If you were as surprised as I was by the Philadelphia Eagles' run to the NFC East title in 2006, winning their last 5 games with Jeff Garcia at quarterback in place of the injured Donovan McNabb, brace yourselves: an even more shocking sequel may be in store.
As wretched as they looked two weeks ago in their loss at Baltimore, that coming off the ridiculous tie at Cincinnati, the Eagles now have a fairly clear path to the last NFC Wild Card berth (assuming Carolina or Tampa Bay ends up with the other). Their 20-14 win over the New York Giants -- in a game that wasn't as close as the score would indicate -- combined with losses by Dallas, Washington and Atlanta, leaves six contenders with either 7 or 8 wins. But thanks to The Tie Heard ‘Round The World, the 7-5-1 Eagles have the same 5 losses as the Cowboys and Falcons (both 8-5), and are ahead of the Redskins, New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears (all 7-6).
So all it would take now for the Eagles to reach the playoffs is for them to win their last three games (Cleveland, at Washington, Dallas -- still no easy task with the inconsistency they've shown all year) to beat out every team but Atlanta. The Eagles would need the Falcons to tie or lose one of their remaining games (Tampa Bay, at Minnesota, St. Louis). The Eagles' win over the Falcons earlier in the season would be the tiebreaker in the improbable event of an Atlanta tie.
It's a trip to be a fan of this mind-boggling team. Every time you think you're out, the Eagles pull you back in.