Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Things That Still (Kind Of) Matter in Season Finale
This season was a failure. After starting with Super Bowl aspirations, the Eagles won’t even play past New Year’s Day.
Many have given up on the final game, and most think there's no reason to watch on Sunday.
While the team has nothing to play for, there are a few small reasons to hang in there and watch the finale.
Most of the reasons are based on individual accomplishments, but some interesting story lines can come out of the final, meaningless game.
Also, it's the first time to watch the Eagles in 2012.
5. .500 Record for Andy Reid
In Reid’s first 12 seasons with the Eagles, he has finished with a losing record just twice.
He hasn’t finished below .500 since 2005. While most Eagles fans don’t care about that, and the ones that do shouldn’t, it's a feather in the cap of Reid and his superiors.
Despite the fact that they will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007, 8-8 and a four-game winning streak will give them the ability to spin the season into being a moderate success.
4. Michael Vick’s Statistical Milestones
Vick has an opportunity to become the second player in NFL history to put together multiple seasons with 3,000 yards passing and 500 yards rushing.
The only other player to accomplish that feat is Randall Cunningham, who did it three times. Vick stands just 32 passing yards shy of joining him.
Vick also has an opportunity to finish the season with more touchdowns created than turnovers.
Going into the game, Vick will have thrown 15 touchdowns passes and added a rushing touchdown. He has thrown 13 interceptions and lost three fumbles.
If he manages to throw or run for a touchdown and not turn the ball over, he will at least have scored more often than he lost the ball.
3. DeSean Jackson Painting a Prettier Picture of His Season
For all the negative talk of DeSean Jackson’s disappointing 2011, he has a chance to make the season look better on paper.
He has had less impact this year than any previous season, but he has a chance to top 60 receptions and 1,000 yards for the third time in four seasons.
Jackson enters the game with 54 catches and 875 yards. All he needs is six receptions and 125 yards.
One vintage “D-Jax” performance will make his 2011 look better than everyone will remember.
2. Jason Babin’s Sack Parade Continues
Numbers are often hollow during a losing season, but Jason Babin has an outside chance to buck that trend.
With his fourth 3.0-sack game of the season, Babin can match Reggie White’s 24-year-old franchise record for sacks in a season at 21.0.
He also has a very good shot at the NFL sack crown.
1. Possible Safety Tandem of the Future
The Eagles have been under heavy fire from fans for their inept play at linebacker and safety. The first day of 2012 could usher in a new era on the back line.
For the first time, fellow second-round draft picks Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett will start together.
Allen has looked atrocious at times this season, but he was a playmaker in 2010. In 14 games before his patellar tendon tear, he had three interceptions, two sacks and a forced fumble.
Saturday was his first game since the one-year anniversary of the injury, and he played his best game of the season.
While Allen could be the speedy playmaker they envisioned, Jarrett has a chance to be the physical presence the defense has been lacking.
New Year’s Day will be their first audition for starring roles.