What Michael Vick orchestrated in the final eight minutes at the New Meadowlands Stadium will be remembered forever. His 65-yard strike to Brent Celek, the back-breaking runs through the heart of an exhausted Giants defense, the pass to Jeremy Maclin that tied the game; all highlights that will live on in Eagles history.
But as the team arrived this morning at the NovaCare Complex for their first practice of the week, the exuberance from Sunday's history comeback had subsided. For the NFL is a week-to-week league, and Vick knows that to overlook the Minnesota Vikings would be a foolish mistake.
"You can't coast along any week during the season," the Eagles quarterback said Wednesday. "We know the magnitude of this game and what's at stake, and we have to go out and get it. Nothing is going to be given to you; everything has to be earned."
What can be earned come Sunday night is an NFC East championship – the Eagles' first since 2006. Considering what the Eagles went through this season with the uncertainty at quarterback, a plethora of injuries, and the youth of the team in general, a division crown would be an impressive accomplishment.
"To work as hard as we've worked throughout the season, and to accomplish so much, (a division championship) would definitely put the stamp on this season," Vick said. "We just have to continue to move forward. This is just one stepping stone, with plenty more hurdles to cross."
The Eagles could very well clinch the NFC East before they even take the field Sunday night. The Giants will travel to Green Bay Sunday in a critical game for the playoff hopes of both teams. A Packers win at home, where they are awfully tough to beat, would deliver the division crown to Philadelphia.
The Eagles, however, won't concern themselves with playoff scenarios (although they might keep an eye on that game considering what's at stake). Of more pressing importance to Vick is an aggressive Vikings defense - one that doesn't lack experience.
"They're a group of veteran guys," Vick said Wednesday. "They play hard, and I think they're much better than their record shows. You really have to go out and execute against them and put plays together and score points. They're a good, sound group … a good veteran group."
Every team sets goals in training camp for the upcoming season, and the Eagles are no different. Sunday night, they have a chance to accomplish one of those goals. But with the way this team has prepared all season, there's no evidence to suggest they'll look one second past a Vikings team with nothing to lose.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 1:10 p.m., December 22