The Eagles could get a boost from the Giants-Jets game that should be concluding as they take the field Christmas Eve in Dallas. Or they could learn that they have been eliminated from the playoff race, with a Giants victory.
Either way, the Eagles' focus has to be the Cowboys, quarterback Michael Vick said today, echoing head coach Andy Reid.
"You keep an eye (on what's happening) but you try to stay away from watching it. You've got to take care of your responsibilities," Vick said as the Birds began preparations for Dallas. The Eagles' slim hopes of winning the NFC East -- their only path to the playoffs now -- rest on the Jets beating the Giants, the Eagles winning in Dallas, then the Giants beating Dallas the final weekend of the season while the Eagles beat the Redskins.
Vick praised his offensive line, which didn't allow a sack by the Jets Sunday until Vince Young took over late in the game, with the score out of reach. "I'm confident in those guys. They're getting better each and every week and they're growing more and more confident in themselves," he said.
Vick said his ribs, like his o-line are getting better "each and every day."
Linebacker Brian Rolle said the Eagles are having fun on defense, playing more aggressively, not sitting back in their zone as much. He said their blitzes the past two weeks have been so effective because they were not much of a blitz team previously. Obviously, teams are going to be more prepared going forward. "That's why you have to change it up," he said.
Rolle played a role in the Eagles' effective coverage of tight end Jason Witten the first time the teams met. He said today that Witten somehow gets open, despite not being fast, that he would rank him second only to the Falcons' Anthony Gonzalez.
Curtis Marsh has been involved in two punt team disasters the past two weeks, his fumble against the Dolphins and the ball that took a weird bounce and hit his shoulder against the Jets, recovered by New York. Both times, the Eagles' defense got the ball back on the very next play.
"I guess my boys got my back," Marsh said today."It's always unfortunate when you cost your team like that."
Marsh, engaged blocking a Jet, didn't hear returner DeSean Jackson's warning to clear out, that the punt was short. "I know that I could have been looking at DeSean ... I need to look at DeSean and see the hand signal," Marsh said.