Updated Dec. 26
With one week left in the regular season, we've had some amazing stories take place.
But is any as improbable as the Philadelphia Eagles?
|Brian Dawkins and the Eagles defense have come on strong, too. (AP)|
Not only are they still alive, but if they beat the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, they will be the NFC East champions -- with Jeff Garcia at quarterback.
Take that, T.O.
When Donovan McNabb was lost for the season with a torn ACL six weeks ago, the Eagles were 5-5 and appeared to be a team in disarray. Not only were they without their team leader and star passer, but they were having major issues on defense, especially against the run.
They went to Indianapolis in Garcia's first start and got blown out of the building. They haven't lost since, including winning three consecutive games on the road against NFC East teams to vault into first place.
Most will point to Garcia as the reason why. And he's had a huge impact, but the real reason for the turnaround is a guy much bigger -- in stature and size -- than the quarterback.
It’s the coach. Andy Reid has once again showed why he's one of the best in the NFL. A month ago, there were some who questioned whether Reid was the right guy for the job, hinting that maybe it was time for a change. That was lunacy then. It's even more so now.
Reid has proved the doubters wrong in a big way. Anybody who can win a division with a backup quarterback, even one with the experience of Garcia, knows how to coach.
The Eagles have made a fast rise up the CBS SportsLine.com Power Rankings thanks to their four-game winning streak. They are now in the seventh spot, the third-highest ranked NFC team.
That was unfathomable a month ago.
Now that the Eagles are just one game away from being division champs -- and already in the playoffs -- here's a word of warning to the other teams in the conference, including the Bears: Beware.
With Reid calling the offensive shots and Jim Johnson, the master of the blitz, running the defense, the Eagles are in good hands. Plus, there are a lot of playoff-savvy veterans.
The only questions are whether the Garcia bubble bursts or the run defense reverts to its troublesome ways of a month ago. If the latter happens, a lot more pressure will be put on Garcia and the offense, and one has to wonder if he can handle that type of burden.
But let's face it. Whatever the Eagles get from here on out is gravy. Nobody expected the Eagles to be in this situation, probably not even guys on the roster.
They owe a lot of where they are to Garcia. But the real star is Reid.
And to think some in Philly actually wanted him fired a month ago.
How funny is that now?