The 2018 season is not over yet, friends!
The Philadelphia Eagles are alive and well, and will in fact have the opportunity to properly defend their Super Bowl title in the NFL playoffs!
A 24-0 thrashing of the Washington Redskins coupled with a Minnesota Vikings’ meltdown have granted the Birds the sixth seed in the NFC, and a trip to Chicago to take on the young Bears next weekend!
Quarterback Nick Foles continued to serve as the catalyst for the team’s revival, with 221 yards and two touchdowns, completing 28 of 33 passes.
Saint Nick isn’t just winning football games; he’s setting records, by the week. Last week, he set two team records, throwing for 471 yards, as well as gaining sole possession for most 400-yard games in team history.
This week, Foles set the team record for completion percentage in a game, and tied the NFL record for consecutive completions in a game with 25 straight. Foles hit the 25 straight passes after throwing his only interception of the game. How’s that for bouncing back from early adversity??
Foles is truly a wonder to behold, and it is incredibly exciting to see him quarterback this team in the playoffs one more time. The reigning Super Bowl MVP did leave the game with a chest injury, but according to reports should be good to go for next week’s playoff match.
Doug Pederson Deserves Credit For Holding This Team Together
As much as Saint Nick rightfully gets a great deal of credit for the run this team has gone on over the last three weeks, you have to give a lot of credit to head coach Doug Pederson for keeping this ship together through some very trying times over the course of the year.
After the ugliness down in New Orleans, it would have been easy for this team to come apart at the seams. They’ve gone 5-1 since that game, and had the officials not whiffed on the “clear recovery” on the opening kickoff, the Eagles may have gone into the playoffs on a six-game winning streak.
This is a team that’s hot at the right time, and should be feared by all teams in the playoff picture. Doug deserves so much of the credit there.
- The Eagles had a perfect 50-50 run-pass ratio today, with 34 runs and 34 passes.
- I thought Doug did an excellent job of mixing Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, and Darren Sproles in the running back rotation. Adams and Smallwood had almost identical numbers, with 12 and 11 carries respectively for 53 and 50 yards, each with a long of 13. Both guys also combined for seven catches out of the backfield.
- Foles once again did an excellent job spreading the ball around, hitting eight different receivers on the day.
- Alshon Jeffery’s chemistry with Foles was once again on full display, with a key third down grab, and a tough catch on the team’s first touchdown to go up 10-0 before the half.
- Nelson Agholor has rejoined the offense, coming through with two straight big games, scoring two touchdowns this week.
- Nate Sudfeld took over for Foles in the fourth quarter, and tossed his first career touchdown pass on his only throw.
- Golden Tate made a weak drop on a ball that should have been caught in the first quarter. Tate has been very up and down during his time here, it remains to be seen what he contributes in the playoffs, but the trade still does not look like a good one to this point.
- Quietly Stefan Wisniewski’s return to the starting lineup has really stabilized the offensive line. Isaac Seumalo’s absence has been addition by subtraction.
- Even if it was just Josh Johnson under center today, shutting out a team in the NFL is never easy, and not only did the Eagles accomplish that, but they even held the Redskins to under 100 total yards of offense.
- Fletcher Cox anchored the defensive line with a career-high three sacks.
- Michael Bennett chipped in the team’s fourth.
- Rasul Douglas has been tremendous as of late. He led the team in tackles for the third straight game, and also came down with another interception. He’s looking more and more like a key piece of this defense moving forward.
- Ditto, Avante Maddox.
- Future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson was bottled up for 0 yards on just four carries.
- Jake Elliot drilled all of his kick attempts.
- I thought LaRoy Reynolds was pretty active throughout the game, making several special teams stops.
On to Chicago, everyone!
The Bears are a heck of a defensive team, and Chicago is a very difficult place to go on the road and win.
But Mitchell Trubisky is also a young quarterback entering the playoffs for the first time. If the Eagles are able to contain Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and avoid turnovers on the offensive side of the ball?
Anything can happen.
After watching what this team has accomplished over the last year, it’d be crazy to start doubting them now!