I was pleased to be joined by Jason, our Philadelphia Eagles affiliate over at Bleeding Green Nation, to preview our final Monday Night game of the season.
Chris: "After two disappointing efforts against the Bengals and the Ravens, the Eagles have rebounded against arguably two of the NFC's three best teams over the past two weeks. With a strong finish, the Eagles could become this year's Washington Redskins -- capturing a playoff berth just when everyone counted them out. In a crowded wildcard race, do you think the Eagles will capture the final playoff spot?"
Jason: "Funny enough, in 2006 the Eagles did exactly what they are attempting to do now. After looking completely our of it the Eagles won 5 straight to end that season and beat some division and conference rivals en route to an unlikely division title and playoff victory. They made that run the same way they are making this one, by relying on Brian Westbrook and playing great defense. I think the defense is going to do it's part as it's been pretty good all year.
What worries me is the offense. They can look as good as any in the NFL one week and throw up a complete stinker the next. That's what happens when you thrown the ball 70% of the time, you can run hot and cold. If they stay committed to the run and Westbrook stays healthy... I absolutely think we could get to the postseason. At this point, the Eagles control their own destiny if either Atlanta or Tampa lose one more time."
Chris: "The Eagles have struggled against the AFC North this season, while the Browns are 2-0 on Monday Night Football. Despite the opposite directions these teams are headed in, do you think these "extracurricular" statistics will have any impact on this game?"
Jason: "The Eagles are 1-1-1 against the AFC North this year thanks to the bizarre tie with the Bengals. I don't put too much into the records on certain nights or anything like that. The Eagles had lost a couple of Monday and Sunday night games this year and everyone was assuming they couldn't play in prime time... Then suddenly they turn in one of their best performances of the year against Arizona in prime time. So I really have never bought the idea that the start time favors anyone.
I think the Browns' dominance of the Giants on Monday night and the Eagles dominance of the Cards in primetime had more to do with them being at home than anything."
Chris: "If you could have any member of the Cleveland Browns right now, who would it be and why? Who will win this Monday?"
Jason: "I would take Kellen Winslow. Despite the fact that he's pretty injury prone and somewhat of a head case, there's no denying the guy's talent and the Eagles could really use an upgrade at TE. A real playmaker at TE would really change the dynamic of this offense.
I think the Eagles are going to win. They really have everything going for them at this point. They're at home. They're playing well the past few weeks, the Browns are not. They're in the playoff race, the Browns aren't. If the Eagles continue to play defense like they have and stick with the formula that's worked on offense I absolutely do think the Eagles will win."
Interesting that Jason chose Winslow, considering the fact there were surprise rumors right before the trading deadline that the Eagles had asked about the talented tight end. Thanks again to Jason for answering my questions -- my piece can be seen here on Bleeding Green Nation