The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for Fanhouse.com

Speed kills for Eagles

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Ten days ago, I watched Michael Vick (with DeSean Jackson's help) get Philadelphia 28 points in the fourth quarter to snatch the NFC East from the Giants.

No, I didn't expect it. But in hindsight it didn't surprise me. I've been on the Eagles' bandwagon all season. Since last year actually because -- to use a cliche that's been around since the 1960s -- speed kills. And when the speed is at the quarterback position, it kills you worse.

So Philadelphia is my favorite in the NFC, something which will probably disappoint their fans. For if they win the Super Bowl, they won't have Andy Reid to kick around anymore. Well, maybe if they get to the Super Bowl and lose they can stay on Reid, who is appreciated everywhere but in the city where he's done nothing but win.

I'm saying that even with the Eagles' loss Monday night. The team got a bad game out of their system and Vick got a bad game out of his. Yes, they lost their chance at a first round bye, but teams have won Super Bowls the hard way, most recently the Giants three years ago when they had to win three games on the road to get to the championship contest. Philly gets one game at home.

I'm not writing this in stone because the Eagles are hardly the perfect team. The Giants got ahead of them 31-10 by exploiting their weaknesses, notably the secondary and by shutting down LeSean McCoy and the run. But what happened in the final quarter is why Philadelphia is so dangerous -- you can pressure Vick for 52 minutes, make him run to his right and not his left and sack him four times.

And he kills you in the final eight.

Of the other likely playoff teams, I like Atlanta, New Orleans and Green Bay -- if the Packers make it. I think they will because I think they will win a must-win game against the Bears, who I don't particularly like because I'm not a fan of Jay Cutler, especially when he's pressured. Maybe I'm biased because I was at the game in which the Giants sacked him nine times in the first half, a ridiculous figure. Yes, Cutler is better now and Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher as playing as well as ever, but ...

I just don't like Chicago.

So in with the Saints, Falcons and Packers and most of all the Eagles -- I'm not even counting whoever wins the West. Heck, you could throw the Redskins in and they'd probably do better than Seattle or St. Louis. (The only advantage they have is that they're not coached by the Shanahan family.)

I know championships are won with defense and you certainly can score on Philadelphia, especially by throwing to the side on which Dimitri Patterson is stationed. Eli Manning threw four TD passes against the Eagles and he didn't have his best receiver, Steve Smith.

But if you score on Philadelphia, it can come right back on you: Vick to DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek. Vick by himself, 20 or 30 yards at a clip with his legs.

I know, you don't get to the Super Bowl with 38-31 wins. More like the 17-14 thing the Saints put on the Falcons Monday night.

But you asked who I like in a wide-open NFC?

Go Iggles.

By Dave Goldberg  |  December 28, 2010; 1:52 PM ET  | Category:  Atlanta Falcons , Chicago Bears , Dave Goldberg , Michael Vick , NFC , New Orleans Saints , Philadelphia Eagles , Playoffs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: When will they ever learn? | Next: Sticking with the Falcons

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did he do it against Minn. ,no

Posted by: dcg326 | December 29, 2010 3:48 PM

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