By Kevin McGuire
The Eagles enter the final weekend of the season with plenty of questions to address in the offseason, but do not expect anyone taking the field Sunday afternoon in MetLife Stadium to be letting that affect them. Long since eliminated from playoff contention, the Eagles can make it impossible for the rival New York Giants, defending Super Bowl champions, to make the playoffs Sunday.
The Giants need to win in order to remain alive, but will still be clinging to the edge of a twig of the playoff tree, needed a number of complex results to follow suit. With the NFC East to be decided Sunday night between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys, the Giants are in need of a number of factors to go their way Sunday for a wild card spot, but on the other side of the field they will face a team with nothing to lose. But will the Eagles have it in them to come out and play hard for what could be the final game of the Andy Reid era? Perhaps appropriately enough, Reid’s final game could come against a team that has had the fits against Reid and his team in recent years. Despite winning a pair of Super Bowls, Tom Coughlin and the Giants have had some rough games against Reid and the Eagles. Entering the weekend, starting quarterback Eli Manning will be just 1-8 in his last nine starts against the Eagles.
The Eagles of course will have an interesting storyline to follow surrounding their quarterback situation. With rookie Nick Foles being placed on injured reserve this week, Mike Vick will return to the starting line-up, his first since being placed on the injury reports with a concussion. Vick has been cleared to play by doctors but Reid stuck with Foles with the season’s ultimate fate and reality already determined.
“That may be the case but I’m just praying it’s not my last football game ever (for this team),” Vick said this week. Vick has never been one to shy away form where he feels he stands as a quarterback in the NFL, and the thought of not starting is not something Vick appears to be happy with. With the future of the organization and the direction of the coaching still to be determined, it remains unknown just how Vick plays in to the picture for 2013. For now, Vick cannot worry about that.
“I don’t think about it. The only thing I think about is going out there and trying to be productive for this football team, enjoy the last game (of the season) with my teammates, and make the most of it.”
Reid certainly is not wasting any time pondering his future. At least, he would never admit to it. When asked if he took a moment to think that this could be his final Sunday coaching the Eagles, Reid shrugged it aside as he has done with many questions over the past 14 seasons.
“I really haven’t,” Reid responded. “I’m spending my time getting ready for New York. Want to make sure we play well, play better than we’ve been playing and coach better and play better. So, that’s really where my energy’s gone.”
Reid took heavy criticism by some for bringing Vick on to the roster a few years ago. He took some again by starting Kevin Kolb over Vick, and some bold Eagles fans may have gone so far to suggest Foles should have been starting this entire season. The general feeling seems to be that if the Eagles do in fact make a change with the head coach this offseason, Vick’s time in Philadelphia could be up as well.
There will be plenty of time to answer some of those questions, perhaps even as early as Monday or Tuesday. Maybe even Sunday. But for now, the Eagles are focused on just one thing, and that is beating the Giants.
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Kevin McGuire covers college football for Examiner.com and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow him on Twitter (@KevinOnCFB). His work can be found on Examiner.com.