Can the Philadelphia Eagles Take Flight Down the Stretch?
By Julie Voigt and Russell S. Baxter (NFL Vibe)
Special to Pro Football Guru
The Philadelphia Eagles.
The defending Super Bowl champions.
They are not the same team that was flying high last season. But can these Birds still take flight?
Entering Monday night’s game at Lincoln Financial Field, Doug Pederson’s club is in third place in its division. The Dallas Cowboys are sitting up on the NFC East after defeating the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night at Arlington.
With a 7-5 record, Jason Garrett’s club is a game and a half ahead of the Birds (5-6). But Carson Wentz and company actually have a chance to move atop of the division if they can beat the Washington Redskins on Monday night and beat the Cowboys next Sunday in Dallas. And winning the division may be the team’s only chance of getting back in the postseason.
Although the Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings all suffered losses on Sunday, that may not necessarily be good news for the Eagles. Of course, opinions vary. Just ask WIP’s Eliot Shorr-Parks, “The Eagles’ most realistic path to the playoffs through the Wild Card spot seems to be this-get to nine wins, hope the Panthers’ continue their collapse and hope the Vikings split their final two games.”
As far as the match-up on Monday night against the Redskins, Washington quarterback Colt McCoy will make his second start of the season. And don’t count out the ‘Skins when it comes to this NFC East race, especially if they can pull off the surprise in prime time.
Stranger things have happened.
It’s still difficult to believe that the Eagles have not won two games in a row this season. This was a club that finished 13-3 a year ago and then swept the Atlanta Falcons, Vikings and New England Patriots in the postseason. Now Pederson’s club has already lost twice as many contests as it did in ’17.
But this has been an inconsistent team at best. A running game that finished third in the league a year ago is averaging just 100.8 yards per contest. The Philadelphia offense has totaled only 25 touchdowns in 11 contests. A team that committed 20 turnovers in 16 regular-season games a year ago has already coughed up the football 16 times in 2018. Perhaps even more disappointing has been a less-than-opportunistic defensive unit that has had its issues in the secondary. It’s worth noting that a team that racked up 31 takeaways a season ago has forced only eight turnovers this year.
All that being said, the Eagles still have the opportunity to salvage their season due to the fact that the team plays three of its final five games against their NFC East rivals. But it must start tonight with a win over the Redskins. But are the Eagles truly capable of getting on a roll? That hasn’t been the case so far in ’18.
Julie Voigt (@JulieNoted_NFL) and Russell S. Baxter (@BaxFootballGuru) are the co-founders of@NFL_VIBE. Julie is also the Colts’ reporter forOurTurf Footballwhile Russell writes forFanSidedandNFL Spin Zone.