The word came down early in the afternoon Sunday as the snowstorm in Philadelphia intensified: Sunday night's game against the Eagles would move 48 hours, to Tuesday night for what will be an extraordinary spectacle of Tuesday Night Football for, I'm going to say, the first time in the modern history of this franchise.
Football on Tuesday night? Are you serious?
Very much so. That the league decided to move the game was no surprise. The Nor'easter ripping through the region is a nasty one, sure to strand travelers and make us all home-bound for the next day or so. As for the team, well, the players were holed up at their night-before hotel until the announcement was made and then they packed up and left and got in their workouts and watched some film and then went home and tried to re-adjust their intensity clocks 48 hours ahead.
The league and NBC wanted this game to remain in prime time, which is why the game wasn't re-scheduled to be played on Monday evening, perhaps a couple of hours earlier than the Saints-Falcons game. Given the prime-time draw of Michael Vick and, with an extra 48 hours to clear his head and pass his concussion tests, Brett Favre, the decision was made to play on Tuesday night and with that, there are a whole series of questions.
From an Eagles standpoint, you wonder how it affects them for this game and then, with only five days of rest, when the Dallas Cowboys come to town for what is scheduled to be a 1 p.m. game on Sunday (for now, anyway. Don't be shocked if that game moves, either.) Can the Eagles get their bodies right? Playing on Tuesday night is one thing, and both teams have to go through it, but coming back five days later *and then potentially *playing in the post-season is a very real challenge. At least when the Eagles played Houston on Thursday night after losing in Chicago they had the luxury of having a semi-bye weekend before playing at Dallas.
If the Eagles have to play in the wild card round of the playoffs, they won't have that extra rest. And if the league were to schedule the Eagles for a Saturday playoff game .... I can't let the blood pressure rise just yet.
Minnesota is also put into a bind, once again. The road-dogged Vikings went through the hassles of having their home game postponed and then re-scheduled last week and they had a home game in Detroit a week earlier, and now they have to do it again on the road. The players packed for a one-night stay. Now they will be here for three nights in a hotel room without any practice facilities.
How Andy Reid handles his players for another couple of days is a key issue. The players aren't going to sit around, that's for sure. He is going to have to get them in the gym for workouts and into the practice facility at the NovaCare Complex for some walkthroughs or whatever he might plan. It is very possible that Minnesota will have Favre and Adrian Peterson in the lineup, so the Eagles are going to see the best the Vikings have.
And the Eagles are going to have to be extremely strong mentally and physically here. These are a must-win pair of games. The Eagles have their sights set on a division title and then a No. 2 seed in the playoffs and a needed bye week.
But the circumstances are crazy. What can you do? The league moved the game from 1 p.m. because NBC wanted Vick, wanted the Eagles. They understood the risks, of course. Philadelphia is a cold-weather location, one of only a couple of cold-weather cities hosting a game today.
And now, Lincoln Financial Field is empty for two more days. The stadium workers and the city will prepare for the grand event, for the fun of Tuesday Night Football in Philadelphia.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Just hope that the coaching staff and the players are ready to go for a two-game final stretch in a never-before-experience window that gives the players a very short period of time to prepare.