Planning For Next Year
Forget that the 19-14 win was over a 2-9 team, the Eagles needed a victory desperately. It wasn't pretty, but very little has been during this disappointing Eagles season. Soon after the win, with the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins having lost, there were a few misguided souls in the press box claiming that the Eagles are alive in the playoff race.
Three words: Forget about it!
There will be no playoff run, but the Eagles can still finish the down season on an up note. Especially with so many young players who are now contributing.
Add rookies Todd Herremans and Ryan Moats to that list of new contributors. Herremans played in his first regular season NFL game at left tackle and performed well. And Moats, who was activated for only the third time this season, earned his first carries of the season. He gained 24 yards on six carries and forced and recovered a fumble of a kickoff.
The offensive line now has three players - Herremans, Jamaal Jackson and Adrien Clarke, who have a total of five NFL starts.
The Eagles will be the last ones to admit that the final five games are for preparing for next year. Until they are mathematically eliminated, they should feel like they can contend.
Still, the foundation is being set for young players to make big contributions these final five games. And when coach Andy Reid and his staff evaluate players for next year, they will have a much better handle on things.
Of course, they would rather have looked toward next year at a more opportune time - next year. Still, this gives the Eagles one leg up on the future, even though they would much rather be playing for the present.