WEEK IN REVIEW
The Eagles’ playoff hopes were crushed on Sunday in the form of a 37-17 dismantling from the Dallas Cowboys. Things appeared to be working in the Eagles’ favor early on, with an opening possession touchdown drive followed by an 81-yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson to take an early double-digit lead over Dallas. Meanwhile in Washington, the Panthers were taking care of business against the Football Team, which would force the week 17 game between Philadelphia and Washington to serve as the NFC (L)East championship game.
Things quickly took a turn for the worse for Philadelphia as soon as Fletcher Cox was removed from the game due to an injury. The defense was no longer able to create a pass rush and the depleted secondary was taken for a ride by Dallas. Jalen Hurts also had the worst game of his young NFL career, giving the ball away three times. Penalties were a huge hinderance in key situations, totaling 115 penalty yards. The Eagles’ injuries, which have continued to add up across the entire season. Leaving week 16, the Eagles had 8 substitute starters on offense and 6 substitute starters on defense compared to the originally projected lineups from the offseason.
NEWS OF THE WEEK
Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have been eliminated from playoff contention, focus will shift even further toward next year. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said on Monday that he expects the Eagles to be one of the most interesting teams to watch this offseason. The coaching staff and front office may see some major turnover. The roster is devoid of talent. The team is projected to be approximately $50 million over the salary cap and they will need to make significant restructures, cuts and trades to be compliant.
With these pending changes in mind, it may be the final chance for Eagles fans to see some of their favorite players in midnight green. Jason Kelce has contemplated retirement over the past two years and will likely need to commit to two more years if he wants to remain on the team in 2021. Desean Jackson is a likely cut candidate following his health struggles over the past two years. Alshon Jeffery is ineffective at this point in his career and is taking snaps away from younger, developing players. Carson Wentz is rumored to want a trade and may be in a different uniform in 2021. Zach Ertz had the worst year of his career and most of his remaining contract is not guaranteed. The 2021 Philadelphia Eagles will look very different.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Eagles opened as 2.5-point home underdogs to the Washington Football Team in a game that has been flexed to Sunday night as the NFL regular season finale. It’s currently unclear how many of Philadelphia’s starters will play and how long they will remain in the game. The Eagles have been eliminated from playoff contention and have limited gains available to the, in this game. They may want to play spoiler and end the season on a positive note, but this may also be an opportunity to get some younger players some valuable game experience. With so many injuries on Philadelphia’s roster, their options may be limited in terms of playing time.
If the Eagles are going to contend in this game, they are going to need a great performance by their offensive line, which is coming off two of their worst performances of the season. Confidence in the Eagles' offensive line will be even lower if starting left tackle Jordan Mailata is unable to go. Mailata is currently in the concussion protocol following a dirty headbutt by Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith. Brett Toth is the top backup behind Mailata, but his greatest contribution to the team thus far has been his ability to replicate the Halo theme song during his rookie training camp. Washington boasts one of the most powerful defensive lines in the league, led by Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Young, who will be an extremely tough test for Philadelphia’s hampered group of blockers.