Why the Bye Week Came at the Perfect Time for the Philadelphia Eagles

WesAnalyst IOctober 23, 2011

They both need a bye.
They both need a bye.Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Not much has gone right for the Eagles this year.

Andy Reid failed to address key positions in the offseason, Juan Castillo looks overmatched as defensive coordinator, Jim Washburn's wide-nine is a mess against the run, and Michael Vick is a walking infirmary.

Not all is bad in Philly, though.

LeSean McCoy is emerging as an elite running back who is more than capable of taking pressure off Vick.

McCoy is on pace to rush for 1,516 yards with 16 rushing touchdowns and 56 receptions with five touchdowns and 328 receiving yards.

Ironically, the other positive is how bad the NFC is as a whole.

Green Bay and New Orleans look legit, and San Francisco will coast to a division title. But after that, all hell is breaking loose.

Washington's season is officially over following a loss to the Carolina Panthers. Dallas and New York are not putting together great performances on a weekly basis. 

As Tampa Bay and Detroit are sputtering, it's allowing teams like Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia to have some hope coming down the stretch.

As all of that happened, Philadelphia sat at home getting ready for a pivotal matchup with the Dallas Cowboys

If there was a time to select when the Eagles go on a bye, this would the week.

Under Reid, the Eagles are 12-0 following a bye. If the trend can continue, it would help the Eagles climb the division standings and sit one game back in the loss column to the final wild card team, whoever it may be, next week.

That's incredible to think about. If the Eagles can find a way to beat Dallas, they are guaranteed to sit one game back in the loss column regardless of what any team does in Week 8.

It's also the perfect opportunity to try to build momentum. 

Let's get something straight right now: The Eagles don't have much momentum going into the bye week. Their 20-13 win against Washington was nothing more than fool's gold.

Rex Grossman was a pathetic excuse of a professional athlete and Mike Shanahan forgot to run the ball against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. The Eagles were also shut out 10-0 in the second half.

But after the bye, the Eagles get three consecutive home games against Dallas, Chicago and Arizona.

The only problem with the bye week is it only lasts one week. Right now, the Eagles need an entire offseason to figure out how to fix their defense.

Hopefully, Reid and the coaches built a contingency plan in case things continue to go the wrong way defensively. The plan might actually call for Vick and the offense to outscore the opposition on a weekly basis.

It wouldn't shock anyone if that's what Reid and Co. had up their proverbial sleeves and there wouldn't be many people who object to it.

But if that's the solution Vick needs: to rest as much as possible. Vick has dealt with a concussion and an injury to his right hand that caused swelling. Those are the injuries we KNOW about.

It seems like Eagles fans hold their breath every time Vick takes a snap because it seems inevitable he will take a hit on every offensive play. Taking a pounding for a seventh consecutive week might have been too much for Vick to handle.

Similar to the defensive woes, Vick needs more than one week. But if his body can be as fresh as possible for a three-game homestand, everyone in the Philadelphia area will handle a week without watching the Eagles.


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