So about a month ago, I stopped really writing about the Eagles. After a demoralizing loss to the Ravens, the Birdz were at 5-5-1. They’d benched Donovan McNabb after two really egregious performances. After “earning” a tie with the hapless Bengals, I wrote:
On Sunday November 16th, we are finally able to put this Eagles season to rest. The end came in the unexpected form of a 13-13 tie (yes, a tie) against the hapless (1-8) Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
I decided that for my sanity, I just had to let the season go. Too many “what ifs” is not good for the psyche. And so, I noted with pleasure that the Eagles crushed the NFC West Champion Cardinals on Thanksgiving night – McNabb back as starter and playing great.
I watched them grind out a tough win against the NFC East Champion NY Giants (who may have been distracted by their own version of T.O., Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg…). I watch with interest as they demolished the Browns on Monday night a few weeks ago. Improbably, they pretty much had their playoff destiny back in their hands and under control. Their next game was against the reeling Redskins.
The result: a colossal dud, where they scored 3 points. See? I shouldn’t have gotten excited right? They had the playoffs and redemption in their sites and they blinked.
So they entered this last game of the season needing a TON of help (some combo of losses by a couple of teams, including a very unlikely home loss by Tampa Bay to the awful Raiders) and facing the Dallas Cowboys – a soap opera of a team also fighting for its playoff life after a fairly disappointing season of their own.
Amazingly, the Raiders won, and the Bears lost and suddenly the Eagles weren’t playing Cowboy-spoiler, but they knew that if they won, they’d be in as a playoff team. A second chance to control their destiny.
The result: a colossal wipeout of the Cowboys – of a sort that still leaves you scratching your head (albeit happily). The Eagles broke open a 10-3 game with 17 points in the last two minutes of the first half – the result of a good drive and a couple of Cowboys turn-overs. They left little doubt about the game’s outcome by scoring 14 points in 3rd quarter before the offense ever took the field. The Cowboys were terrible, coughing up the ball 5 times and having maybe two good drives the whole game. The implosion from Jerry Jones should be fun to watch.
And so, most improbably, at 9-6-1 they find themselves a wild-card team and headed to Minnesota next week to play the NFC North Champion Vikings.
Clearly, I counted them out too early. I should have looked back to my first post on them this season, where I wrote:
Here’s my prediction for the season: End of Regular Season: 10-6, probably wild-card team
Hey, even I couldn’t have guessed that tie.