4 must-watch NFL games during the Philadelphia Eagles bye week

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Even during a bye week for the Philadelphia Eagles, there’s plenty of intrigue.

Once upon a time, there was this debate about whether or not the NFL had replaced Major League Baseball as the national pastime. It hasn’t, but we can gain some insight from something that Howie Long once said: Baseball is still America’s pastime, but football is America’s passion. That isn’t an exact quote, but you get the idea. It’s Week 14. The Philadelphia Eagles are enjoying the latest bye week the team has ever seen, but there’s plenty of important football to keep people interested.

That’s part of what separates football from everything else. First of all, the season carries fewer games, so they mean more. Starters can’t take games or weeks off as they do in other sports.

Can you imagine what the reaction would have been had Bill Belichick pulled a Phil Jackson and said that he only wanted to coach home games and then show up for the playoffs? What if Fletcher Cox asked for games off like Kawhi Leonard?

The National Football League has packaged its product so much better than every other professional sport, and the result has been an overwhelming interest in pro football that is evidenced by things that we don’t see in the NBA or MLB.

In baseball, fans tend to lose interest if their team is irrelevant (and they start watching football), unless, of course, they hate the New York Yankees and just want to cheer against them. In professional basketball, MORE THAN HALF of the teams earn playoff berths, so many of the games that are played during the regular season are unwatchable and/or meaningless.

Football captivates us to a level in which we’ll watch a game between two teams that we care nothing about. We’ll watch two teams that we hate playing in a game versus one another. That isn’t happening in baseball before the All-Star break.

So welcome to the worst imaginable weekend ever, one where there’s no Eagles game to watch, but fear not. There are plenty of storylines that Birds fans will find interesting. Here are four must-see games in Week 14.