Does Philly still believe in St. Nick?

Man, the Eagles’ offense absolutely was coyote ugly in their lucky-as-hell 19-10 non-loss to the ragtag Raiders Monday night.

Yep, I know the Birds clinched home-field advantage through the playoffs, etc.

But they hardly are peaking despite their NFL-best 13-2 record.

Once the playoffs begin, it’s the peaking teams, not necessarily the top-seeded teams, that prevail in the Super Bowl derby.

And was that any way for St. Nick to perform on Christmas Night? Nick Foles totally was out of sync with his wide receivers.

If they don’t introduce themselves by the first playoff game, it could be one and done for the Eagles, who commit too many blunders and whose DBs often break their ankles trying to cover double moves.

The Eagles defense, except for a valiant last stand, is so much Swiss cheese in Foles’ first start

OK, Nick Foles was just fine. In fact, beyond fine.

The defense, except for a beyond-clutch late defensive stop, was not.

All’s well that ends well but Eagles fans had sweat running off then in small rivers whether they were at in the Meadowlands or at home.

During the waning, agonizing closing minutes, a monumental Giants’ upset came a-chugging into the wheelhouse.

Close but no cigar.

Foles threw four touchdown passes in his first start replacing the injured Carson Wentz, and the Eagles secured a first-round playoff bye, rallying from an early 14-point deficit to hold off the woebegone Giants 34-29 Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.

Foles hit 24 of 38 passes for 237 yards and no interceptions. The Eagles (12-2) made a late stand on first-and-goal in the final minute in edging the Giants (2-12) for the second time this season, spoiling a three-touchdown, season-high 434-yard passing game by the resurrected Eli “Lazarus” Manning.

Foles threw scoring passes ranging from 3 to 13 yards in filling in for Wentz, who tore an ACL last week and was lost for the season after a brilliant year.

Philadelphia’s Super Bowl Express still is on track despite the close-as-this derailment.

A transcedent Eagles victory besmirched by Wentz’s knee injury

The Eagles beat the Rams 43-35 in a deliciously entertaining NFC East and playoff-clinching 43-35 thriller in Los Angeles Sunday that boosted them to 11-2 and returned them to the top seed in the NFC.

So why after that watershed conquest in which Carson Wentz threw for four touchdowns were so many faithful of Eagles nation wearing a death mask, the sort of fierce, unwavering expression you see on a gargoyle, frozen in malevolence?

Indeed, you could almost feel the air grow still and dark and cold as it does before the onset of some violent upheaval of nature when Wentz, who threw four touchdown passes, exited with an injured left knee that very well could be a season-ending and possibly Super Bowl-deflating torn ACL.

Suddenly a pin prick burst the balloon of hyperventilation, anticipation and trepidation bubbling forth from the Eagles’ populace.

Now backup QB Nick Foles, only four seasons removed from being the Eagles’ bronze-armed golden boy, is squarely in the crosshairs. If Wentz indeed is out for the remainder of the season, if what Foles has wrought henceforth goes down in flames, he will be the first one incinerated when the Eagles miss making the Super Bowl.

Make no mistake, Foles can play. Granted, compared to the athletic and improvisational Wentz, Foles seems studied, mechanical and lacking in liquidity.

The Birds will have to redesign their offense to play to the strengths of the less mobile and more traditional pocket passer in Foles if Wentz is out.

But the 2013 season is worth remembering for Foles. The Eagles won eight of his 10 starts and that was the year he finished with a gaudy ratio of 27 touchdowns to just two interceptions, including an NFL record-tying seven TD passes in one game.

If the MRI shows that Wentz’s left ACL is so much linguini, will past be prologue for Nick Foles and the Eagles?