One may look at the weekend of football ahead and wonder if the Philadelphia Eagles should even send their regulars out to play the Chicago Bears. Until the Dallas Cowboys’ game concludes on Sunday afternoon, the assumption is that Philadelphia will need to matchup and beat Dallas in the final game of the season to win the division and earn a playoff spot. Regardless of how well or poorly they play this weekend, it doesn’t matter.
That, however, may not be the case.
First, after a poor showing, especially defensively in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia could definitely use the work against a playoff caliber opponent to prepare for what’s to come. Be that the Cowboys or a playoff position, playing a strong opponent can only help. It will matter.
The discussion of injury and preparation over rest will always exist, but after watching their win streak end last week the Eagles could use something positive to build on. That being said, positive doesn’t have to mean a win. The starters, especially Nick Foles, will gain invaluable experience reading live defenses and making snap decisions. The timing and consistency that was lacking in the offense can be righted before the season is put on the line against the Cowboys. It will matter.
In addition, on the slim chance that the Cowboys’ woes in December continue the Eagles will have a chance to close out the division on Sunday, at the Linc, in-front of the home crowd. Preparation for Philadelphia heading into this weekend needs to be the same as for any other important game because at this point, it matters.
The matchup with the Bears just has too many different angles at this point, and until Sunday afternoon when the dust has settled in Washington, Philadelphia should prepare to battle and play for a division title. Because in the end whether they’re playing for the division against the Bears or Cowboys, being at their best will matter.