Revolution: Eagles Win in D.C. Can Jumpstart This Season

Revolution: Eagles Win in D.C. Can Jumpstart This Season

If you're looking for an example of how quickly things can change in the NFL, one need look no further than the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins.

Last November, the Birds demolished the Skins 59-28 in their second meeting of the season, a game that was not nearly as close as the final score. Michael Vick posted a historic performance that had many believing he was becoming the new quarterback prototype before our eyes, laying waste to an opponent that was playing at half speed and seemed to quit the moment they fell behind. The action on the field more closely resembled a top five college program rolling over some mid-major cupcake than the typically hard-fought NFC East rivalry.

Even right until this season started, Washington was a joke, electing to go with a turnover-prone signal caller whose best football was never very good, and narrowly beat out a 30 year old with four career starts for the job. The Eagles, as we know, were the prohibitive favorite coming out of the division, their summer of free spending still being celebrated as a major coup for the organization.

Now the Redskins are 3-1, and currently reside in first place, converting a few believers on their quest to shock the world. And Philadelphia, well... you get the idea.

For another example of how quickly things can change in the NFL, we jump back to present day, where a picture of the standings could shift dramatically before the afternoon is out -- that is if the Eagles actually finish a game. But with a win today, and at least a New York Giants loss, the Birds would dive right back into the postseason hunt, as no club in the East would have larger than a one game lead heading into the bye week. Plus, at 1-1 and four division sets remaining, they still control their own destiny

I don't suspect such a scenario would do much to energize a fan base that's lost almost all hope, many of whom would just as soon detach themselves from the whole operation, if they only knew how. And really, we're talking about getting to 2-4. There is a long way to go before most people are willing to seriously entertain the notion that this team has a run in them.

Every turnaround has to begin somewhere though. Win or lose, this may not feel like the biggest moment of the 2011 season today, but it is. A loss would be be surprisingly devastating, the Eagles not suddenly mathematically out of it as a result, but their path to the playoffs no longer clearly visible. On the other hand, a W breathes new life into the franchise and their faithful, and if something special should happen down the road, we'll look back on this victory when we talk about where it started.

It won't be easy. The defense is without Trent Cole again, and King Dunlap's injury has created another shuffling along the offense line -- with Jason Peters also out, Todd Herremans slides over to left tackle, while Winston Justice makes his first start since last year on the right side.

And the Redskins are a quality opponent to say the least. They have a well-coached offense that plays to its strengths, and a top 10 defense stacked with talent at every position. By no means will winning come easy today.

Regardless, we're about to find out what kind of character the Eagles truly have. The talent is not really what's in question here. Their will to win, will to scrap, will to fight for 60 minutes are in doubt. But if they can just get that one win, maybe we'll learn something about this team, and just maybe this season isn't over.

Let's hit the reset button.

Best of NBA: Russell Westbrook posts 5th straight triple-double in Thunder's win over Pelicans

Best of NBA: Russell Westbrook posts 5th straight triple-double in Thunder's win over Pelicans

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook became the first player with five consecutive triple-doubles since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New Orleans Pelicans 101-92 on Sunday night.

Westbrook finished with 28 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists. The Thunder have won all five games during Westbrook's triple-double stretch. It was Westbrook's 10th triple-double of the season and the 47th of his career.

Enes Kanter had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Victor Oladipo added 15 points for the Thunder.

Anthony Davis, the NBA's leading scorer, had 37 points and 15 rebounds for the Pelicans. Buddy Hield, who led nearby Oklahoma to the Final Four last season, scored 16 points in his first game back in the state (see full recap).

Rose, Anthony help Knicks hold off Kings
NEW YORK -- Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony each scored 20 points and the New York Knicks held off the Sacramento Kings 106-98 on Sunday night for their eighth win in 11 games.

The Knicks took a 21-point lead in the first half, gave up 18 consecutive points in the third quarter but outplayed the Kings down the stretch to win their third straight overall and improve to 9-3 at home.

Brandon Jennings added 19 points for New York and Kristaps Porzingis finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins had 36 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, but shot just 9 for 30 and looked fatigued while struggling late while playing the entire second half (see full recap).

Ibaka's big night leads Magic past Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Serge Ibaka scored 21 points and blocked four shots, helping the Orlando Magic beat the Detroit Pistons 98-92 on Sunday night.

Nikola Vucevic added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Magic.

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson made his season debut after missing Detroit's first 21 games with knee tendinitis. He had 18 points in 23 minutes. Marcus Morris led Detroit with 21 points.

Orlando won for the third time in four games while Detroit had its three-game winning streak snapped.

On Jackson's first possession, the Pistons went to their bread-and-butter play -- he and Andre Drummond running a high pick and roll. Jackson came off the screen and hit a 3-pointer, bringing a cheer from the small crowd. Jackson played the first 5:50 of the quarter as Detroit built a 16-10 lead (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Canadiens avoid winless California trip with SO win over Kings

Best of NHL: Canadiens avoid winless California trip with SO win over Kings

LOS ANGELES -- Paul Byron scored the clinching goal in the fourth round of the shootout, and the Montreal Canadiens avoided a winless swing through California with a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.

Max Pacioretty had two goals and an assist for the Canadiens, who won for just the second time in seven road games. Montreal had only one win in its previous 11 games in California before scoring three times in the four-round shootout.

Alexander Radulov and Andrew Shaw also scored and Carey Price made 27 saves for the Atlantic Division-leading Canadiens.

Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist apiece for the Kings, who lost for only the second time in eight games. Peter Budaj stopped 26 shots (see full recap).

DeKeyser gives Red Wings OT win over Isles
NEW YORK -- Danny DeKeyser scored 1:02 into overtime to give Detroit a victory over New York.

Mike Green scored twice and Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and assist for Detroit, which improved to 4-1-2 in its last seven games. Peter Mrazek stopped 32 shots to improve to 3-0-2 in his past five starts.

Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk and Josh Bailey scored for New York, which had won a season-high three straight. Jaroslav Halak finished with 30 saves.

Detroit's Frans Nielsen had an assist while facing his former team for the first time since leaving the Islanders for a six-year, $31.5 million deal with the Red Wings last summer. The 32-year-old Danish center was selected by the Islanders in the third round of the 2002 draft and had 119 goals and 230 assists over 10 seasons in New York (see full recap).

Late goal lifts Jets over Blackhawks
CHICAGO -- Andrew Copp scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:45 left, Bryan Little got his third goal in three games and Winnipeg edged Chicago.

Copp beat Scott Darling on the stick side with a shot from the right circle that slipped just inside the left post.

Chicago's Artemi Panarin scored with 6:54 remaining to tie it at 1, moments after Copp hit the post, to spoil Connor Hellebuyck's bid for a second shutout against Chicago in less than a month. Panarin completed a give-and-go with Patrick Kane, beating Hellebuyck to the glove side.

Hellebuyck finished with 25 saves and outdueled Darling, who started his second straight game for the Blackhawks in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford. Darling made 30 saves, including three on breakaways.

Little's power-play goal with 43.4 seconds left in the second period was his fourth point in four games since missing 23 with a lower-body injury (see full recap)