There was a time when the Philadelphia Eagles appeared to be facing a brutal schedule in the second half of the season. But that was before the Dallas Cowboys imploded and all of Brett Favre's coaching and management decisions started backfiring.
Phil Sheridan of the Inquirer, a longtime Beast enthusiast, thinks the Eagles picked a great season to be mediocre based on what's happening around their division and the entire NFC. Even the revered Mike Shanahan, owner of the whitest teeth in professional sports, is playing into the hands of the Eagles as he stumbles around in the dark looking for an explanation for his benching of Donovan McNabb.
"The way their schedule breaks, the Eagles have to play five of their six divisional games in the second half," writes Sheridan. "That loomed as a major challenge when the schedule was released. Now they get Washington coming off McNabb's benching and its bye (Nov. 15) and two late-season games against a dead Cowboys team mostly concerned with who its next head coach will be.
"With luck like that, chances are Eli Manning will be kidnapped by aliens just before the Eagles play the Giants."
I think Phil has a point here. For reasons that I'll lay out in future blog entries, the Eagles are going to beat the Colts at home Sunday. Andy Reid doesn't lose games coming off the bye, and it will be difficult for the Colts playing after a short week of preparation.
In looking at the remainder of the Eagles' schedule, I see them going 2-2 in November and then having a great shot at 3-1 in December. That would leave only a home game against the lowly Cowboys to finish the regular season. If the Eagles can follow my plan, they will finish 10-6 for the season. In the dreadful NFC, that should be enough for a wild card spot in the playoffs. The Giants will win the division with an 11-5 record.
The Redskins will finish the season with an 8-8 record, doubling their win total from '09.