Philadelphia Eagles are playing their way back into contention
Dubbed a "Dream Team" by backup quarterback Vince Young before the season, the Eagles got off to a disastrous 1-4 start. But back-to-back wins, including a particularly impressive 34-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, appear to have the Eagles right back in the NFC playoff hunt as midseason approaches.
It might be tough to catch the NFC East-leading New York Giants, who have a two-game lead and who already won in Philadelphia earlier this season (the rematch in New York is Nov. 20). And one of the NFC wild-card spots appears to be the Detroit Lions' to lose.
But after that there's a huge mess of teams at 4-3 and 3-4 with an eye on that last bid, and the Eagles are right there in the mix. Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and company showed a national television audience how good the Eagles can be Sunday night against the Cowboys.
Vick completed 21 of 28 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Eagles to points on their first six possessions. McCoy had a career-best 185 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Plus, the Eagles' early season losses don't seem as bad as they did at the time. The San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills are surprise contenders this season and the Atlanta Falcons seem to have righted the ship after a slow start of their own.
There's a lot of work left to be done -- especially with tough matchups with the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and New York Jets looming -- but at least the Eagles are giving their fans a little something to dream about again.
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: Michael Vick eludes a tackle by Demarcus Ware. Credit: Michael Bryant / Philadelphia Inquirer / MCT