The Eagles did not play well against Seattle, in Seattle, to say the least. That’s a tough place to go and win for any team these days much less a team with a rookie Head Coach and rookie QB.
If you actually thought the Eagles would win this game, good for you. You’re a truly optimistic Eagles fan. While I try to be optimistic myself, I just did not expect them to win yesterday’s game nor did I think they stood much of a chance (heading into the game).
With that said, I will say that the one play everyone is talking about completely changed the complexion of the game…the now infamous Nelson Agholor’s illegal formation penalty that wiped out a 57-yard Zach Ertz touchdown.
One play does not lose a game, especially that early, but that one play seemed to completely deflate this Eagles team. Momentum is a very real thing in the NFL and that play switched it from the Eagles’ side to the Seahawks’ side and we never got it back.
Instead of being up 14-13, they ended up punting the ball away and much of the entire team’s play seemed uninspired the rest of the way. Had that TD stood, there’s a good chance we’d be looking at this game a lot differently (close loss or a win).
Nonetheless, this ended up being a total team loss. The offense, defense and special teams all played a part.
Besides Agholor, there were two plays by the defense that epitomized the team’s play yesterday. The first was Jalen Mills’ complete whiff and total lack of effort on the C.J. Prosise long TD run. The other was Jaylen Watkins’ completely awful tackle attempt on the Jimmy Graham TD.
On both plays, it was the apparent lack of effort that bothered me. Just flat out awful.
Anyway, I’m not here to pile on about all the things that went wrong, that are wrong, with this team. That’s what the offseason will be for. For now, the Eagles are still actually in the thick of the playoff hunt.
And for all of this team’s deficiencies, they can still compete. I’m not ready to write this season off just yet. Let’s take a look at where things stand and how the Eagles can still make this an exciting season…
The way things look right now, there’s a decent chance that both wild card spots will go to NFC East teams. Assuming Dallas wins the division, we have to overcome either the Giants or Redskins.
The Lions and Vikings are tied for the division lead in the North, but we at least have the tie-breaker over Minnesota. So, we have to hope the Lions end up winning their division.
The Bucs are 5-5 but have a tough schedule coming up. Seattle looks like they’re going to run away with their division and the Cardinals seem to be in a downward spiral.
So, for now, my focus is on how the Eagles can overcome either the Giants or Redskins.
First things first, the Eagles have to win at least five of their last six games. They have to beat the Packers for a conference win and obviously win their three division games. All four of those games are in Philly.
Here is a look at the remaining schedules of the Giants and Redskins…
Giants: Browns, @Steelers, Cowboys, Lions, @Eagles, @Redskins
Redskins: @Cowboys, @Cardinals, @Eagles, Panthers, @Bears, Giants
Based on current record, it would be easier to hope to catch the Redskins. They are 1.5 games behind them right now and if Washington loses to Dallas on Turkey Day and the Eagles beat the spiraling Packers, that leave us a half-game behind them and we still get to play them.
The Giants will be 8-3 after beating the Browns this week and assuming the Eagles win this week, they will still be two games ahead of us. But, I could certainly see the Giants losing any of their remaining games after that. Not that they’ll lose them all, but they should all be contested games.
If the Eagles win five of their next six with their only loss to one of the AFC teams, their division record would be 3-3 and conference record would be 7-5.
Division and conference record will not come into play when it comes to tie-breakers with the Redskins thanks to their one tie game. It’ll simply be who has the better record and 10-6 beats out 9-6-1.
If the Eagles ended up tied at 10-6 with the Giants, we will have to hope that the Giants lose two of their last three division games (obviously one of them being the Eagles). However, that could possibly leave both teams at 10-6 with 3-3 division records and 7-5 conference records.
We’d then have to use the next tie-breaker which is record vs. common opponents. Both teams’ common opponents are the NFC North and AFC North. Right now, the Eagles are 4-1 in those games and the Giants are 3-2.
Obviously none of this will matter if the Eagles don’t take care of their own business. But, if they do, there is still a decent chance we could have something to look forward to in January.