Philadelphia Eagles Face Make-or-Break Stretch in Next Four Games

Jeff Glauser@Jeff_GlauserContributor IIOctober 10, 2013

Starting this Sunday, the Eagles have a chance to take advantage of a favorable schedule, which might pay off beyond this season.
Starting this Sunday, the Eagles have a chance to take advantage of a favorable schedule, which might pay off beyond this season.Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Reports of the Philadelphia Eagles' death may have been greatly exaggerated—or at least premature. It depends upon how you look at the glass. 


Half full

The Eagles had a fairly dominant performance at the New York Giants and an offense that didn't seem to miss much of a beat when Michael Vick went down and Nick Foles came in. That was a zero turnover outing, including a plus-three margin.


Half empty

It was the freaking Giants. (And we may literally see Tom Coughlin's head explode before the year is over.) The offense continues to approach the red zone like I approach a spare with one pin left (translation: timidly and often ineffectively). Three interceptions aside, the defense still leaves little cause for confidence moving forward.


Half full

With the exception of the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints and perhaps the San Francisco 49ers, there really are no postseason inevitabilities in the NFC so far. Which means at least one wild-card spot and even a division title in the NFC Least remain up for grabs. 


Half empty

There is still nothing substantial the Eagles have shown to prove they will fill one of those spots. 


Half full (and let's end this on a positive note, mmkay?)

They may not have to show much to have a chance, and that chance can very well be the lightening rod for better things to come.

Case in point? Let's use the 2010 Seahawks. 

They finished that season 7-9 and deservedly so (all nine of their losses were by at least 15 points or more). That record was somehow good enough to win the division. From there, they pulled off an upset over the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs in a shootout. 

That led to another 7-9 record in 2011 (however, four of those losses were by four points or less), which led to 11-5 last year, which brings us to the current version at 4-1 that is considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender. 

The Eagles could very well follow a similar trajectory. And the upward trend back toward respectability could very well begin this Sunday.

In a relatively young season which has already had its share of peaks and valleys, the next month may prove to be sink (empty) or swim (full) for a team who's had the fortune of a very favorable four-game stretch. 

Those games are as follows: At the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two winnable home games against division rivals Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, concluded by a trip to Oakland to face the Raiders, where their fans have invoked more fear than their players have for years now. 

The combined current record of the aforementioned is 4-15. 

Will they sweep those games? Probably not. But good enough could result in finishing just good enough: A 7-9 year, backing into the playoffs, getting a taste of success and then building upon that for the future. 

So maybe the glass is more than half full in this scenario. But Philly fans are awfully thirsty these days.