Nine weeks into the season (8 games) and the Eagles sit at 5-3, a half game behind the Reskins for second in the NFC East, 2 games behind their foe this Sunday night. Not the best position to be in, could be worse, should be better, but here we are. This team has been wildly inconsistent, but comes into the game riding a three-game winning streak.
I've looked at this game from every angle, and for the life of me, I can't figure out why the Eagles are favored. This morning, they were 3 point favorites to defend their home turf against a team that dismantled the Cowboys last week and made Pittsburgh look silly the week before. I think the Eagles can win, but there's absolutely no way I'd bet on them.
Nevertheless, after the jump we'll do the usual looking back/looking forward thing.
|1||St. Louis||Win, 38-3||1-0|
|2||@ Dallas||Loss, 41-37||1-1|
|4||@ Chicago||Loss, 24-20||2-2|
|6||@ San Francisco||Win, 40-26||3-3|
|9||@ Seattle||Win, 26-7||5-3|
|10||New York Giants||--||--|
|14||@ New York Giants||--||--|
If the season ended today, the birds would have a 3-1 record against non-playoff teams, and a 2-2 record against teams headed to the playoffs. If they split with playoff teams and dominate the rest they will wind up in the playoffs. In fact, they'll wind up 10-6, which should be good enough to get into the second season, depending on who the losses come against.
If they finish 3-1 against Cincinatti, Baltimore, Dallas and Cleveland they only need to go 2-2 against the Giants (twice), Arizona and Washington. This cannot, and should not, be the goal, however. If this Eagles team is going to be anything more than a first-round exit in the playoffs they need to start beating the best teams in the league. That starts this weekend. There may nut be much reason to predict and Eagles win, but they need it. Badly.
A win this week and the birds should stretch their win streak out to 8 or 9 games. A loss and you can pretty much kiss a division title good bye. The Eagles need to start winning games in their division, they need to start beating the teams who will be in the playoffs. They've shown moments of brilliance and moments of futility. If they truly are an elite team, this game isn't technically a must win, but it's close.