From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Birds vs. Skins

Two games left, and the Birds are, remarkably, still in the playoff discussion. They probably should have beaten the Redskins the first time around, so what are the chances that they make amends and even the score today?

Because the Skins are the most dysfunctional team east of Dallas, I'm hoping that we'll also be treated to some extra entertainment - say, Clinton Portis donning one of his Mummers costumes in the postgame press conference while further eviscerating his head coach. Hey, if we're making the drive to D.C., the least they can do is make it worth our while.

From: Ford, Bob

To: Gonzalez, John; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Birds vs. Skins

I think they should win, but I think this is a dangerous game, maybe more so than Dallas because the Skins look so dead in the water. The Eagles couldn't handle Portis in the first loss, and if he plays and is effective, they could be in trouble again. Plus, there always seems to be weird, bad stuff at FedEx Field. Brian Westbrook got hurt there a few years ago. There was that thing with the tear gas. I don't know. I get bad vibes.

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Birds vs. Skins

The Redskins are thinking about two things right now: (1) How to get rid of Jim Zorn without leaving an evidence trail for the authorities, and (2) Where they're going for vacation. (Incidentally, I recommend the Jersey Shore. It's lovely this time of year.)

I think the Eagles handle them with ease, and set up the season-ending clash with Dallas that everyone desperately wants to see. On that note, I suggest that the fans prepare their Cowboy effigies for burning well in advance. The holidays are a busy time, and you don't want to wait until the last minute.

Eagles 28, Skins 17

From: Sheridan, Phil

To: Ford, Bob; Gonzalez, John

Subject: Birds vs. Skins

Teams go one of two ways when they're in Washington's position: They completely tank, which is ugly to see but would benefit the Eagles in this case, or the colliding elements in the locker room produce a chemical reaction that results in a strong and focused effort. Washington looks like a team that has teetered over into the tank, but you never know.

With no Hank Baskett (and therefore no Kendra play-calling) and maybe no Kevin Curtis, the Eagles will have to play, gulp, Reggie Brown. He's the player equivalent of a team playing out the string. He could sulk and play like it, or he could be overwhelmed with a sense of determination and have his best game.

Donovan McNabb tends to play well in Washington, or at least he used to. A vintage effort from the QB would go a long way.

Eagles 27, Washington 17 - if only because the Fates want to see a showdown with the Cowboys next Sunday.

From: Ford, Bob

To: Gonzalez, John; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Birds vs. Skins

Skins 17, Eagles 13, and I hope I'm wrong.