Philadelphia Eagles are facing slim Wild Card chances
The end of the NFL season might seem far away but the Philadelphia Eagles need to play for their postseason future.
Philadelphia isn’t having the season that everyone expected. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz started 3-0 with high hopes and a new head coach seemed to find his groove. Optimism was at a high and it looked like the Eagles were going to have a successful season. Their schedule wasn’t particularly hard and with a strong rookie in the pocket, bowling through their NFC East rivals would be a piece of cake.
The current result is anything but successful. Philadelphia is sitting at the bottom of the NFC East with a record of 5-5. They lost to all three divisional rivals early on in the season. Those losses were damaging and shots to the team’s morale.
Margin for error for the team is low and it will have to stay that way if the Eagles envision playing games past January. Their most recent loss against the Seattle Seahawks showed that the team isn’t ready to be a Super Bowl contender. Wentz is showing that as a rookie, he’s hitting some major speed bumps. Running backs and wide receivers are struggling to complete plays and it would seem that there’s no connection with Wentz. Defense seems to be the only saving grace for the Eagles, but no team can win on defense alone.
Being realistic is going to be the team’s best weapon. There is no way that the Eagles are going to win out the rest of the season. Dallas most certainly won’t lose the rest of their games with the dual threat of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot. The Eagles face an oddly underperforming Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay Packers Monday night. They still have to play Dallas, Washington and New York again. The Cincinnati Bengles should be an assured win but they might face trouble against the Baltimore Ravens around Christmas. The NFC East divisional title is out of the realm of possibility for the team.
However, there is hope for the Eagles. Philadelphia should be thankful for the games that took place on Thanksgiving Day. Divisional rivals Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys went to each other’s throats and saw Dallas prevail. Another NFC team, the Detroit Lions, soundly defeated the Minnesota Vikings, leaving the Eagles in a solid position for making a case for the NFC Wild Card.
Ahead of them is Washington, Minnesota and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Philadelphia is one game behind Washington, but with a conference record of 3-5. That will be taken into consideration in figuring the playoff picture if there is a tiebreaker. If the season ended today, Tampa Bay would get in over the Eagles based on that fact alone. They would have a head to head advantage over the Vikings but still would need to win out their schedule to really make a dent.
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According to Philly Mag, the Eagles have a 27 percent chance to make the playoffs. The secret for the team isn’t a magical change in quarterback. Simply put, the Eagles need to get their ducks in line and perform. Issues remain with their personnel. Ryan Mathews is out against Green Bay and losing rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai to an MCL sprain is a crucial blow to the squad. Darren Sproles is helping the team but the Eagles wide receivers leave quite a lot to be desired.
It also comes back to Carson Wentz. He’s been hitting his rookie speed bumps that are starting to turn into potholes. Yet he can’t take 100% of the blame. Wide receivers not gelling together and bad play calling from the coaching staff is factoring into his decisions. You can’t expect a solid performance when the pieces of it are mediocre at best. Making the playoffs will be a challenge. Staying in them will be a completely other story.
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