The Eagles win the NFC East for first time since 06.
Odds are if you're an Eagles fan you were more than upset at the news that the Week 16 game against the Minnesota Vikings has been moved to Tuesday due to the snow. But if you're an astute Eagles fan, there was at least one very bright spot Sunday afternoon.
While sitting at home, the Eagles locked up the NFC East for the sixth time under Andy Reid, and will be heading to the playoffs for the third year in a row, and the ninth total time in Reid's 12 years as head coach.
When the New York Giants lost to the Green Bay Packers, it meant that there was nothing anyone else in the division could do to stop the Eagles. Even if the Birds were to lose to the Vikings on Tuesday and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, they would still win the east and are guaranteed the No. 3 seed.
The only thing left to play for is the chance at a first-round bye. Had the New York Jets been able to pull off the win against the Chicago Bears, the Eagles would control their own fate. But since the Bears were able to make it past the Jets, the Eagles now must win out and root for the Packers to once again help them out.
The Bears and Packers play Week 17. The Packers will be facing a win-and-in situation, so they're going to be giving the Bears everything they have. If they beat the Bears and the Eagles don't slip up in these next two games, it will mean a first-round bye for Philadelphia.
I'm a bit torn, however, as to whether or not that will be a good thing. This team has seemed to play best when pushed against the wall. With a first-round bye, it might cool them off a bit. But there's also the fact that Reid's teams do not lose after a bye.
After wrestling through the possibilities, it probably would be best to have the bye. Mike Vick has to be all sorts of banged up, and we know DeSean Jackson, Asante Samuel, and Winston Justice have had some bumps along the way, so a bye might be just what they need to get everyone healthy for a big run.
And as I've already mentioned, Reid does not lose after an extra week of preparation.
The biggest challenge now will be playing two games in such a short span. The team cannot overlook the Vikings or the Cowboys, or they could be in for a nasty surprise.
It's probably safe to bet Vick and Jackson had to use all the magic they had left to beat the Giants last week, so they must come out and take care of business from the first whistle.
When all is said and done, I think the Eagles will get the bye. I don't foresee the Bears being able to stop an explosive Packers team that will be fighting for a lot more than the Bears will be. And I don't see Reid allowing his team to sleep on the Vikings or Cowboys.
The fact that this team is being led by Vick at quarterback and fighting for a first-round bye in the playoffs is still a bit hard to fathom, but it's been one hell of a ride so far. Hopefully they can just keep it up for another month and a half.