With the surprising Cowboys victory in New Orleans last night, the pressure is back on the Birds this afternoon. With a win, they stay one step ahead of Dallas and keep the momentum on their side. A loss locks them back into a tie, with a tough game at home against Denver to follow. The Eagles could theoretically enter their Week 17 showdown a game behind the Girls.
That's getting ahead of ourselves though. The 49ers are riding the fence between mediocrity and playoff contender. They have a tough defense and several playmakers on offense, but they lack a quarterback who has proven he can get the job done week in and week out. It's the defense's job to limit San Francisco's production on the ground today, then torture an overwhelmed Alex Smith with their complex blitzing schemes. The offense should put together enough to steal a close game, if need be.
Historically, these are exactly the kinds of games the Eagles win under Andy Reid. That is to say, games in December, particularly those versus inferior opponents. The thinking though is they may be in for a letdown somewhere along the way, and the 49ers are not so outclassed that it couldn't be them. This match will really test their focus, coming off a huge W at a division rival, now comfortably home for a team traveling across the country after a brutal Monday night.
Are the Birds content where they are at, or is this a group that will see things through?
If you enjoy a little pigskin in the snow, I'm sorry to say those who are actually attending the game are more likely to battle snow in the parking lots than the Eagles are on the gridiron. The tarp was down, and by all accounts, the field crew has done an excellent job removing any trace of the powdery stuff. The game was pushed back to a late afternoon start, but it will otherwise be just another day at the Linc.