The first nine games of the Philadelphia Eagles 2019 season seems like it has taken a year off of my life, and we are only a little over halfway through the year. From all the injuries, to the inconsistencies from players and collective units on offense and defense, the Eagles are lucky to still have some hope for the postseason. Their bye week couldn’t come at a better time, but the tests Philly has waiting around the corner will determine their postseason fate.
5-4 Start. What Happened?
The Eagles started the season 1-0, after a 17-point comeback victory against the Redskins in Desean Jackson’s first game back in midnight green, which would end up being his last game for the birds. The Eagles dropped their next two, in Atlanta and at home against Detroit, with poor performances from the Eagle’s wide receivers being the common denominator in those losses. In both games, Nelson Agholor and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had potential game-winning balls thrown to them, and they were both dropped. The Eagles then went on the road to Lambeau field and got a must win against Aaron Rodgers and the now 7-2 Packers. With a sloppy tune up against the Jets, the Eagles were sitting at 3-2 before going on a disastrous road stretch.
Things didn’t go the same as last time for the Eagles when they played in Minnesota. The 38-20 loss to the Vikings doesn’t really show how poorly the Eagles played. The Eagles were dominated in all aspects of the game in demoralizing fashion, giving all Eagles fans nightmares of last year’s regular season game in New Orleans. Then they headed to Dallas, a division game, where the Eagles looked the same as weeks prior. Sloppy, inconsistent, and at some points, unmotivated. With big wins against the Bills and Bears, this team is above .500, still with hope for a longer season.
Time to Heal:
As previously stated, this bye week couldn’t come at a better time for the Birds. Key players are getting healthier (Timmy Jernigan, Avonte Maddox, Darren Sproles to name a few), the defense is starting to come back to life with a resurgence in Fletcher Cox’s game, and minus the drops, the offense seems to be clicking much better.
The Eagles will need to play their best games of the season if they want any chance of beating the Patriots and Seahawks in back-to-back primetime matchups at home to keep their playoff hopes alive. These games are specifically important in their own right. A win over the Seahawks would be a good boost for the chances of a potential wild card berth. A win over the Patriots would give a boost at a more probable chance of making the playoffs.Before getting into hypotheticals, one thing needs to be made clear: the Eagles HAVE to beat the Cowboys in Philadelphia on December 22nd. No if, ands, ors, or buts about it. This team will not make the playoffs if they get swept by Dallas. With that being said, if the Eagles beat Dallas, and win out in the division, both Philadelphia and Dallas will be 5-1 in the division. After head to head win/loss/tie comparison, and win/loss/tie comparison in the division, the next tie breaker according to NFL tie breaking procedure is a win/loss/tie percentage in common games. Common games between Dallas and Philadelphia: Packers, Lions, Jets, Vikings, Bills, Bears, and Patriots. Philadelphia is 4-2 in these common games, with the Patriots being their remaining common game, and Dallas is already a staggering 0-2, with the Patriots, Bills, and Lions on the road.
If I know Dallas like I think I do, I like the Eagles chances of having a better record in common games, and for the second straight year sliding by the skin of their teeth into the playoffs. We’ve seen this team last year start off the season slow, and have a good ending to the season, and with some help around the league (thank you Chicago), make the playoffs. Granted, we don’t have the best quarterback in postseason history in midnight green, but I think the Eagles can still pull it off.