It only took two straight wins by the Eagles, including one with major style points against the Cowboys, for everyone to jump back on Philadelphia’s bandwagon.
Get ready for everyone to jump back off.
We’re guessing that “Are the Eagles the favorites in the NFC East?” won’t be a theme of talk shows this week. Reality might set in about this Philadelphia team following Monday night’s 30-24 loss to the Bears.
The reality is that the Bears are a better team. Chicago is one of nine teams ahead of the Eagles in the NFC playoff race. 7 of those teams are at least two games ahead of Philadelphia. The Giants lead Philly in the NFC East by three games.
For the Eagles to make the playoffs this year, they will need to pass teams in the standings like the Bears, Falcons, and Lions. Philly will have to win seven of their last eight games just for a chance. Their margin for error is essentially gone, but their propensity for errors remains.
DeSean Jackson dropped passes and fumbled a punt return. The run defense was gashed for 164 yards on the ground. Michael Vick threw a costly interception in the first half.
Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie both struggled all night, while Philly’s usually strong pass rush didn’t touch Jay Cutler.
Consider that the Eagles recovered two fumbles from Matt Forte Monday night, and returned one for a score. And yet they still lost their fourth game of the year where they entered the fourth quarter with a lead.
The Bears, not the Eagles, looked like the team that was steadily improving on the way to a possible Wild Card berth. Cutler has played well for a month, often making something out nothing. The offensive line has come together.
The return of slot receiver Earl Bennett greatly helped the passing game, and Forte had another huge game (150 yards from scrimmage) except the fumbles.
Chicago’s defense flew to the ball and they didn’t give up big plays. Lance Briggs had a terrific night and helped make Vick work for everything.
The Eagles have played five teams this year with a winning record. They have lost to all all five of them.
In the business, we call that “a trend.”
It’s not a trend of a team that looks ready to rip off a long winning streak, no matter how many style points they score.