The schedule. The Eagles went 7-1 down the stretch in 2003 to win home field through the playoffs. Even with five of the last eight games at home this year, it will be hard to dominate a schedule that has only two losing teams on it.
The running game is Philly's glaring deficiency. Washington, beat up on its defensive front and allowing 4.5 yards per carry going into the game, held the Eagles to 45 yards on 23 carries. With a pitiful 58.6 rushing yards per game, the Eagles are last in the league.
The very strong temptation is to order the funeral flowers for the Eagles, but they show enough flashes of life--like McNabb's 56-yard first-quarter touchdown strike to Owens's replacement, rookie Reggie Brown--to persuade you that it's a little early to shovel the dirt on them. "Last year we won 13," McNabb said last Saturday night. "I think we've got 11 wins in us."
That would mean a 7-1 finish, which is hard to imagine without Owens. When he spoke to his silent team after the game on Sunday night, Reid said, "We just made it harder on ourselves, but there's plenty of season left." For the Eagles' sake the second half better not be much like the first.