At the beginning of the season, I predicted the Eagles would go 10-6. What I did not predict, was that they would have a shot at going to Miami.
More than a month ago, I was just hoping the Eagles would end the season at .500. When McNabb went down and the defense's inability to find the stadium, I struggled to be optimistic.
In order to win the NFC division, the Cowboys would have to lose to Detroit or the Eagles would have to beat the Falcons. As hapless as the Cowboys have been playing of late, it was unlikely they would lose at home, thereby making the final game of the Eagles regular season significant. The minor detail often overlooked, is the Cowboys have T.O. in their locker room. He dropped more balls than he caught this season. Of course it is everybody's fault but his. Football is a team sport. Like a chain, it is as strong as it's weakest link. He doesn't care about the team winning, all he cares about it is his statistics. Go run track, get out of football T.O. you are bad for football. I digress.
Early in the first quarter, Andy Reid learned that the Cowboys choked at home, handing the Eagles the NFC East division championship and home field advantage. Wisely, Reid systematically replaced the starters giving them essentially a bye and a well deserved rest.
The second team, stepped in and stepped up. They performed well against the Falcons starters. A.J. Feeley ran the offense without missing a beat. My feared defensive unit has found their way home.
The final score, Eagles 24, Falcons 17.
Andy Reid has earned the right to be coach of the year. After a terrible start this season, he turned over the offense play calling to the Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. For a control freak, this is a big step. Additionally, it takes a leader not to lose the locker room. It could have gone the way of the Cowboys. But the Eagles were smart enough to dispose of their Hazardous Waste last year.
The way this TEAM has come together, it is not too outrageous to think about Miami. But first up, Tiki Barber and the Giants. Let's send Tiki to an early retirement he so desired.
It is always good not to peak too soon.
Happy New Year!