After a 20-16 win over Washington and the Vikings losing to the Packers, the Eagles will be returning to the playoffs for the 4th time in 5 seasons. After starting 2-5, the eagles went 7-2 to clinch a wild card spot after a year of extremely low expectations.
How it happened?
To clinch a playoff spot the Eagles needed to first defeat the Washington Football Team. After an extremely slow start, the Eagles used a big second half to take the victory on the road. Boston Scott was the star of the game. He led the Eagles with 2 crucial TD's to help secure the victory. Jake Elliot added two field goals to help put away Washington. Dallas Goedert was the leading receiver with 71 yards followed by DeVonta Smith with 54 yards. With the Eagles clinching a playoff spot, Smith has another opportunity to break the franchise rookie receiving record held by DeSean Jackson.
The Eagles had their fans on the edge of their seat. Washington QB started the game 10/10 passing and it looked to be one of those days for the Eagles. In traditional Eagles fashion, they returned in the 2nd half as a different team. Giving up 0 points in the 2nd half, the Eagles relied heavily on that defense to finish the job. A Rodney McCleod interception in the endzone helped secure the win for the Eagles. Now the Eagles had to sit back and wait. They needed a Vikings loss to secure a playoff spot.
The Vikings needed a win this week and next week, plus an Eagles loss to secure a playoffs. Sadly for them, they had to go through Green Bay. With a win for the Packers, they would secure home field advantage in the NFC. Without Kirk Cousins, the Vikings played flat all game long. MVP front runner Aaron Rodgers did not disappoint for the Packers. Green Bay took care of business with ease and eliminated the Vikings from the playoffs and helped the Eagles clinch a playoff berth.
What are they saying??
Who's next for the Eagles?
The Eagles will play primetime Saturday night against division rival Dallas. Even though it is expected that both teams will be resting starters for the playoffs, this will determine who the Eagles play in the Wild Card round. The highest odds are the defending Super Bowl Champions Tampa Bay. I am not sure about you, but do you remember the last time the Eagles played Tom Brady in the playoffs? A match-up with Rams is the 2nd option. I am okay with both opponents. The Bucs are not healthy and the Eagles did not play them terribly the first time they played. For some reason the Eagles always play the Rams very well even when the Rams are the clear superior team.
From low expectations to the playoffs
This team had as low of expectations as I have ever seen for an Eagles team. A rookie head coach who people were calling for him to be fired after his introductory press conference. Now has the most wins amongst rookie head coaches this season and has the most wins for any Eagles coach in their year as a head coach regardless of level.
A QB who has had more critics in his first full season as a starter than any other QB in the NFL. Jalen came out the second half of the season and made it clear, he is the future QB of this franchise. All season long, he listened to how the Eagles were going to draft his replacement in the 2022 Draft. He kept his focus and very well could be on his way to his first Pro Bowl in a few weeks. All offseason we listened to people say they would rather have the Colts QB than Jalen Hurts. I do not hear one person saying that now.
The Eagles have a rookie head coach, a young QB, a young roster, 3 first round draft picks, and are now on their way to the playoffs. This team exceeded every and all expectations. See you in the playoffs!