Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. But
if you still hope the Eagles have a run in them this season, then it can’t hurt
that they got a little help from their friends on Sunday.
All three of Philadelphia’s NFC East rivals were knocked off
in Week 9, which the Birds can capitalize on with a meaningful win in New
Orleans tonight. Sure, they would still be two-and-a-half games back of first
place in the standings, but with a big road victory the Eagles could seize a
bit of momentum.
A 21-13 loss to Carolina dropped Washington’s record to 3-6,
which likely eliminated them from the playoff picture altogether. As impressive
as Robert Griffin III has been all year, lately he’s looked the part of a
rookie quarterback who is being asked to carry an offense that is both battling
injuries and lacking in talent overall. With five division games ahead, the
Redskins can still play the spoiler, but their luck appears to have run out.
While it wasn’t quite the absolute must-win the Skins faced,
the Cowboys find themselves in similarly tricky territory after falling 19-13 in
Atlanta. The Falcons got off to a slow start, putting just six points on the
board in the contest’s first three quarters, but Tony Romo and the league’s 27th
ranked scoring offense were unable to take advantage. Now Dallas is 3-5, and
with the injuries beginning to pile up for their defense, it’s going to be a
steep hill to climb.
The Eagles are not as worried about the clubs that are even
with or below them as much as they are with the front-runners though. New York’s
24-20 home loss to the Steelers was by far the biggest blessing of the weekend
for the Birds, as it becomes increasingly apparent the road to the postseason
goes through the Meadowlands. Pittsburgh ended Giants’ four-game winning streak
with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns that erased a 10-point deficit.
Even with that loss, New York is 6-3, and even with a win
tonight – far from a foregone conclusion – Philly would be 4-4. That kind of
lead is not insurmountable. The Giants have a bye, then a couple of
heavyweights on the schedule in Green Bay and Atlanta, while the Eagles still
own a head-to-head with one more to play in Week 17.
Of course, that all flies out the door if the Birds falter
tonight. But should the Eagles find a way to pull one out against the Saints, then who knows. It could be just the spark they are looking for.
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