Contemplating another Cowboys collapse in Big D and an Eagles run into the postseason, let's get to a couple of NFL questions from my philly.com chat yesterday . . .

   Is there any way the Eagles can beat New Orleans and Minnesota on the road two weeks in a row?

- Jim

They'll have to, Jim. Those teams are going to coast into the playoffs as the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively. But coasting into the postseason isn't always the best way to go. The Cardinals had to claw their way there last year, and look what happened. Don't discount Lady Mo. She's a powerful force.

That said, the Saints are just scary good. Yes, they had problems with Washington, but the Redskins' defense is underrated in part because the team is such a dog. And New Orleans is going to be tough to beat at home, with all those crazy Who Dat? fans making the building jump and sway.

If the Eagles can win the division, they still have a shot at a first-round bye. The Vikings could easily lose three out of their last four games. Conference record is the tiebreaker. Birds are 7-2 vs. the NFC and Vikings are 9-1 at this time. What are your thoughts?

- Bob

Sure, it's mathematically possible the Eagles could get a first-round bye. It's also mathematically possible that the Cardinals could, too. Is it likely? No. Minnesota isn't going to collapse down the stretch. They're second in the league in averaging nearly 30 points per game, and fifth in total yards (383.8). They're well-coached, have a veteran quarterback who's playing like he's in his prime - hey, maybe he is - and two of their games are against teams that essentially are out of it.

Be happy if the Eagles make the playoffs. They've got a lot of work to do to get there.

From 2001-2008, eight different NFC teams made it to the Super Bowl; that's 50% of the NFC. Why does it feel like the Eagles act more like a doorman than a competitor when it comes to the playoffs?

- Dan C.

Well, I guess it's because four of those eight went through the Eagles to get to the Super Bowl. Here's the door, walk through it. And may I take your coat?

No one's going to be happy until the Eagles are wearing the king's crown. I'd be shocked if they got there this year, but they're in a position to make a run. And that's more than 10 other NFC teams can say right now.

Do the Giants scare you this week? The Eagles walked all over them last time, but it was a different team. I feel like they will be more motivated this time around, especially after a big win over the Cowboys.

- Bert

They don't scare me, no, but I don't have to play them. They do seem to have recovered a bit of their swagger. It's been a weird season for the Giants. They've been consistently good and then consistently bad. Somewhere in the middle must be the real team, but I'm not sure we've seen them yet.

And trust me, the Giants are always motivated to play the Eagles, and vice versa.

Donovan McNabb is a good quarterback. He doesn't throw INTs because he doesn't take chances like Brett Favre. I just want him to recognize a blitz better or faster like a top-shelf QB should.

- JT

McNabb's having a strong season. Since injuring his ribs in Week 1 against Carolina, McNabb has posted passer ratings north of 90.0 in six of eight games, and he's been in the triple digits in four of those games. During this three-game winning streak and without some of his biggest weapons, McNabb has completed 63 percent of his passes. He's been consistent, patient, and protective of the football.

McNabb might not be "top shelf," as you say, but he's not in the well either.

Contact columnist Ashley Fox at 215-854-5064 or afox@phillynews.com.