Philadelphia Eagles News

The Right Mentality: Enjoy The Ride!

On the day after the runaway win in Atlanta, the focus is where it needs to be: The Giants wait on Sunday night at their place, and that is a football team coming off a terrific win over Dallas. Nobody is talking about what happened last week, last month, last year. Nobody is looking beyond New York. I call what the Eagles have right now "The stretch-run zone" and it is all about focusing on right now.

So here is what you have to know about the Eagles: At 8-4 and winners of three straight games, they get cornerback Joselio Hanson back this week after his four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. DeSean Jackson, barring any setbacks after his concussion against Washington, should be at practice this week and hungry after missing Sunday's win. The Eagles also are a step closer to having linebacker Akeem Jordan available to play, but we're not going to know about that until later in the week. Head coach Andy Reid will provide updates on Brian Westbrook and Kevin Curtis as well in the days to come.

The matchup against the Giants is a particularly intriguing one, because New York has been so Jekyll and Hyde this season. The Giants were outstanding on Sunday in defeating Dallas. They know what it is like to put together a strong stretch run, and the Giants will be a formidable opponent in Philadelphia's last regular-season visit to Giants Stadium.

We have a great week ahead. The Eagles have played their way back into the consciousness of the NFC's playoff picture with three straight victories. It is coming together for this football team at exactly the right time, and Sunday night is going to give the Eagles the perfect stage to show just how far they've come.

For now, hey, it's time for the players to heal after Sunday's win. It is time for the coaches to grade the game against Atlanta and put together the game plan for New York. And it is time for all of us to appreciate another playoff run in December and to enjoy the ride ...


  • Michael Vick was a game captain in Atlanta and he was a focus of a lot of media attention for sure, but I'm not buying into this notion that the Eagles "showcased" him against Atlanta. Vick had two touches in the first half and then had one on a score on the drive that opened the third quarter. Then Vick had three touches in the first drive of the fourth quarter -- the 43-yard completion to Reggie Brown, a scramble and the touchdown pass to Brent Celek. The Eagles have worked on that pass to Celek a lot and clearly wanted to put that play on film in that situation. Vick had four runs and two passes. He had success. And a lot of media were there to cover it. Is that showcasing?
  • Sheldon Brown and Asante Samuel both deserve to be in the Pro Bowl this season, and I see no reason it can't happen. Both have the numbers and the reputations. Both have played exceedingly well. Major kudos to Brown for his big play(s) on Sunday and to Samuel for the best support against the run that I have seen from him. Excellent tackling from Samuel.
  • The future for Vick, and I'm talking about this season, has to include touches in the red zone. He is such a factor there. Keep him in the game plan there, coaches.
  • I love the way Sean Jones has stepped forward at the free safety position. He is very physical and it was great seeing him come up with the interception in Atlanta.
  • Best game of the year for Darren Howard, who had a couple of tipped passes and a sack. It would be great to get him on a hot streak down the stretch.
  • Keep your eye on the Giants injury report this week. Pro Bowl guard Chris Snee suffered a knee injury against Dallas and had an MRI on Monday. If he can't play on Sunday night, that would be a huge blow for the Giants.
  • What I most like about Jeremy Maclin is that he gets a little bit better every week. His punt return was a beauty against the Falcons, so now that he has a big return we should see him advance in that phase of his game. And his hands and route running just improve every week. He is a big-time player.
  • Maybe you weren't watching too closely by then, but Eldra Buckley really brought it in the running game late. Ran hard, slashed, looked good.
  • Will Witherspoon is so active on the field. He really goes sideline to sideline and his coverage skills are key. Good, good football player.
  • Mike Patterson dominated in Atlanta.
  • Such a shame that David Akers missed his 39-yard field goal, one that would have given him his 18th straight field goal and a new franchise mark. He just missed to the left on the attempt, but that should not diminish anything. He is in a sweet groove.
  • Have you noticed the improvement, week by week, of the special teams? Good coverage and the return game is providing some big plays. Keep up the hard work, guys.
  • Once Hanson is active, the Eagles have to make an adjustment to the 53-man roster. Best guess is that Jordan Norwood goes back to the practice squad, but that's just a guess.
  • Todd Herremans did a heck of a job replacing Jason Peters at left tackle once again. Herremans is so good, so solid and so underrated. It's a shame he missed the first month and a half of the season, or he would probably merit some Pro Bowl consideration.
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