It's an old sports adage that played itself out last night in the Eagles/Vikings game. A team with nothing left to lose is a team you need to be afraid of. The Eagles definitely were not scared enough and now they are the 3 seed for the playoffs and no home field advantage.
The Eagles came out looking sluggish. They looked as if they were still frozen from the Philly snowstorm. Vick got a contusion of his quad on the first play of the game and played limping all night. But that wasn't the Eagles main problem. They came into this game not coached up enough to fear the Vikings and Joe Webb. A team that has nothing to play for except team pride - that's the team you have to be scared of and most prepared for. The Vikings are headed for a long vacation. There is no post season for them this year. But they came out and played well. They played with energy. They rallied behind their rookie starter Webb who handled the start very well. They were ready to play and the Eagles were not. Now the Bears have home field advantage and the Eagles get the 6th seed on January 8 or 9.
The Eagles were 2 touchdown favorites coming into this game. If you asked just about anyone who would win, they would have said the Eagles. The Vikings were on their 3rd quarterback. They had had to spend 2 extra days just wandering around Philly wasting time. The game meant nothing to them. Everyone thought the Eagles would win. Everyone but the Eagles obviously. Every facet of their game was off. They just played as if they were headed for a long vacation while the Vikings played as if their season depended on it. If the Eagles play this way in the post season, they will have a short go of it. Sunday's game versus the Cowboys means nothing for the Eagles and the standings so it is doubtful many of their starters will play. But in doing so, there is the risk of players being rusty come January 8 and the risk of them carrying on with this lack of energy they had versus the Vikings. That could lead to a one and done for the Eagles.
The Vikings were a team with nothing left to lose in Tuesday night's game. Now, the Eagles are a team with everything left to lose. It will be interesting to see how they handle it come January 8 or 9.