The Philadelphia Eagles are in danger of becoming the first team to be tossed over board in the national football conference’s (NFC) high-octane, take-no-prisoners road to the playoffs. Thanks to the exceptional play of DeSean Jackson, RGIII, Alfred Morris, a gritty defense that stepped up when necessary and the leg of kicker Kai Forbath, the Washington Redskins successfully played its role as spoiler.
The Eagles (9-6) took a beating from the Redskins (4-11) in the Nation’s Capital. This was a game that meant absolutely nothing to the Redskins in terms of a playoff bid, but it meant nearly everything to Philadelphia’s hopes of entering the post season. The final score Washington 27, Philadelphia 24.
Although they will finish the 2014 season with a winning record, the team no longer controls its own destiny like it would have with a victory against the ‘Skins.” Brandon Graham, linebacker for Philadelphia says, “This [loss] stings bad, [its] worse than a bee sting.”
Any shot for Philadelphia of making the playoffs now depends on monolithic assistance from other teams in the league. Waiting on one team to do this while another does that is not a position they want to be in at this point in the season. The Eagles were soaring strong earlier this season with a record of (9-3). Now, after a third straight loss, the team has fallen into a downward spiral.
After the loss at FedEx Field, the Eagles became a team united by disbelief and misery. Few words were being spoken in the locker room. There were blank stares with reality hitting the team hard. Their post season is in danger of being non-existent this year.
Now that Eagles have moved their playoff hopes to the periphery and are on the outside looking in, they have complicated their path to the playoffs. They still have a shot, but it is a long shot according to mathematical formulas. To advance now, they must win the NFC East Division. They have been eliminated from wild-card contention.
Philadelphia must win against the New York Giants in the final regulation game. Over the last few weeks, Eli Manning has been on fire and playing on the road at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford does not guarantee an Eagles victory. Additionally, they need help from the Dallas Cowboys (10-4) by means of a Cowboy loss today in Texas to the Indianapolis Colts. The Cowboys would also have to lose at FedEx field next week against the Washington Redskins.
Former Philadelphia Eagle wide out DeSean Jackson single-handedly shredded the secondary. Cornerback Bradley Fletcher had no answer for DeSean. He finished the game with 4 receptions for 126 yards. The out-spoken receiver also had heavy words for his former team.
Although Jackson admits he still has ties to players on the Eagles roster, he is satisfied with his performance against a “careless” secondary. “ That’s how [the Eagles] play. They are…naive, so [the Eagles] cannot care less [about]…who is at wide receiver.” Jackson told reporters he is happy contributing to sending the Eagles home with a loss.
Now the Philadelphia Eagles must regroup because the team is in danger. They still have a slim chance of making the post season with a little help from friends. Tight end Zach Ertz told reporters, “I was a big Andrew Luck fan before…now I’m an even bigger one.”
By D’wayne Stanelli
Photo courtesy of Art G. – Flickr