For the second consecutive week, the Eagles were matched up against a team with a record identical to their own. Surely, the Eagles wished those two teams were the playoff-bound Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, and not the middling Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins.
Regardless of whom they were playing Sunday, the Eagles coaches had to be happy with their team's performance, as they put together a 26-10 victory.
Head coach Andy Reid spoke proudly of his team's performance in his post-game press conference.
"This was a matchup between two teams that needed to win," he said. "We both fought hard against one another, but our guys were able to come out on top. I'm proud of my team, and I'm especially proud of my defense."
Sunday's win over the Dolphins came thanks in large part to Juan Castillo's defense, which allowed only 204 net yards. They also notched season-high 9.0 sacks, including one for a safety in the fourth quarter. It was the most sacks by an Eagles team since 2008, in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Defensive ends Trent Cole and Jason Babin had 3.0 sacks each.
"In order to win in the NFL, you have to put forth a great effort," said Reid. "We've had enthusiasm all year and against Miami you saw that spill out onto the football field. I know Juan has said this before, but the defense has continued to work on the fundamentals and has just kept working, and working. That group did a really nice job, today.
"It's very important to be able to force turnovers, and it's equally important to be able to score off them. We did that today."
For the offense, Michael Vick started at quarterback after missing three weeks with as many broken ribs. The dynamic signal-caller got off to a slow start, but eventually pulled the team together. Reid expressed pleasure when recounting the 10-year veteran's performance.
"I think Mike did a good job for having just come back off of injury," he said. "He started off a little rusty, but he and the offensive line were able to settle down and get it together. We would have liked to have gotten a few more points in the second half, but we did a great job in the first quarter offensively."
In the second quarter, the offense exploded for 24 unanswered points, with two touchdowns coming on runs by LeSean McCoy, who now has 17 total on the season, one behind Steve Van Buren's franchise record set in 1945.
Now, sitting at 5-8, the Eagles need to win out and get some help (i.e. losses) from their division rivals in order to earn a spot in the playoffs. This week, the 6-6 Giants face off against the 7-5 Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football and as hard as it will be, Eagles fans everywhere will need to pull for a Big Blue victory over the division-leading Cowboys.
Coach Reid was coyly dismissive when asked if he would be intently watching the game.
"Oh, I didn't even know they were playing tonight," he said. "Well, have at it!"