Eagles Game Report Week 16 By John Brecko
Via: Jalen Hurts IG
The Philadelphia Eagles have to win next week if they have any chance of making it to the playoffs this season.
If they cannot beat the Dallas Cowboys, then even if Washington loses, they are still a game in a half out of first place. That means with one game left, the Eagles will officially be eliminated from the playoffs.
Despite how bleak the situation looks for the Eagles right now, this is not a team to count out.
This may be the worst the Eagles have looked in over a decade, but since that time, they have come back to make the playoffs multiple times.
The last two years are the most recent examples. They were 5-7 last year before winning 4 straight and making the playoffs. They were one and done, but no one expected them to make it at all.
What might arguably be their more impressive comeback to get in the playoffs may be two years ago, where they were 4-6. The Eagles weren't plagued with as many injuries two years ago (they were plagued with more injuries last year). However, even after a 48-7 loss against the New Orleans Saints (the worst blowout loss for any defending Super Bowl champion team), they won 5 of their next 6 after Carson Wentz went down for a second straight year. They won their last three games, made the playoffs and even won a playoff game against the Chicago Bears.
From 2017-2018 in the four game stretch of playoff games they won, they were underdogs against the Bears, the Atlanta Falcons, the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots.The New England Patriots were also the defending Super Bowl champions going into Super Bowl 52 and came back from a 25 point deficit the Super Bowl before that.
This Eagles team is used to being counted out. Being counted out is familiar for this team. Rising up is also familiar for this team.
We could even use examples where we see the Eagles with an entirely different team. The Eagles were 5-5-1 at one point during the 2008 season. They won four of their last five games, capping off that strech with a 44-6 blowout against the Cowboys in week 17 that year.
That year, they won 2 playoff games to make it all the way to the NFC Championship game before losing to Cardinals team led by Kurt Warner 32-25.
Another year (2011), they were 4-8 with four games left in that season. Although they did not make the playoffs that year, they won out and never quit even after being eliminated from playoff contention in week 16 that year.
Also, when you come back to this year, the Eagles already have a 23-9 victory over the Cowboys. This is obviously during the time Carson Wentz has been playing the worst football of his career. No one was praising Carson Wentz after this two possession victory. The reason why no one was praising him for leading his team to that victory is because he gave up four turnovers (2 Ints and 2 fumbles) to a defense that has been playing historically bad football all season.
Ben DeNucci did not throw a touchdown pass that entire game and still had a higher QBR Rating then a quarterback on a team he lost to by two scores.
Since then, the Eagles team has had a fire lit under them in the form of Carson Wentz being benched for Jalen Hurts.
Jalen Hurts is a quarterback who is known for his work ethic and overcoming adversity since his college football days.
Those days began in Alabama and ended in Oklahoma. His college journey began in the National Championship Game where he got benched.
His college journey ended with a combined 52 passing and rushing touchdowns. His NFL journey began as a backup this year.
His NFL journey continues this week after over 500 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in his first two starts.
His NFL journey continues this week after over 150 rushing yards in his first two starts.
His NFL journey continues after doing those things, which are stats no one has ever seen from a quarterback in their first two starts.
His NFL journey continues after outrushing Kyler Murray and Taysom Hill in his first two starts.
Both of those quarterbacks are known for the plays they can make with their legs.
The quarterback situation this year is a case of hard work beating talent and it makes Carson Wentz saying that he wants to go to another team irrelevant. Jalen Hurts was counted out at Alabama. Jalen Hurts was counted out after not getting the start when the media was pressing the Eagles on why.
Jalen Hurts rose up, just like the Eagles did.
We still have not mentioned that the Cowboys are playing their worst football in years with Dak Prescott out with an ankle injury and a 5-9 record this season. They are the only team in the NFC East that does not have a win over a .500 team (as unbelievable as that sounds). Their defense has given up an average of more than 30 points a game.
If Jalen Hurts can improve even after putting up historic numbers and the Eagles focus on running the football, they can run all over this team for all 60 minutes this Sunday.
Jalen Hurts has completed just 55% of his passes. If that can improve as well, this offense can move up and down the field against any team (they already did against the Saints, who have arguably the best defense in the league).
Washington still has to lose to the Panthers, which is a winnable game for Washington (a team who has played better as the season as progressed).
However, a young quarterback in Dwayne Haskins had a lapse in judgement when he invited strippers to a party he threw during a pandemic.
He was benched earlier this year and has not been given a fair evaluation by Jay Gruden or Ron Rivera (the latter of the two has done a great job in turning the team's fortunes around).
His mindset may not be in the right place after his first two years in the NFL, especially after being passed up by the New York Giants on top of that. Dwayne Haskins is a young quarterback with enough potential to achieve greatness even at football's highest level.
However, it cannot be overlooked that it may cost his team a spot in the playoffs if he is unable to play.
On top of Haskins being in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons at the moment, Washington does not even know if Alex Smith will be back in time for their game this Sunday.
The Giants, who are playing better as well will still most likely lose to the Ravens this week.
The point of all of this is if any Eagles team in recent memory has any control of their destiny, history has shown that they are a threat