Another prime time game for the Eagles means another chance for Eagles fans to keep an eye on the rest of the league as the league begins the final quarter of the season. At 8-4, the Eagles currently are tied atop the NFC East with the Giants - the Eagles have the current tiebreaker edge because of their head-to-head victory but the rematch looms next Sunday - and are in a muddled wild card picture that will eventually discard one of the Eagles, Giants, 10-2 Atlanta Falcons, 9-3 New Orleans Saints, 8-4 Green Bay Packers and 9-3 Chicago Bears.
The biggest game on the agenda for the Eagles to watch today would have been the Giants in Minnesota against the Vikings. But because of a severe snowstorm that diverted the Giants team plane and partially collapsed the Metrodome, the game is in flux at the moment. It was originally postponed until Monday night, but now with the Metrodome unplayable, the league is looking for a new location for the game. The unforeseen chain of events is a good thing for the Eagles for a few reasons. First, it will allow Brett Favre's injured shoulder more time to heal in advance of the matchup. But more importantly, it means the Giants will head into next Sunday's pivotal matchup on short rest.
As for the rest of the league's Sunday action, here's what to watch for.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions, 1 P.M.
The Packers will hold any tiebreaker edge over the Eagles as a result of their Week 1 win in Philadelphia. However, they have a tough stretch of final games that begins with this divisional tilt on the road. The Lions have been feisty, especially at home, and could be ripe for an upset. If the Packers can get past Calvin Johnson and the Lions, their final three games will be at New England, home to the Giants and then a Week 17 clash that could be for the NFC North with the Bears.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, 1 P.M.
The Falcons sit atop the conference at 10-2 and look likely for a first-round bye, but the Eagles are pulling for a mini collapse from Matt Ryan and the Falcons because their 31-17 victory in Week 6 gives them the tiebreaker edge. A slip-up in Carolina would be surprising for the Falcons, but perhaps a road-game in the division following last week's win in Tampa Bay could be the recipe for a letdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Redskins, 1 P.M.
Donovan McNabb had a chance to do his old team a favor last week in New York but the Redskins came out flat and were dominated on the road. Perhaps they can step up their game at home this week when they welcome in the upstart Bucs. Last week's crushing home loss to the Falcons means the Bucs probably have to win out to have any chance at the playoffs, but this has been an impressive season for them nonetheless. This is also as good a time as any to remind you to keep voting for Donovan McNabb to the Pro Bowl. We want that third-round pick.
St. Louis Rams at New Orleans Saints, 4:05 P.M.
Somehow, the 9-3 defending champs have been flying a little under the radar. The Saints are still in the mix for the NFC South crown, but they're also the leading wildcard contender at the moment. The Rams are looking like a playoff team themselves, albeit at 6-6 in the bottom-feeding NFC West. This game should give the league a look at whether the Rams are ready to play with the big boys, and Eagles fans will be Sam Bradford fans for an afternoon.
New England Patriots at Chicago Bears, 4:15 P.M.
The Patriots flexed their muscles in a big way last Monday night when they smoked their rival Jets 45-3. Now, they travel to Chicago to face the Bears at Soldier Field under what are expected to be snowy conditions. That may slow down the Patriots passing game a bit, but then again, Tom Brady has never been one to back off in the snow. The Eagles are big Patriots fans in this one as they hope the Bears collapse in this daunting four-game closing stretch. If the Bears can somehow beat the Patriots at home Sunday, they stare down a trip to Minnesota, a home game with the Jets and a trip to Green Bay.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 11:18 a.m., December 12