Another late season rally?

One of the statistics that the Eagles like to tout is how well the team has done in the final month of the season under Andy Reid.

If you are still holding out hope that this team can make the playoffs, you obviously have to hope for similar success and some help along the way.

In 2006, the Eagles were pummeled in Indianapolis on a Sunday night game, 45-21, in Jeff Garcia's first game as quarterback following Donovan McNabb's knee injury. The Eagles then reeled off five consecutive wins to finish 10-6 and win the NFC East. That stretch included back-to-back-to-back road wins at Washington the Giants and the Cowboys.

In 2007, the Eagles fell to 5-8 in early December with a 16-13 home loss to the Giants, ending their playoff hopes. They then won their last three games to finish 8-8 and a game out of the wild-card race as the 9-7 Redskins grabbed the final playoff spot.

Say what you want about the end of last season -- many argue that since the playoffs were out of reach, it did not really matter how they fared in those last three games -- but they did win the games. You also could argue that those wins did more harm than good, convincing the team's management that the Eagles were better than they are and not leading to more significant changes in personnel this offseason.

Now, we come to 2008. The Eagles have already taken care of business this week and stand at 6-5-1, with the Giants, Browns, Redskins and Cowboys standing in front of them.

As we look at the standings on this dreary Sunday morning, some games to keep your eyes on are Giants at Washington, Carolina at Green Bay, New Orleans at Tampa Bay and Chicago at Minnesota in the Sunday night game. Still, the Eagles can be no better than ninth in the conference at the end of the day.

It is hard to see the Eagles making another late-season rally, especially given the opposition. It is even harder to see a way this team makes the playoffs, although you will not hear any of the Eagles say that. Then again, that's what keeps it interesting ...