After dropping to 4-8 in a Week 13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, many counted the Eagles out of the NFC playoff race. What happened over the next two weeks was nothing short of remarkable. With two-straight wins and a few losses by teams within their division, Philadelphia found itself back in the heat of the postseason race.
With two weeks remaining, the Eagles needed to win out and get some help from the Jets and Giants in Weeks 16 and 17, respectively, in order to take the division crown. Unfortunately, the New York Jets could not give them that much-needed help, losing 14-29 to the Giants.
Head coach Andy Reid did not let the Giant win affect his team's morale in their Saturday afternoon game against Dallas. After all, the Cowboys are his team's arch rival. The Eagles dominated in Big D, securing a 20-7 victory that what could have been a shutout if not for a blocked punt by Dallas in Eagle territory with under a minute left in the game.
"This team came out there and battled like crazy, today," said Reid. "They really played their tails off. The coaches and players are united on this football team and I feel good about the way we are playing as a group.
"We're approaching this with a focus on what's ahead of us. Now, we'll prepare for the Washington Redskins."
Although the 13-year head coach was happy with the win, he knows that wins just aren't the same when your team has been eliminated from post-season play.
"The lesson that this season has taught us is that you can't put yourself in a position where you have to rely upon other teams to get you to the postseason," said Reid. "You have to take care of business early. We're coming together now, but it's too late. It's something I'm very proud about… these guys have done a great job… but we didn't do what we needed to do earlier in the season."
With one more week left in the 2011 season, coach Reid is not ready to start looking backwards, though. His focus is entirely set upon beating the Washington Redskins to get to 8-8 and avoid a losing season. With four-straight wins, the Eagles will look to ride their momentum into the 2012 campaign, in which they'll get a chance to truly make up for what was a disappointing result in 2011.