By moving the Eagles/Cowboys game to 3:15 p.m. central on Sunday, the NFL might have just done your Dallas Cowboys a very big favor. Depending on how the Bears/Packers game at noon shakes out, the Cowboys may not have to face Mike Vick.
Here’s why: If the Bears defeat the Packers before the Cowboys kick off, the Eagles will be locked into the #3 seed in the NFC. Win or lose, it won’t matter. The only way this game will matter to Philly is if the Packers beat Chicago (oddsmakers favor it). That would still leave the #2 seed open to the Eagles (assuming the Eagles beat Minnesota tonight, and with Joe Webb starting, a meteor would have to hit the Philly team bus for that to happen). And no one in the NFC wants the 3 seed, because that means likely having to play against the Packers and a fully armed and operational Aaron Rodgers. So the Eagles will go lights out if that’s still up for grabs.
But if the Bears upset Green Bay and Philly has nothing to play for, then why shouldn’t Andy Reid bench Michael Vick until the playoffs start? If any QB could use a meaningless game off, it’s Vick. No other QB routinely subjects himself to punishing hits the way Vick does, so there’s very little reward in having him start against the Cowboys if the playoff seeding is academic. My guess is that, should the Bears win, Andy Reid will play Vick for just a few series before pulling him in favor of Kevin Kolb.
If that happens, the Eagles are still more than capable of beating the Cowboys. But at least the 2010 season wouldn’t end with Mike Vick running all over them, and I suppose that’s a moral victory of sorts.
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