The Philadelphia Eagles could also be 11-4 and nonetheless have a shot at a first-round bye, however even they acknowledge that they’ve been extra fortunate than good.
By Chris Murray
For the Philadelphia Sunday SUN
ABOVE PHOTO: Followers specific Christmas desires. Picture: Webster Riddick
For the primary time in 4 weeks, the Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) shall be taking the sphere on
Sunday after a win.
Monday’s 33-25 win over the New York Giants implies that the staff comes into its sport in opposition to the Arizona Cardinals on a profitable be aware. Regardless of that, the Eagles are nonetheless uncertain if they’ve what it takes to make a return to the Tremendous Bowl regardless of having 11 wins and a shot at home-field benefit all through the playoffs.
“Eleven wins? We’re not enjoying good soccer proper now,” stated Eagles huge receiver Devonta Smith after Monday’s sport. “On offense, we’re not the place we need to be. We’re not happy. Yeah, we acquired 11 wins. I’m not completely satisfied.”
The sensation within the Eagles locker room Monday evening was that the victory in opposition to the Giants was like barely passing a take a look at that might have been a lot simpler had you bothered to review. Whereas everybody loves a win, narrowly escaping a nasty soccer staff enjoying with not one, however two backup quarterbacks is a cause for concern.
Eagles protection assaults Giants QB Tommy Devito (15). Picture: Webster Riddick
Nearly each reporter within the Birds locker room observed that quarterback Jalen Hurts was seen within the locker room having particular person conversations with gamers together with A.J Brown and Jason Kelce that the media weren’t allowed to listen to. That’s a transparent indication that there’s greater than a bit of tension within the Eagles locker room.
“What I need to do, what everyone else in right here desires to do, the place we need to be, we’re nowhere close to that,” Smith advised reporters. “I’m not completely satisfied. We all know what we may be, and we all know that we’re not there but. We now have so much we have to do.”
In a sport during which the Eagles held a snug 20-3 lead at halftime, the Giants almost got here again from that deficit because of a comedy of errors on all sides of the ball. Eagles operating again and kick-return specialist Boston Scott fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half when Eagles backup huge receiver Olamide Zaccheaus collided with him on the Eagles 15-yard line.
The Giants recovered the ball on the Eagles’ 13. Three performs later, New York operating again Saquon Barkley scored on a 7-yard run. On the Eagles’ subsequent possession, a Jalen Hurts move supposed for Dallas Goedert, who fell, was intercepted by Giants cornerback Adorre’ Jackson who returned it 76 yards for a landing. The 2-point conversions minimize the Eagles result in 20-18
On their subsequent two possessions, the Eagles acquired a five-yard landing run by De’Andre Swift and a 44-yard discipline objective by Jake Elliott to make it 30-18 with 6:04 left within the sport and it as soon as once more appeared that the Eagles had the sport underneath management.
It took the Giants’ offense only one huge play to plant a seed of doubt. Tyrod Taylor, who got here into the sport early within the second in aid of a struggling Tommy DeVito, hit huge receiver Darius Slayton who burned Eagles security Reed Blankenship for a 69-yard landing move to chop the result in 30-25 with 5:22 left.
The Eagles acquired one other discipline objective from Elliott with 1:22 left. The Birds’ protection lastly closed out the sport on an interception by Eagles cornerback Kelee Ringo as time ran out.
Even within the huge wins over groups just like the Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Payments, and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, there’s a perception, particularly among the many gamers, that the Eagles have but to play their greatest sport of the season. With two video games within the season earlier than the playoffs, the Birds want to determine a strategy to generate some momentum.
“We all know that we have now higher soccer in us,” stated Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni. “To be 11 and 4 and nonetheless have higher left in you. That’s encouraging, however we’ve gotta get there. We acquired two extra video games earlier than the playoffs begin. All we’re fascinated about is that this subsequent sport.”
Hurts, who handed for 301 yards together with a 36-yard landing to Smith, believes that the win over the Giants is on the very least a begin in the appropriate course.
“I might like to say we’re shut. I like to say we’re shut, and I feel it’s trending in the appropriate course. I feel it’s trending in the appropriate course; we demand such excellence of ourselves,” Hurts stated.
The Birds can in poor health afford to duplicate these up-and-down performances from this entire season within the playoffs. A few of it’s possible you’ll rightly argue that if the Eagles haven’t performed their greatest set of video games, what makes us assume they’re going to do it within the playoffs?
That’s a reputable query.
However I’ve been round lengthy sufficient to see many groups battle in the course of the common season after which get it proper in the course of the playoffs and win a Tremendous Bowl. For that to occur, the Eagles should play mistake-free soccer, or their season will come to an abrupt finish.
To see how they do in opposition to the Cardinals, catch the sport on Sunday at 1 pm on Fox 29.