Eagles Control Own Playoff Destiny

by Marc Narducci | Dec 5, 2018
Eagles Control Own Playoff Destiny
The Eagles control their own destiny, which after their rough start this season, is all one could ask for at this case.

They are now 6-6 with four games left after Monday’s 28-13 win over the Washington Redskins. Never mind that the Birds beat a team that had to bring in former Eagle Mark Sanchez after Colt McCoy was injured.

Also forget that the Eagles entered the fourth quarter leading just 14-13 to a Redskins team that has suffered even more key injuries than the Eagles, which is saying something.

No, all that matters is that the Eagles won and remain very much in the playoff race on two counts.

Not only are the Eagles just a game behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, but they remain a viable contender for a wild card spot.

As for the game, the most positive development was the involvement of Golden Tate in the offense. Tate had seven receptions (on seven targets) for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Now the Eagles have four games remaining and if they win three of them they should be in the playoffs.

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Sunday’s 4:25 p.m. game (ET) at Dallas will be like a playoff game. Dallas (7-5) opened eyes with last week’s 13-10 win over the seemingly invincible New Orleans Stains.

That Dallas defense should keep the Cowboys in any game. Dallas has won four in a row, which began with a 27-20 win over the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Where the Eagles have the major advantage over Dallas is at quarterback. Carson Wentz, while not as dominating as before his season-ending knee injury last year, has a decided edge over Dak Prescott.

The key to stopping the Cowboys is limit the running game with Ezekiel Elliott, who had a huge first game against the Eagles. He rushed for 151 yards and a TD on 19 carries and caught six passes for 36 yards and another score.

What the Eagles did wrong in the first meeting was give the Cowboys receivers too much room. Prescott hasn’t proven he can effectively throw deep.

Even with the Eagles depleted secondary, they should play the receivers tighter and make Prescott prove he can complete passes 25 yards down the field or further.

Against the Eagles, Prescott completed 26 of 36 for 270 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He had an impressive 102.8 passer rating.

Prescott also has the ability to scramble, but the Eagles held him to nine yards on six carries and a TD.

Defensively, the Cowboys must adjust better to Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who is having a historic season. In the first game Ertz had 14 receptions (on 16 targets) for 145 yards and two TDs.

After Dallas the Eagles visit the Los Angeles Rams, the current No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Eagles then host the Houston Texans before visiting Washington on Dec. 30 in the season finale.

It’s all in front of the Eagles, and with a quarter of the season remaining, they control their playoff future.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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