Behind the league's leading rusher LeSean McCoy the Philadelphia Eagles could end the weekend in first place with a win over the New York Giants combined with a Dallas Cowboys loss. Photo courtesy Sports Illustrated.
Believe it or not, by the end of the weekend the Philadelphia Eagles could be in first place atop the NFC East division after five weeks.
As if there weren't enough drama with two struggling clubs taking the field at MetLife Stadium when the 1-3 Eagles take on the 0-4 New York Giants, the Birds could leave North Jersey leading the division.
If the Eagles can put together their first complete sixty minute effort and come away with a win over the Giants combined with the Dallas Cowboys falling to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, the Birds will finish Sunday as the NFC east leaders.
Just don't expect Chip Kelly to go overboard celebrating the feat.
“I talked to our team about that on Tuesday,” Kelly said. “I had some people tell me that if Dallas loses this weekend and we win, we’re in first place.
“I was fired up. I called the league office. I wanted to find out when we get the trophy and when the trophy presentation would be.”
Clearly Kelly was kidding.
“And I got the same response [from the team],” he said. “They started laughing. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re in first place the first week of October, what matters is are you in first place after Dec. 29.
“But this week contributes being in first place on Dec. 29, so let’s not waste energy and time on, ‘If this happens and this happens and this happens.’ You have two choices. You can wish for things to happen or you can plan for things to happen, and our job as a team is to prepare to play the New York Giants.”
Despite stumbling in three consecutive AFC west games, a win over the Giants would put the Eagles in the drivers seat early in the division race with both a 2-0 record in division and conference play which could certainly change the tide of the season.
While it may be difficult to envision this team having the ability to string together multiple wins, it is entirely possible that at 8-8 or 7-9, a division championship banner could be added to the rafters at Lincoln Financial Field.
The road map for this team does get easier. In the first quarter of the season the Eagles lost three games against teams that boast a combined record of 10-2. Their opponents the rest of the season are a pedestrian 16-31.
While it's fun to look ahead and think of the possibilities, don't expect the players to participate in such activities.
“Nobody’s looking on the overall big picture, because no matter what happens around us, if we don’t handle our business on the field, we don’t get better at things we have to get better at, it doesn’t matter what other teams do in the division,” DeMeco Ryans said.
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.