. Every season we seem to have a win or go home scenario in week 17. Last year we had the Carolina Panthers vs. the Atlanta Falcons and the 3 previous years we had the NFC East teams beating the Cowboys in week 17. That match up between the Eagles and the Giants in week 17 has all of the makings of a classic New York-Philadelphia showdown. Eli Manning has shown that he shows up in big games and will be in revenge mode at home after being embarrassed on Monday Night Football. This season is shaping up to have a fantastic ending.