Eagles control their playoff destiny

by Marc Narducci | Dec 27, 2021
Eagles control their playoff destiny

An Eagles team that was expected to be in for a major rebuilding season, appears headed for the postseason.

If the season ended today, the Eagles would be in the playoffs, the seventh and final wildcard team. (If New Orleans wins on Monday, the Eagles would move up to the No. 6 seed).
There are plenty of scenarios that could happen, but one that would earn the Eagles a playoff berth would be is if they win their final two games.
The Eagles visit the Washington Football Team (6-9) on Sunday and then host Dallas (11-4) on January 9 in the regular-season finale.
Can the Eagles win their final two games?

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Of course.
What will be interesting is if Dallas beats slumping Arizona at home on Sunday, the Cowboys will still be in the running for the top spot, and that all-important bye. Only the top seed in each conference earns a bye.
If Dallas beats Arizona, then the Cowboys would play their season finale against the Eagles with urgency. If Green Bay clinches the top seed before the final game, then Dallas may opt to rest some starters.
Green Bay (12-3) hosts Minnesota this week and if the Packers win and Cowboys lose to Arizona, then Green Bay would clinch the No. 1 seed.
If both Green Bay and Dallas win, then the final game for both teams would come into play for that top seed.
First things first.
The Eagles will likely have to fight against overconfidence when they visit Washington on Sunday.
Not only did the Eagles just beat Washington, 27-17 last Tuesday, but Washington imploded in Sunday’s 56-14 loss at Dallas. While the blowout score was bad enough for Washington, two of its defensive linemen, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne got into a well-publicized altercation on the sidelines. Allen threw a punch at Payne, who was also a college teammate at the University of Alabama.
After the game, Allen said that things got heated and the team has to move on.
Easier said than done.
As for the recent state of the team, Allen told reporters, “For the last two weeks it has probably been some of the worst football I have been a part of.”
Keep in mind, that the defensive line is among the top positions for Washington and the chaos still occurred.
One thing that would help the Eagles would be a better start.
In the win over Washington, the Eagles trailed early, 10-0.
During Sunday’s 34-10 home victory over the sad-sack New York Giants, it was 3-3 at halftime before the Eagles dominated in the second half.
The Eagles beat Washington when it had to use third-stringer Garrett Gilbert after the top two quarterbacks Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen were out due to health and safety protocols. The game had been postponed to last Tuesday due to Washington’s large outbreak of COVID.
Heinicke and Allen were back against Dallas but it didn’t matter.
Even though Sunday will be an away game, expect plenty of Eagles fans to show up. Washington is coming off such a demoralizing loss, that the Eagles can’t allow The Football Team to regain any confidence.
That is why a quick start is so important.
While the Eagles are playing with house money since so few expected them to be in this position, this is a great opportunity and another way in which this young team can grow even faster.
So the Eagles have to take care of business, first against Washington and then against Dallas and they don’t have to depend on anybody else to earn them a coveted berth into the postseason.

Photo Courtesy: Philadelphia Eagles


Author: Marc Narducci

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