Andy Reid's Birds put Tony Sparano right onto the unemployment line.
Welcome to The Takeaway, where we take away the three key points from the Eagles' previous game, in this case a 26-10 win over the Miami Dolphins.
1. Here is how the Eagles can still make the playoffs. Listen, we all know the Eagles are finished. They were finished after the Cards loss weeks ago, and nothing is gonna change that. But there are still three weeks left to go in this miserable season, so there's no reason not to delude yourself into thinking this team ISN'T finished, so that you can agonize over them for a little while longer.
God bless the Cowboys and their choke-tastic ways, because Sunday night's Giants victory means the Eagles are only two games out of first place in the East. Not only that, the Eagles also have the best division record, and would hold all tiebreakers in the East should they win out and go 8-8. Now, here is what needs to happen for the Eagles to make the playoffs:
1. Win out. Duh.
2. The Cowboys lose at least two out of their three games left. They get the reeling Bucs next week, but then they finish with these Eagles and then go on the road to face the same Giants team they just choked against. Odds of them losing those two games? A THOUSAND PERCENT.
3. The Giants lose at least two of their three games left. This is where it gets tricky, since the Cowboys and Giants play each other one more time. One of those teams HAS to win that game (no point in bothering with tie scenarios, because ties are so rare), which means the Giants, presuming they sweep Dallas, have to lose to the Redskins and Jets for the Eagles to have a shot. Again, this is not out of the realm of possibility, what with the Sex Cannon That Is Rex Grossman nearly beating the Pats Sunday before turning back into Rex Grossman. The Eagles can also hope that the Cowboys beat the Giants, but they have to lose that Bucs game if that's the case.
Either way, next week is the crucial week. The Cowboys play Tampa. The Giants play Washington. The Eagles NEED at least one upset to happen, preferably two. That's their path to the playoffs. 8-8 isn't gonna be enough for a wild card.
2. Every four weeks, Andy Reid remembers to run the ball. Time for a reminder: When LeSean McCoy runs the ball more than 20 times, the Eagles win! YAY! Isn't it nice to know that such a simple formula exists? Makes you wonder why Reid has only chosen to do this FIVE TIMES all season long GRRRRRRRR. The Eagles are 4-1 when McCoy has over 20 carries. They are ONE AND FREAKIN' SEVEN when he doesn't. If McCoy doesn't get at least 60 total carries down the stretch, I'll personally go to Reid's home and fill his mailbox with Hershey's Syrup.
3. There's no surer sign of impending victory than a JP Losman sighting! Nice to have him back.