The Eagles got a much needed win over the Falcons on Sunday to keep their playoff hopes alive. It was an impressive win in the sense that the defense held a powerful offense in check while the offense dominated in the run game and time of possession.
This Eagles team is tough to figure out. They’re 5-4 on the year but 0-3 in the division. They’re 4-0 at home against quality competition but only 1-4 on the road against relatively that same level of competition.
They have a significant deficiency at the WR position, seem to lose a CB every week, have been on the wrong end of terrible officiating and have been their own worst enemy at times, yet have still been competitive in virtually every game.
And that’s what I’m hanging my hat on right now…this team’s competitiveness.
They have lost some close games. What if Ryan Mathews doesn’t fumble against Detroit? What if Pederson’s decision-making were somewhere in the realm of “logical” against Dallas? What if Wentz and Matthews connect on the final play against the Giants?
What if my Aunt had balls? She’d be my Uncle. But hey, my point is, those three games could have easily gone a different way if not for legitimate mistakes at crucial times.
The Mathews fumble was an obvious mistake. Pederson made several mistakes in decision-making against Dallas with the worst being the 2-play series where they threw the screen to Sproles to lose six yards and then followed with a punt while in FG range (and the kicker had already made one from a longer distance!).
Against the Giants, the play was there to be had if either Wentz makes the better throw or Matthews turns the other way.
I know, it’s coulda, woulda, shoulda. I’m just pointing out that the Eagles were not out-played in any of those three games and had a good shot to win them all. The only game the Eagles were out-played was against Washington, and even then had a good opportunity to tie the game at the end to possibly force OT.
Even with their shortcomings, this team has been in every game this year. They aren’t getting their doors blown off. All four losses have been by just one score.
This week, the Eagles will find themselves in Seattle as long shots to come away with a win. Chances are they will be 5-5 this time next week.
However, after that all of their remaining games are very winnable. Packers, Bengals, Redskins, Ravens, Giants, Cowboys. Four of their last six are at home where they’ve been playing very well.
The Packers are just not playing well this year. The Bengals are middle of the road. The Ravens are even more middle of the road. Then it’s revenge time against the division (all at the Linc).
Hell, Dallas could be resting their starters in Week 17 giving the Eagles an easy win if a playoff spot is on the line.
The Eagles have seven games left with four at home. Can they win at least five of their next seven in order to reach 10-6? That is certainly possible. The only question is whether or not that will still be good enough to earn a wild card spot.
It’s not going to be easy, but at the same time it’s not overly daunting either. The key here is that they have a chance.
So, do not get too down if they lose to Seattle this week. They will still have a chance after that.
And as long as they’re still in the hunt, that’s what makes for an exciting season.