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Monday Night Is a Must Win

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Michael Vick looked human last season against the Bears.

    “If the Bears prevail, nobody is going to write that the Eagles’ season is over,” says Les Bowen.

    I'm not so sure about that. I might.

    Lets take a look at the Eagles’ playoff chances. Football Outsiders’ odds prior to this weekend gave them a 34-percent chance of making the postseason. The team was slightly more likely to win the division than the wild card, a result of a rather weak division.

    But the Giants’ win over the Patriots last night put them a few lengths ahead of the rest of NFC East field. The Cowboys also won, meaning the Eagles -- if they lost on national TV Monday night == would be behind the leader by three games and the second-place team by a game. That scenario is not pretty.

    And a loss to the Bears puts the Eagles further behind in the wild card standings as well. The Lions are way ahead at 6-2. The Eagles, at 3-5, would be two games down to both Chicago and Atlanta, both of whom would also have head-to-head victories against Philadelphia. They’d also be a game back of Tampa Bay and the Cowboys.

    To make the playoffs with eight games left, the Eagles would have to go 7-1 the rest of the way and still get lucky, hoping that five out of the six teams ahead of them flop. Sure, there would be a token chance. But at that point, you’re really just playing for pride and Andy Reid’s future.

    Demolishing the Cowboys last week was a necessary step, and it showed that there’s still a chance the Eagles could close out the season with a big winning streak. But the margin for error is razor-thin, especially against another team in the wild card hunt.