What Do the Final 3 Weeks Mean for the Philadelphia Eagles?

Bernie OllilaContributor IIIDecember 10, 2012

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 9: Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers  December 9, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Eagles won 23 - 21. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

For some Philadelphia Eagles fans, the Birds’ remaining games are nothing more than a countdown to the departure of the team’s long-time head coach Andy Reid, which is a negative, kind of defeatist way of looking at things.

Although the Eagles have been out of the NFL playoff picture for weeks, there are aspects of the remainder of the season that mean something.

The Eagles have a lot of young players whose talent will be displayed.

Andy Reid is on his way out, and although he won’t be leaving his successor a bountiful crop of young players waiting to be harvested, he will be leaving a few seeds that could grow and ripen into the foundation of a successful football team.

Until it was clear that the Eagles were eliminated from the postseason, fans were hearing about how talented the Eagles were. In fact, that kind of talk is still floating around.

Perhaps the Eagles are talented, but maybe the real talent has been hidden behind the phony talent. For instance, Brandon Graham hasn’t disappointed this year—especially since Jason Babin was cut loose.

And although Nick Foles struggled early on, maybe he is the Birds’ quarterback of the future. After all, his game-winning drive in Tampa Bay was impressive. If nothing else, Foles showed he has the confidence to make the kinds of throws that need to be made. That’s something you need in a quarterback.

Bryce Brown was a big surprise for two games. The performances he turned in against the lowly Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys defenses were stellar nonetheless. He had an off game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Andy Reid threw the ball a lot, so Brown’s game can be somewhat attributed to that. In the future, he won’t be that bad; but, he also won’t be as good as he was against Carolina and Dallas. Although he will not usurp the mighty LeSean McCoy on the depth chart, Bryce Brown adds an interesting dynamic to the future of the Eagles’ backfield.

Vinny Curry doesn’t appear to be much to scoff at, and we all know that Fletcher Cox has the brightest future of any of the young players on the Eagles’ roster.

We already know Nnamdi Asomugha wasn’t that great when the season started, and it won’t be too enjoyable to see him quit some more the rest of the way out. The same goes for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but at least DRC is still young and is a gifted athlete. Maybe the next HC will get more out of him. However, if DRC can go hard and show us all what he can do, then the future of at least one piece of the Eagles’ secondary will not be a worry.

DeMeco Ryans hasn’t been the All-Pro linebacker the Eagles wanted, but he has been the reliable linebacker the Eagles needed. Ryans isn’t the best in coverage, but he doesn’t work too badly with Mychal Kendricks.

These last three games may be a final audition for Kendricks, and it’s not smart to bet against him. After all, we’ve seen what No. 95 can do, but consistency has been a problem for him. If he can string together a few solid outings, he and Ryans may shore up 2/3 (or maybe 2/4) of the Eagles' future linebacking corps.

Next year, the Birds’ offensive line will be healthy and will feature the key players they lost this year.

Also, Andy Reid has a chance to go out with wins against the Redskins and the Giants. Although it’s not likely, it’s still possible.

In summation, the final three weeks for the Philadelphia Eagles will be about seeing what the team has to build on. These last games are about the future. And on a less important note, they’re about the opportunity for Andy Reid to go out with wins against division rivals.