Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Best Things To Come out of Saturday's Meaningless Win

Ron PasceriCorrespondent IIDecember 27, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Best Things To Come out of Saturday's Meaningless Win

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    Christmas Eve could have been a big day in Philadelphia if the New York Jets had beaten the Giants. Things didn't work that way though, and the game in Dallas didn't mean all that much in the end.

    Although the Cowboys and Giants are playing for the NFC East crown and the Eagles play the Redskins for absolutely nothing, Saturday's game did produce some good.

    Philadelphians are not happy that their season has been rendered moot, but there are reasons to keep their heads up.

5. Alex Henery Showed an NFL Leg

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    After two missed field goals in a five-point playoff loss to Green Bay, the Eagles let kicker David Akers walk. He proved to all watchers that he was not done yet.

    Last week, he broke Jerry Rice's 49ers record for points in a season and on Saturday he broke the NFL record for most field goals in a season with 42. Akers has drilled 7-of-9 field goals from over 50 yards while Eagles rookie Alex Henery has only attempted one.

    Henery was given his second opportunity from over 50 in Dallas and nailed it with at lest 10 yards to spare. Maybe next year they will have some faith and allow Henery to be a real field goal kicker.

4. DeSean Jackson Came to Life

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    Jackson was widely believed to be the most explosive player in the league over his first three seasons. He definitely lost that title during a disastrous 2011.

    In his last seven games, Jackson caught 25 passes for 329 yards, an average of just 13.2 yards per catch. That is James Thrash-level production. 

    In Dallas, Jackson woke up, catching five balls for 90 yards, an 18.0 yard average. He added another 27 yards on two rushing attempts. 

    A player who has quit doesn't play that well in a meaningless game.

3. Brent Celek Continued To Be a Big Play Tight End

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    In 2009, Brent Celek looked like the next big tight end in the NFC East alongside Jason Witten. He caught 76 passes for 971 yards with eight touchdowns.

    In 2010, there was a massive drop in production with the emergence of the Michael VickDeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin "shock-and-awe" passing game. He dropped to 42 catches, 511 yards and four touchdowns.

    Celek got out of the gates slowly, with just nine catches for 43 yards in the first five games.

    Over the next 10 games he's piled up 47 receptions, 652 yards, four touchdowns and averaged 13.9 yards per catch. That pace would equate to 75 catches, 1,043 yards and six touchdowns. 

    In the last two weeks, Celek has seven receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns.

2. Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Once and Future Corners

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    Granted, Stephen McGee is not a great NFL passer, but with Rodgers-Cromartie out of the slot and Asomugha more comfortable with his rotating positions, they looked like a good duo.

    Not dynamic yet, but Nnamdi was able to help take Jason Witten out of the game and the two managed to bottle up Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Laurent Robinson for 9.7 yards per catch.

    Poor tackling was another issue all season, and they combined for 10 tackles on the day. The only passing touchdown came with seven seconds left in the game against nickel cornerback Joselio Hanson.

1. LeSean McCoy Didn't Suffer an Adrian Peterson-Level Injury

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    LeSean McCoy has had an outstanding season. A historic season for the Eagles franchise. He is a true building block for a championship offense.

    His lateral mobility, speed and quickness have been lauded as much as any back since Barry Sanders. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to outrun an injury on Saturday, but he did manage to side-step anything catastrophic.

    For some reason he was put back in the game, but was removed shortly after. Possibly the most important thing that needs to happen at this point in the season is keeping his body from taking any unwarranted punishment.

    So there you go, five small things to hang your hat on from a game that meant nothing. Maybe next year some of these things will be a factor in a run to the Super Bowl. 

    In Philadelphia, there is always next year.