The Philadelphia Eagles were off Sunday since they play on Monday Night Football. But even though it was a day of rest, the team was still impacted. Here’s an Eagles slant to NFL Week 13 action.
1 - The Eagles got some help
The odds of the Eagles making the playoffs as a wild card team are not very likely.
With that said, the chances did increase slightly with Sunday’s results. The Panthers and Vikings both losing helped in that regard. The Packers were also essentially eliminated from the playoff picture after losing to the Cardinals.
All that said, winning the NFC East is still the Eagles’ most likely path to the postseason. And it won’t be easy.
EAGLES OVERALL PLAYOFF CHANCES— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 3, 2018
Football Outsiders: 14.7%
WIN THE DIVISION
Football Outsiders: 12%
WIN A WILD CARD SPOT
Football Outsiders: 2.7%https://t.co/C6RS4kICaP
2 - Not a good week for Frank Reich and John DeFilippo
Many have used the losses of Frank Reich and John DeFilippo to explain why the Eagles have taken a big step back on offense this year. While there’s some truth to that, some have gone too far by suggesting Doug Pederson is just a fraud who was propped up by Reich and Flip.
Well, it wasn’t a good day for that crowd.
Flip’s Vikings offense, meanwhile, only managed to score 10 points against the Patriots.
Flip has seemingly drawn the ire of Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer, who has publicly called out the offense on multiple occasions this year. The most recent example:
Mike Zimmer clearly frustrated with the Vikings’ offense. “I’ve got some thoughts on (that), but I’m not going to share them.”— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) December 3, 2018
Maybe Flip gets fired and comes back to Philly as offensive coordinator?
Or maybe he gets a head coaching job despite a disappointing season?
In any case, the point here isn’t that losing Reich and Flip didn’t hurt. It’s just that maybe that angle is getting overblown. The reality is that the Eagles were always due for some offensive regression whether those guys stayed or not. It’s also fair to question whether the Eagles made the best hires to replace Reich and Flip.
3 - Kirk Cousins still doesn’t beat good teams
While we’re on the topic of the Flip, let’s stay with the Vikings for a second. I’d just like to point out that Kirk Cousins is now 32-35-1 as a starter, 4-22 against teams that finish the season with 9+ wins, and 8-25 against teams that finish the season with 8+ wins.
The Vikings gave this guy a three-year, fully guaranteed contract worth $84 million earlier this year.
Some will point out that Cousins has had a lot of success against the Eagles. And that’s true. But not when Philadelphia has been a good team, such as last year.
Despicable. Only in Philly does this happen.
5 - Things are not going well for Ravens draft pick watch
Speaking of the Steelers, it’s not good for the Eagles that Pittburgh lost on Sunday night. The Steelers’ loss opens the door for the Ravens to potentially take the lead in the AFC North. That’d be bad for the Eagles since Philadelphia own’s the Raven’s 2019 second-round draft pick. The Eagles need the Ravens to stay away from the playoffs to prevent that pick from being worse.
If the season ended today, the Ravens would be the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoff picture. IN addition to Baltimore faltering, the Eagles need at least one of the Colts/Dolphins/Broncos/Titans to step up here down the stretch. The Ravens’ remaining schedule: at Chiefs, versus Buccaneers, at Chargers, and versus Browns.
6 - Pat Shurmur is the master of ruining draft position
Remember how the Eagles, led by interim head coach Pat Shurmur, beat the Giants in Week 17 of the 2015 NFL season? Remember how that meaningless win only hurt the Eagles’ draft positioning?
Shurmur is now back to his old ways as head coach of the Giants. Despite the talk that New York was intentionally tanking, which was always bullshit, the Giants have now won four games in 2018. If the season ended today, the Giants would be picking No. 7 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Just making it harder to find an Eli Manning replacement.
It’s not even like the Giants’ meaningless wins are impressive. They beat the Nick Mullens 49ers by four points, the Ryan Fitzpatrick benched mid-game Buccaneers by three points, and the Chase Daniel quarterbacked Bears by three in overtime.
These recent results are a false positive for the Giants.
7 - The Eagles’ Week 16 game doesn’t look easy
Nothing comes easy for the 2018 Eagles, but their Week 16 game against the Texans could be more challenging than expected. The Texans have now rattled off nine wins in a row.
A number of those wins have come by the skin of their teeth, so I’m not quite ALL the way in on Houston being this total juggernaut. But they’re at least a quality opponent who will make it tough for the Eagles to get a much-needed win in Week 16.
8 - Mike McCarthy’s tenure should serve as a cautionary tale
The Packers FINALLY fired Mike McCarthy following Green Bay’s embarrassing home loss to the Cardinals on Sunday.
McCarthy’s tenure with with the Packers should serve as a cautionary tale for the Eagles. His Super Bowl win with the franchise ultimately bought him more time than he deserved. It was apparent he was holding Aaron Rodgers back for too long now.
Winning a Super Bowl should absolutely buy Doug Pederson leniency moving forward. But only to a certaint extent. Not to the point where the Packers showed too much loyalty to McCarthy.
Hopefully it won’t come to that for Pederson and the Eagles. Hopefully Carson Wentz will continue to thrive under his guidance. As opposed to Rodgers having to excel in spite of his former head coach.