The NFL, in the past few years, has shifted towards scheduling plenty of divisional matchups in the last week of the regular season. This year, teams played exclusively against divisional opponents in Week 17.
It’s a good idea, in theory: with divisional matchups, there’s the chance for teams to decide a division race with a dramatic showdown.
But in practice, it’s proven far less meaningful.
Take today’s Eagles season finale, for example. The Cowboys are the Eagles’ most despised rival. It’s a truly great rivalry. The teams play twice each year, and those games are usually dramatic, and great.
But this season, with the Cowboys having the No. 1 seed in the NFC wrapped up and the Eagles being eliminated from the playoffs, there was very little to watch.
The Eagles beat the Cowboys by 14 points in an entirely meaningless game, which was equal parts hard to watch, funny to watch, and just plain weird to watch.
The Cowboys intentionally used three quarterbacks, including Tony Romo’s first game of the season and Mark “Used to be a middling Philadelphia Eagle” Sanchez. Romo threw a touchdown pass on his only drive. Sanchez was intercepted twice by Jordan Hicks.
Like I said, weird to watch.
In general, the only thing Eagles fans could’ve cared about today was that Carson Wentz exited the game unscathed. He’s the future of the franchise, and he both looked good and stayed healthy, which is ideal.
The game, as many in the last few weeks have been, was a microcosm of where the Eagles stand at the end of Carson Wentz’s first season.
Wentz looked good. His wide receivers were entirely useless. His running game was almost equally so.
The Eagles’ defense was good at some things, but the cornerbacks continued to be bad, which hamstrings even an otherwise tremendous unit.
Doug Pederson could’ve been better, but he threw a good challenge flag, drew up some good plays, and got a few touchdowns out of a weapon-less offense. According to a report from the Inquirer’s Zach Berman, he’ll be back next season.
All in all, it was a kind of ugly game, but then that’s been the story of the Eagles’ season this year. What matters is that it’s over, and the team can move on to a crucial offseason.
Thanks for reading and following along this season, you all. Can’t wait to get started on the offseason stuff.