When the lockout was going strong earlier this summer in the NFL, fans were worried about losing games. But despite being done in time for a full 16 game schedule, Eagles fans still did not get what they signed up for- a wire-to-wire competitive season from this team.
Their may be 4 games left on the schedule, and the Eagle may be mathematically alive, but everyone knows that right now the only thing the Eagles are playing for is their jobs. If the Eagles can finish strong, then the gashing of the roster and front office that fans want to see may not be as extreme as they want it to be.
Continue to lose in the same frustrating, undisciplined manner in which they are losing now, and this team is going to see a major overhaul this offseason.
Forget breakdowns, key players and matchups. This game is about individuals and the effort they put out. So here is who you need to be watching today as the Eagles take on the Dolphins.
2. DeSean Jackson- Jackson has 4 more games to try to get back some of the money he has lost over the past few weeks with his poor attitude after games and what seems to be a lack of effort out on the field. If Jackson can turn things around and show a positive attitude- as well as maybe make some plays- he will start to turn around his image. Fans sided with Jackson on his contract situation until his recent antics. Time to start getting them back.
3. The Safties- One position that is sure to be addressed in the offseason is safety, which means that Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett are playing for a chance to make this roster next season. The teams last two 2nd round picks have not panned out so far, especially Nate Allen. Allen is clearly not the same player physically he was before he injured his knee, but it is how lost he looks out their at times that is so troubling. Jarrett has looked decent in the two games where he saw extended action- Chicago and Arizona- but had a poor outing against Seattle last week. Neither player is a lock to make the team next year, which means that they must come to play today in Miami.
5. LeSean McCoy- Stat padding time for McCoy. Simple as that. What's not simple, however, is if Reid will give him the ball enough to pad those stats. Either way, McCoy and his electric moves are always worth watching.
4. Juan Castillo- Can Castillo survive even if his defense plays better in these last few games? It's unlikely, as reports indicate that Andy Reid will have to fire Castillo to keep his job. If Reid is gone either way, their is no chance a new coach comes in and keeps Castillo. Regardless, Castillo's unit has to come out today and show something. Castillo needs to show that he can coach is players not to quit, and that they will still play hard for him. Because they likely will not get the chance next year.
6. Something. Anything.- Everything else aside, the Eagles just need to show the fans and the owners something. Anything. A hustle play. A deep bomb from Vick to Jackson. A hard hit from Nnamdi Asomugha. Give this city and this organization something to be proud of.
Prediction: Eagles 34, Dolphins 21
Follow Buzz on Broad's Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks