Gloom and doom forecasts are what Philadelphia sports fans do best.
But it's not their fault. The extremely limited number of championships produced by this city's sports franchises makes it natural to be pessimistic when an opportunity slips away but the door is actually still left open.
Philadelphia's teams don't have a strong history of finding ways to kick their way out of something bad and into something good.
Thus, we have the specter of death currently hovering around the Philadelphia Eagles.
Hope became despair after the Birds got smacked down by Dallas on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
The prevailing notion is that the Eagles are done because too many things have to happen for them to get into the playoffs.
The reality, and perhaps even the more likely scenario after this weekend, is that the Eagles will be back in control of their fate with the final game at the New York Giants being for the NFC East title.
Philadelphia might feel cursed by odds, but the things that will probably happen this weekend are the Eagles (9-5) will beat the NFL team that represents Washington D.C. (3-11) on Saturday, then the Dallas Cowboys (10-4) will lose to the Indianapolis Colts (10-4) on Sunday.
Come Monday morning, there is a very good, almost certain, chance that the Eagles and Cowboys will have 10-5 records.
The Eagles hold the tiebreaker over Dallas if the teams finish with the same record
The would mean that all the Eagles would then have to do is win the season finale against the Giants to clinch the NFC East and the playoff bid that comes with it.
It not that hard to see, but it is hard for many Eagle fans to acknowledge. That is too positive a thought.
The loss to Dallas was one of the more difficult defeats to absorb in recent Eagles history, but it is far from the going play golf narrative that is being put out there.
I admit that I might sound like a cheerleading optimist for the Eagles, but the Birds are going to still win the NFC East.
That is a logical extrapolation for what is most likely to happen in the final two games of the regular season.
The thing I am most sure about is that the Colts will beat the Cowboys.
The talk is that since the Colts have already clinched the AFC South they have nothing to play for, but that's not true. Indianapolis is the third seed in the AFC, but if it wins its final two games and New England or Denver loses its last two, the Colts will get a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
I'll concede that the odds are not good for that happening. But if you are the Colts, can you shut it down Sunday at Dallas when you know that Denver is playing at AFC North-leading Cincinnati (9-4-1) on Monday night?
Because there is a scenario that can benefit them after they play, the Colts are going to come to play against Dallas.
No coach is going to simply accept a third seed and a first-round game when there is a chance to keep alive the opportunity to get a higher seed and a bye.
That means Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, who leads the NFL in passing yards and touchdown passes, is going to lead an offense that is ranked third in total yards and points scored.
Dallas is ranked 23rd in total yards and passing yards allowed.
All those throws that Eagles backup quarterback Mark Sanchez failed to make against the Cowboys on Sunday are the ones Luck has torched opposing defenses with all season.
When you factor in that the Cowboys' DeMarco Murray, who leads the NFL in rushing, just had surgery on his left hand and might not play or will try to run with a broken hand, the Cowboys will not be able to score enough points to beat Indianapolis.
Sure, it would be better if the Eagles were still in control of their own fate. Nobody wants to depend on getting help from some other team. But the Birds are going to beat Washington on Saturday and then get the help they need from Indianapolis on Sunday.
Come Monday, the conversation in Philadelphia will turn to what the Eagles have to do against the Giants to clinch their playoff bid.