Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Things They Need to Do Against the Jets

Ron Pasceri@@RonPasceriCorrespondent IIDecember 18, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Things They Need to Do Against the Jets

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    The 2011 Philadelphia Eagles have been a failure. There is no denying that.  Despite all the problems, there is still something to play for.

    Many observers feel that the Eagles should still be playing out the season as long as their is some slim chance at making the playoffs. There are more important reasons to keep playing than another Eagles pipe dream.

    Here are five of them.

1. Forget the Playoffs

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    With virtually no chance to actually get in, making the playoffs should not be motivation. It would be one thing if they had some say in the matter, but it's more scoreboard watching than anything else.

    It also stands to reason that once they are eliminated, then they would have nothing to play for.

    They should play for the fans in attendance, because they have only gotten to see one Eagles win at home this year, and watched them blow four fourth quarter leads.

    They should also just play to win, since they haven't been able to do much of that this year.

2. Compete

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    This Eagles team has been labeled as soft and accused of quitting. Most of these players will be back next year, so it's time to show they can be an actual football team.

    The defense needs to show it has what it takes to be an effective unit against opposing offenses. Also, players like Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel have a chance to show some substance in the defensive backfield and start living up to their billing as the "Big Three".

    DeSean Jackson has a chance to start winning his fans back and earn that raise, whether it is in Philadelphia or somewhere else.   

3. Keep Vick Upright

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    Not many people would argue that Michael Vick has been mediocre this season. Some of it can be attributed to a lack of health.

    Health is part of being a great player though. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady wouldn't be looked at in the same light had they missed three or four games every year.

    That being said, these last three games are crucial in seeing whether Vick can stay healthy for a stretch, and string together games where he takes care of the ball and makes good decisions.

    He is impossible to evaluate when he isn't on the field, or when he is on the ground.

4. Sit Kurt Coleman Down

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    It's time to face the truth. The Eagles have tried to talk about being young, which is true. Coleman is one of those young players, but he was pick number 244 in the 2010 draft.

    Coleman is a good guy and he plays hard, but he is not an up-and-coming player. If he is a part of the future of this defense that just means this defense will never be good.

    The Eagles spend second round picks in 2010 and 2011 on safeties Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett. It's time to see what they have to offer in real game action.

5. Get Phillip Hunt on the Field

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    The Eagles have proven that they care about their pass rush almost to the detriment of the rest of the defense.

    Phillip Hunt was taken on as a project, but he had an impressive game last week. He needs to get as many snaps as possible to see if he can be a regular contributor.

    Juqua Parker has been non-existent this season and Trent Cole and Jason Babin are getting older, so it would be nice to find out if the Eagles have another quality end on the roster.

    Unless you would enjoy watching Andy Reid lose in the Wild Card round for the third straight season, these are really the most important things the Eagles could do at this point.

    They still have a chance to win the division and host a playoff game, unless the Giants beat the Redskins tomorrow. If that happens, the Eagles would have to leap five teams for the final Wild Card spot.  Three of those teams are at least two games ahead of them.

    Play for pride not the playoffs.