At the beginning of the season, I have to admit I was really not looking forward to the second half of the season. Picking up after the bye against Indy, followed by two division games in a row against the Skins and Giants, followed by ANOTHER away game against Chicago, then Houston, then a final quarter of the season that included a Dallas game, second New York game, Minnesota, and finally Dallas. On paper, this looked like the schedule from hell.
Let me explain:
Not so much anymore. Just more proof that everything is coming up Iggles right now. Our confidence is now at a season high after three quality wins in a row, putting us in sole possession of first place in the Beast. Team-by-team, I'm not nearly as nervous as I was before. Let's think about this:
Chicago- Their defense is good, but the Giants' is even better, and we could've beat them even worse then we did. Chicago's offense is not exactly what one would call high-powered. Jay Cutler is an interception machine when the Bears can least afford it, and we lead the league in takeaways.
Houston- They have the league's 32nd-ranked pass defense. In fact, they have no pass defense. We have one of the most explosive passing attacks in the league. Do the math.
Dallas- Jason Garrett may have given this team a shot in the arm, but their quarterback is still Jon Kitna and their o-line still sucks. We should have a field day with their secondary.
New York- This one will be tougher than our first meeting, since we're making our first trip to the new Meadowlands. But Eli is also an interception machine, and the Giants are hurting at key positions, most notably wide receiver and the o-line. Hopefully Hakeem Nicks is still out for this one.
Minnesota- This is a team in turmoil. They have an ancient, interception-prone, genital-photographing egomaniac under center, and he's not even guaranteed to still be the starter by this point. Their backup is none other than Tarvaris Jackson, who, let's face it, really ain't that good. The Eagles demolished him the last time we met, and that was in the uber-loud Metrodome. Their receivers can't stay healthy. Oh yeah, they also just fired Brad Childress. Can Leslie Frazier have the same effect on the Vikes that Garrett is having in Dallas?
Dallas- Another season wrap-up against the Cowboys. The last time we did this at the Linc, 44-6 happened. And their team isn't nearly as together as it was then. Romo probably still won't be back, as recent x-rays have shown that his clavicle isn't healing as quickly as the team would like.
So you see, what once looked like a nightmare second half is quickly turning into the stuff that dreams are made of. Not to sound overconfident, but if we can stay healthy and focused, it isn't inconceivable to think that this team can run the table and nab the no. 1 seed.
Of course, we have to remember that Andy and Co. are usually good for one clunker a year against a team they should beat (SEE: Oakland in '09, Cincy in '08). So while I'm very, very confident about this team's potential, I'm also remaining mindful of the fact that winning six games in a row, three of which are division games, is a tall order. But this team has shown that if anyone can do it, they can. Exciting times lay ahead. Mazel, Eagles, good things, good things.