Sunday, December 18, 2011

Eagles playoff hopes remain alive after downing Jets

Playoffs?  Playoffs??  Apparently the Eagles aren't ready to go away just yet this season, notching a solid win over the Jets, 45-19, to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.  Here are a few thoughts on the surprisingly solid win:

-The defense has turned from embarrassing to dominating in the last few weeks.  While the Jets offense isn't exactly lethal, the Birds defense swarmed Mark Sanchez all game long and created havoc in the form of 4 sacks, 2 fumbles, including one returned for a touchdown, and two interceptions.  Jason Babin led the charge, picking up 3 more sacks (giving him 18 on the year) as he abused Sanchez every chance he got.  While Juan Castillo does deserve some credit for turning things around, this is how this defense should have been playing from Week 1.

-Turnovers were the only reason the Jets even had a chance of making the game close.  The Eagles are still too careless with the ball and still prone to make boneheaded plays, especially on special teams.  Michael Vick was careful with ball, only throwing one interception on a desperation heave at the end of the first half.

-Speaking of Vick, he wasn't slowed by injuries at all this week, dancing around the pocket as he found open receivers all over the field.  While he still isn't sliding when he scrambles, Vick seemed much more mobile and much more like the quarterback that took the league by storm last season.

-Brent Celek has really turned his career around this season and now leads the Eagles in receptions.  He has overcome his case of the dropsies to become a reliable receiver and is no longer a complete afterthought in the Eagles offense.

-Congratulations to LeSean McCoy for setting the club record for touchdowns in a season.  He has proven time and again that he is the Eagles best offensive weapon and good things happen when he is fed the ball.

-Andy Reid won yet another challenge this week.  Say what you will about his coaching job this season, he has been killing it on challenges this season.

-With the Giants losing to the Redskins, the Eagles are still somehow alive for the NFC East division title.  All that has to happen is the Eagles have to win out, the Jets have to beat the Giants in Week 16 and the Giants have to beat the Cowboys in Week 17.  Doesn't seem too far-fetched but doesn't seem all that likely, either.  With the way the Eagles have been playing better the last few weeks, I don't think anyone in the NFC would want to play them in the playoffs.  At the very least, it will make for a fun last few weeks in a season that appeared a total loss.  Bring on the Cowboys next week!

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