One of the advantages of the Eagles having played on Thursday night, aside from their 10-day layoff to prepare for the Dallas Cowboys, is that they get to sit back on Sunday and just watch some football.
So, what games should Eagles fans pay attention to?
Washington Redskins at New York Giants, 1 PM
At 7-4, the Giants trail the Eagles by a half-game. Sure they're favored at home against a 5-6 Washington Redskins team, but any game within the NFC East is guaranteed to be hotly contested. Donovan McNabb can do the Eagles a favor if he can steal one in East Rutherford, and he's got plenty of motivation himself as he sets out to prove that he can be Mike Shanahan's quarterback of the future. The Giants will be without their top two wideouts, which should help a Redskins defense that is allowing over 400 yards per game.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, 1 PM
After their defeat of the Eagles, the Bears lead the Eagles by a half-game and own any tiebreaker, so the Eagles will have to finish a game ahead of the Bears to top them in any playoff seeding. This seems like a mismatch on paper with the Lions set to start Drew Stanton, but the Lions have been dangerous, if not inconsistent, at home. Hopefully, the Bears are looking ahead to next week's game against the New England Patriots and for the Lions to steal one.
* New Orleans Saints at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 PM*
The Bengals have been one of the more disappointing teams in the league in 2010, but perhaps a 10-day buildup to prepare helps them against the Saints, who are a half-game ahead of the Eagles. The NFC South is pretty stacked at the top, but the more losses for the Saints, the better.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers, 1 PM
The Packers are another team who will have a tiebreaker advantage over the Eagles come the regular season close because of their Week 1 victory at Lincoln Financial Field. Like the Bears, they're also a half-game up on Andy Reid's crew. The Packers will be plenty motivated after last week's loss to the Atlanta Falcons as they welcome in the 49ers. Here's another chance for an old Eagle to help out his former team as Brian Westbrook takes over the reins at the No. 1 running back after Frank Gore's season-ending injury.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:15 PM
Who to root for in this one, the 9-2 Falcons or the 7-4 Bucs? The vote here is for Josh Freeman and the home team since the Falcons are the current leader at the top of the NFC. The Eagles also hold the tiebreaker over the Falcons thanks to their Kevin Kolb-led victory over the Falcons in Week 6. Matt Ryan and the Falcons haven't lost a game since. They're undefeated at home though, so perhaps a division road game will be the recipe for a dropped game.
Dallas Cowboys at Indianapolis Colts, 4:15 PM
This one isn't about playoff implications for the Eagles, but rather for getting the scouting report on next week's opponent. Rest assured this is the game the Eagles coaching staff will be watching. The Cowboys' level of play has been much improved since Jason Garrett took over as the interim head coach but they're still way out of the playoff race. Regardless, they'll be plenty motivated next week to play spoiler against the heated rival Eagles.
Enjoy the couch, Eagles fans.
*-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 7:00 a.m., December 5 *