Philadelphia Eagles: With the Lead in the NFC East, Birds Still Have Work To Do

Mike BurkeCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles stands by the huddle against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

When the Eagles really needed a win, the team never quit on Sunday. It took a lot of guts for the Eagles to climb back into that game and put themselves in a position to win. As everyone seemed to step it up in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were able to escape the new Meadowlands with a miraculous win and the outright lead in the NFC East.

Although the Birds have the division lead with just two games remaining in the regular season, they still have work to do. They’re in the drivers seat to the playoffs, but they still need to finish the season strong.

The Eagles still have two games remaining on their schedule. They will play the Vikings at home this week, followed by the Cowboys at home in Week 17. It’s important for them to win both games, and although these teams have underperformed this season, both games still need to be taken very seriously.

If the Eagles win their remaining two games, they will be at least the third seed in the NFC heading into the playoffs. However, if they win out and the Bears lose one of their remaining two games, the Eagles would get the second seed and a first round bye in the playoffs.

Although the Eagles would need help from the Bears, the situation is realistic. The Bears will host the Jets this week and then travel to Lambeau Field in Week 17 to take on the Packers.

Everything seems to favor the Eagles in these last two weeks, but this has been a crazy year in the NFL and nothing is guaranteed. First and foremost, the Eagles have to take care of their own business.

They have some players who are banged up right now. As they have all year, they will need players to step into the starting lineup and play at a high level.

Nate Allen is done for the year, and Kurt Coleman will take over the starting duties. We’ve seen Coleman fill in earlier this year as well as last week against the Giants. He’s played well in relief but will need to play better than ever. It’s a lot to ask out of a rookie, but I think he has the talent.

The Eagles will also need Jamar Chaney to keep playing at a high level as he fills in for Stewart Bradley. He did a great job against the Giants and really proved that he can be a force against the run. Again, the Eagles are relying on a rookie, but Chaney has proved he can get the job done.

The Eagles may call on yet another rookie, this time on offense. As Jason Avant laid down a key block on DeSean Jackson’s punt return for a touchdown, he suffered a concussion. If Avant is unable to go this week, the Eagles will look for Riley Cooper to step up and fill the void. We’ve seen Cooper play well this year in the opportunities he’s been given, so it looks like a rookie could get the job done yet again.

Before this season started, there weren’t many people predicting the Eagles to win double-digit games. However, they’ve done so already and have two games remaining on the schedule. It’s been a magical year for the Eagles, and it’s time to keep the magic going.