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Eagles news: Eagles are still a playoff contender

News and notes for 11/22

Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Playoff crashers: Ranking outsiders who can still get in the party - ESPN

One of the best teams in football, the Eagles would be the class of a division like the AFC South this season. Instead, they're trapped in the suddenly scary NFC East, where Philly may have fallen too far behind. The 9-1 Cowboys are likely out of reach, but the Eagles are now two games behind the Giants and 1.5 games behind Washington, both of whom hold the tiebreaker over Philadelphia. At just 3-5 in the NFC, the Eagles have to hope for a head-to-head wild-card quandary against the Vikings and Falcons. Philly beat both of those teams, but they're also huge favorites to each win their respective divisions, leaving them immune to a challenge by Doug Pederson's team.

It's a shame, because the Eagles have been football's most underrated team this year, even given the hype from their 3-0 start. They were No. 1 in DVOA heading into this week and won't fall far even after losing to the second-ranked Seahawks. Sunday was their first loss of the season by more than a touchdown, while each of their five victories have been by more than one score, including comfortable wins over the Steelers, Vikings and Falcons.

Allen Barbre, Stefen Wisniewski and the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line dance - Penn Live

He started at left guard, shifted to left tackle for two drives in the first half and swung over to right tackle in the final few minutes of the contest. Barbre bounced like a cricket from one spot to the next. And the combination of injuries and roster moves that dictated his journey Sunday could lead to further shakeup along the offensive line as the Eagles enter the season's final stretch.

"I guess I haven't even really given it much thought," Barbre said of his whirlwind day. "If we won, I could really kind of hang my hat on it. But we didn't win, so I don't really care."

Even if Barbre isn't going to boast about it, his versatility will likely factor into the the team's push for a playoff spot.

For the first time all season, the Eagles deactivated Matt Tobin on Sunday, leaving Philadelphia without an offensive tackle available to come off the bench. The reason? The Eagles wanted to keep veteran guard/center Stefen Wisniewski ready to play and also aimed to work rookie guard Isaac Seumalo into the game as an extra blocker in jumbo packages.

Eagles' Carson Wentz being held back by supporting cast - ESPN

Lack of discipline and precision has been an issue for this offense, especially on the road (the Eagles are now 1-5 away from Lincoln Financial Field). Some of that can be traced to collective inexperience. On the Agholor illegal formation, for example, Pederson said when it comes to responsibility, "it's a little bit of [Agholor], a little bit of the quarterback, a little bit of me." Problem is, you're talking about a second-year player, a rookie quarterback and a first-year head coach. Pederson also instructed Jordan Matthews after the play that, as the senior member of the group, he needs to take it upon himself to make sure Agholor is lined up right. But Matthews is just 24 himself with two-plus years logged in the league.

It's the green leading the green, and it's been an issue. Ideally, you would want a more seasoned -- and talented -- group surrounding a young quarterback.

Phil Simms should be the Eagles defensive coordinator - Philly Voice

Simms’ initial reaction after the touchdown? “Oh, I saw it coming.”

On a play that the Seahawks have never run, Simms apparently was aware that Baldwin and Wilson would trade roles. Despite this knowledge, it was a strange decision by the longtime color analyst to hold off and keep the viewers at home guessing when he knew what was coming.

So, there you have it. Fire Jim Schwartz on the spot and back up the truck for Phil Simms. If he can sniff out a play that has never happened and probably will never happen again, the Eagles can still win a Super Bowl this season with the defense under his guidance.

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