It’s been well-documented in recent days -- the Eagles season is over!
Well, it’s not technically over but with the playoffs officially out of the reach of the so-called “Dream Team,” this season is a bust.
But the 7-8 Eagles have played their best football all season in recent weeks, looking inspired as they march towards avoiding a losing season.
But should they? Are the Eagles better off tanking Week 17 against the Redskins than letting the little thing called pride take hold when they hit the field?
The answer in short is no. The Eagles would be better served losing to the Skins Sunday than winning their fourth in a row, and here’s why:
- There is a fervent Fire Andy movement that I don’t see getting their New Year’s wish should the Birds beat the Skins.
Lose Sunday and the Eagles brass could choose to dump Andy Reid and possibly some of his embattled coaching staff (a.k.a. defensive coordinator Juan Castillo) using the reasoning that they couldn’t utilize talent to even salvage a .500 season. Win and it’s difficult to fire a coach coming off a four-game winning streak who has had only one losing season (6-10 in 2005) this millennium.
- At 8-8 the Eagles would lose draft order. After beating the Cowboys for a second time the Eagles would pick between 12th and 16th (most likely 13th) at 7-8. The winner of the Cardinals-Seahawks game as well as the loser of the Cowboys-Giants game will be 8-8. It’s possible that the Broncos (vs. Chiefs), Jets (at Dolphins), Raiders (vs. Chargers) and Titans (at Texans) all lose to drop to 8-8 which would also move San Diego to 8-8. And Carolina, Kansas City and Buffalo could win this week to improve to 7-9.
At 8-8, the Eagles (who seem to have strength of schedule in their favor) would do no better than the 13th pick in April’s NFL Draft, lose to the Skins and the Eagles could pick as high as No. 9.
- The Eagles would be better served to let youth be served this weekend like they would in a preseason game. With LeSean McCoy now basically out of the NFL rushing title race why not see what you really have in Dion Lewis? Why not start Curtis Marsh at corner, Cedric Thornton at defensive tackle, Casey Matthews at linebacker and Mike Kafka at quarterback? And, with Kurt Coleman done for the year, we should get a long hard look at second-round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett. Instead of trying to win with your best talent, let’s see if these players could have a future in the organization.
- Should the Eagles win, they would be guaranteed second place in the NFC East and the second-place schedule that it carries next season. The Eagles play the NFC South no matter what -- that means Cam Newton will be coming to town -- but they will subjected to facing the second-place teams in the NFC North and NFC West. The Eagles would be better served hosting the aging Bears than upstart Lions next season.
- The Eagles play at 1 on New Year’s Day, if they lose it will give fans that in droves will surely chose to do things like go to the movies, watch a college football game or watch the Mummer’s Parade feel better about their choice. Not watching the Birds is always better when they lose, and let’s be honest; no one really wants to watch the Eagles play the Redskins as evident by the hundreds of tickets up for grabs for less than $100 for Sunday’s game.
Am I wrong? Am I crazy to root for the Skins to beat the Birds? Time's yours in the comments.