By Chris Murray
For the Sunday Sun and the CM Report
LANDOVER, Md.–If there is any conclusion that you can come to with the Eagles 20-13 victory over the Washington Redskins is that they not only have a pulse, but they still have a legitimate shot, even at 2-4, at winning the NFC East.
Huh? Did I really say that?
I know optimism isn’t necessarily a Philly trait, but if you look at the NFC East, it’s a division that’s ripe for the taking provided that one of the four teams in question- the Eagles, Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants don’t shoot themselves in the foot.
That’s something that all four teams have had a tendency to do with alarming consistency so far this season.
What has to bother the Eagles and their fans about their current record is that the four games they’ve lost were winnable. Take away the turnovers, mental lapses by both players and coaches, and plain old lack of execution, the Birds could be 5-1 or 6-0 instead of 2-4.
“Every game we’ve lost so far has been because of us,” said Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who caught four passes for 46 yards. “We’ve been stopping ourselves. As long as we can come out here and not have turnovers. As long as we can stop doing that part of the game and stick with what we do best which is go out there, fly around and make plays and take advantage of what the defense gives us.”
Sunday’s win over a first-place Redskins team that doesn’t scare anybody seemed to lift the spirits of a team mired in a frustrating four-game losing streak.
“We know right now how our division is as far as record,” Jackson said. “We’re actually not at a bad spot. Even though we would like to win more games than we lost, we still have a good chance to win out and just keep winning and still have a chance to control the NFC East.”
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said winning Sunday’s game will be the start of a rebirth of his team once they come out of the bye week when they host another NFC East team—the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on Oct.30.
“We’ve got to start from (Sunday) and in each and every game,” said Vick, completed 18-of-31 passes for 237 yards with one touchdown and one interception. “We’re going to enjoy this victory and this bye week and start the season all over again. We definitely feel good where we are right not. Obviously, there’s a lot of work to be done. “
For the much-maligned Eagles defense, it was a day to revel. The defense intercepted Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman four times, something they needed after being smacked around by the Buffalo Bills the previous week. More importantly, they held on to a lead and didn’t give up the kinds of big plays that were the centerpiece of the team’s four-game losing streak.
“That’s progress for us,” said cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. “A lot of times you’ve seen something wrong that happens in the second half, then it’s like ‘Oh no! How do we respond?’ But today, [it was] something wrong happens. You know what to do. Let’s fix it.”
“It wasn’t a perfect game obviously,” Asomugha continued, “In the second half they made a couple of plays, but after that we came through and we were able to stop them. We haven’t been where we wanted to be and the fact that we got a win today is something we can build on. But at the same time, we’ve got to keep everything in perspective and play it one game at a time.”
The winner of the NFC East will be that team can avoid assisting their opponent’s efforts to give them a butt-whuppin.