The Eagles then got the very rare chance to stay at home for 3 straight games and played the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10...and lost in the 4th quarter.....again.
The Eagles then had to go to New York and play a New York Giants team who was being led by Eli Manning playing with the best 4th quarter stats of any quarterback in the league this season. A Giants team who had beaten Tom Brady's Patriots in the 4th quarter. A Giants team who was first in the NFC East. The Eagles went to MetLife stadium and in the 4th quarter...
Won. Wait, what?
The Cardinals and Bears games brought results that the fans obviously did not want to face. The worst thing that could have happened in those games happened, but what was even worse (if that was possible) was that it felt like it was going to happen regardless. It felt expected. After so much heartbreak that the fans have endured, it didn't feel any different than losing a playoff game when the Eagles dropped all those 4th quarter leads this season. It tested our faith, not for playoff hopes like we were all promised, but as fans. It tested which of us could still believe in and root for a team that had promised this city so much, and delivered so little. It tested our ability to come back to our television sets and to Lincoln Financial field and pour our hearts into every play they made, even if it ended in a loss. We were all furious, unhappy, but used to it.
Then the game against the Giants came up. Our hopes were up, even if only a little bit, despite the dwindling hopes of the postseason. We had our pride to fight for in this game. If anything, that's what counted more than any faint playoff hopes. The Eagles knew they were at a point where winning was all that mattered, regardless of what came with the win. They had played with focus and confidence in games this season, but never let this "No Holds Barred" mentality come into their style of play. The physicality they all played with last night mixed with this sense of being backed into a corner brought out the fight in them we've been waiting for since the game against Dallas.
DeSean Jackson's name was finally mentioned in a positive way. Benching him is now looking like a good move by Andy Reid, especially given Jackson's numbers against the Giants. That being said, I believe that now the final piece, Jackson, is on board and the state of mind the Eagles needed to have from Week 1 is finally there as well. Best case scenario, the Eagles win every single game from here on out, and if things play out the right way, are in the playoffs, and they must keep the winning going. Worst case, we go 4-12 and have a high pick in the draft. Either way, what happens from here on out is beyond our control. It's been that way since we've had a losing record, and we've come back with the same intensity and faith that we want our team to show us on the field. I believe that regardless of the rest of the season, as long as we continue to show that to the Eagles, and they show us the same, then we couldn't ask for anything more. The New England Patriots come to Philadelphia next week. I don't know about you, Philly, but I'm not over what happened to us in Jacksonville. Are you?