JEFF MCLANE Record, 5-10.
If Andy Reid deserves to get fired for finishing with an 8-8 or 7-9 record then I guess I should be stripped of my prognostication responsibilities. Or maybe next season I should stop posting my record each week. (Note to self: Do this!) That being said, I feel as if I’ve helped fuel this late season charge from the Eagles. After I picked the Eagles to beat the Seahawks and they lost in pathetic fashion I said I would not pick against their opponent the rest of the way. And guess what, the Eagles went on a three-game winning streak.
Some may be cursing my fate because they wanted the Eagles to lose out, have Reid get fired and get a high draft pick. To those of you, I sincerely say I’m sorry.
But with Washington coming to town it’s going to be difficult to pick against the Eagles. The Redskins aren’t very good, in case you haven’t been paying attention. Rex Grossman may be the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. How this guy could have predicted that his team would win the NFC East before the season doesn’t cease to amaze.
So the Eagles should get to .500. But the end result shouldn’t be of much concern. What you want to see if you’re the Eagles is, first, no significant injuries. You want to see Michael Vick go out on a high note. His passing numbers have been better over the last two weeks, but his mechanics are still all over the place. This next off-season, needless to say, will be the most important of his career. He was robbed last year from having a proper off-season when he needed it most. This is make or break time for Vick.
You also want to see the defense deliver another stout performance. I’m still under the impression that Juan Castillo won’t return as defensive coordinator next season – at least he won’t without having someone brought in to help – but that group could benefit from a strong finish. The starting 11 – with safety Jaiquawn Jarrett and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in for the injured Kurt Coleman and Asante Samuel – on the field Sunday could be your starting 11 next season, although you got to believe an upgrade at linebacker will take place.
As for my pick, I made a promise and I’m sticking with it. Redskins, 21-20.
What goes right: DeSean Jackson has a big day, finishes the season with over 1,000 yards receiving and tells reporters after the game that he’ll take whatever contract extension the Eagles offer for next season.
What goes wrong: Jarrett gets taken to school.
I swore I wouldn’t pick the Eagles again after they laid down in Seattle and got run out of the building. All that got me was three more losses as the team followed up by beating the Dolphins, Jets and Cowboys.
Reid critics have pointed out that none of those teams are exactly juggernauts, but then again, neither are the Redskins. In fact, Washington might be worse than any of the teams the Eagles have beaten in this too-late winning streak. The Redskins have lost 9 of their past 11 games and are still led by Grossman.
The Eagles have found some pride in finishing strong and their 4-1 record in the NFC East. They ran all over the Redskins the first time they played, gaining 192 yards on the ground to go along with four interceptions off Grossman. The Redskins have been better against the run for much of the year, but last week they surrendered rushing 241 yards to the Vikings, even though Adrian Peterson had just 12 carries before leaving with an injury. LeSean McCoy could have one last big day for his breakout season.
The Eagles have more talent in nearly every area, and even if it seemed closer, there’s no way I’m picking Grossman. Eagles, 31-10.
What goes right: The Eagles get a big lead early, and Washington starts thinking about the offseason.
What goes wrong: Chad Hall isn’t the answer on kick off returns.