Official website of the New England Patriots

Eagles clearly are class of the NFC

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The only close games the Philadelphia Eagles have played this season were against AFC opponents.

After losing the last three NFC championship games, the Eagles (11-1) have dominated the conference this season, going 9-0 with each win by a double-digit margin.

Since losing 27-3 to Pittsburgh last month, the Eagles have won four straight by at least 20 points, including Sunday's 47-17 rout over the Green Bay Packers. Philadelphia has outscored its opponents 151-50 in the last four games.

``You're hitting the last quarter of the season and normally that's where you want to see yourself get better every week and start to get yourself right for the playoffs,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said Monday.

How much better can the Eagles get?

They thoroughly outclassed the Packers, who had won six straight and were considered perhaps the most formidable opponent in the NFC. The offense has averaged 36 points over the last four games, and the defense has allowed just one touchdown while any of those games were still in reach.

This is the time that you build the momentum that you need to go into the playoffs,'' free safety Brian Dawkins said.We know we made the playoffs, but we want to have a momentum going, a confidence level so that when the playoffs hit, we're rolling full speed.''

The Eagles already clinched their fourth straight NFC East title after only 11 games, and became just the third franchise in history to reach 11 wins in five straight seasons, joining Dallas (1977-81; 1991-95) and San Francisco (1994-98). They have a two-game lead over Atlanta for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

I think the whole season has been kind of personal to us,'' cornerback Sheldon Brown said.We had a couple guys saying we'll be 8-8 and won't make the playoffs, the cornerbacks are the weak link, Terrell Owens won't fit and he's doing his own thing, so everyone has a little chip on their shoulder and we're trying to prove something.''

The Eagles opened with five lopsided victories before needing overtime to beat the Cleveland Browns 34-31 on Oct. 24. Then came a 15-10 victory over Baltimore before the loss to the Steelers.

They handled that well,'' Reid said.We all understand that we got our tail kicked. That happens in this business and it's important how you rebound. You bank on your veteran players and you bank on your coaches. Those guys were all upbeat and ready to go. They weren't going to let the young guys hang their head down and that was a great sign.''

With four games remaining against teams that don't have winning records, the Eagles could finish with 15 wins. They might not have much left to play for once they clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Reid, who played his starters until the midpoint of the fourth quarter against Green Bay, probably isn't going to rest any of them until the Eagles secure the top spot.

Our expectations are at the highest point, which is to win the Super Bowl,'' quarterback Donovan McNabb said.I don't think you can get any higher than that. The only way for us to get to that point is to treat everyone the same and to take every game one game at a time. Although, we have already clinched the NFC East, that's just one goal we have set out. We are not finished right now.''

McNabb, having the best season of his six-year career, is coming off an incredible performance in which he passed for a club-record 464 yards and a career-high five touchdowns against the Packers. He also broke an NFL record by completing 24 consecutive passes over two games, including the first 14 passes on Sunday.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising