Eagles Division Title a Tribute to Pederson

Eagles Division Title a Tribute to Pederson

Doug Pederson had never been an NFL head coach before being named the Eagles head coach after the 2015 season. In fact, Pederson’s only head coaching experience was at the high school level.

Remember when he was hired? Pederson wasn’t the so-called first choice of the Eagles. There were many who criticized the move due to his relative lack of coaching experience.

Those questions are long gone for the former long-time backup NFL quarterback who has become a highly successful coach in a short time.

Sunday’s 34-17 win at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants clinched the NFC East Division for the 9-7 Eagles and earned them their third postseason appearance in four seasons under Pederson.

In 2017 he guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl despite losing starting quarterback Carson Wentz to a season-ending knee injury in the 13th game. With backup Nick Foles, the Eagles onto only won the Super Bowl, but Pederson clearly outcoached Bill Belichick in the process.

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Last season Wentz again suffered a season-ending back injury and Foles came in and led the Eagles to a playoff win at Chicago before losing in the second round to New Orleans. 

This year after losing to Miami (a team that just beat New England) the Eagles were counted out. At the time they were 5-7. The Eagles won their final four games of the season, beating the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins, the Dallas Cowboys and finally, the Giants again.

Against the New York Giants, on Sunday, look at all the players who were originally on the practice squad who contributed to the win. Running back Boston Scott rushed for 54 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Greg Ward had six receptions for 43 yards. Tight end Josh Perkins had four receptions for 50 yards and a 24-yard touchdown.

The list goes on and on.

The Eagles suffered one debilitating injury after another and the next-man-up mentality kept the Eagles competitive.

Pederson showed great leadership, plus he is the play caller and the offense was highly productive the last four games.

And now the Eagles will host the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the payoffs. Seattle won, 17-9, in Philadelphia on November 24.

This is a different Eagles team and actually it’s a different Seahawks squad, one that lost a chance at a first round bye with a 26-21 loss to San Francisco in which Seattle was less than a yard short from scoring in the waning seconds.

After beating the Eagles, Seattle was 9-2 and the Seahawks would beat Minnesota, 37-30 the following week to improve to 10-2. After that Seattle finished the season losing three of its final four games.

So the Eagles are trending up, the Seahawks are trending down.

Still, beating the Seahawks, even though the game will be at Lincoln Financial Field, will be awfully challenging.

That said, an Eagles team that has played its best football at the end of the season and in the game of 2017, in the postseason under Pederson, should not be counted out.

Yes, the NFC East was weak this year, but the Eagles still took care of business. Their coach has once again guided them to the postseason.

Nobody should count the Eagles out with Pederson at controls.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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