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Eagles News: Philadelphia must lose to Washington in Week 17

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/29/20.

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NFL: SEP 13 Eagles at Washington Football Team Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Eagles should tank their Week 17 game vs. Washington - PhillyVoice
Anyway, getting back to the importance of better draft positioning, according to the draft value chart, the third overall pick is worth 2200 points, while the tenth overall pick is worth 1300 points. The difference in those two picks alone is worth a mid-first round pick. It could be the difference between an elite quarterback prospect or, if you prefer, some can’t-miss playmaking wide receiver, and, say, a cornerback. Or it could be the difference between some team trading you a bounty of picks to draft a quarterback, or not. (And before you say, “Who cares where they are in the draft order as long as Howie Roseman is picking the players,” please note that the further back in the order the Eagles land, the less obvious the correct pick becomes.)

11 things I think about the Eagles following their loss to the Cowboys - BGN
Back in the offseason, several members of the Eagles — including Doug Pederson and Brandon Graham — talked about how they had a continuity advantage. Whereas their three division rivals hired new head coaches ahead of a pandemic-shortened offseason, the Eagles had the same head coach, starting quarterback, and defensive coordinator in place for the past five seasons. Turns out that didn’t really matter. The Eagles became the first NFC East team to be eliminated from playoff contention in one of the worst divisions in NFL history. A division that might be clinched with as low as six wins and seven at most. The Eagles’ futility looks even worse when you consider all the quarterback issues and injuries their rivals had to deal with.

Babes On Broad #56: I Don’t Even Know Who to Blame Anymore - BGN Radio
Sam Wilson & Jessica Towne break down the Eagles loss to the Cowboys and the end of the playoff push w/thoughts on how we got here and how to move forward! Powered by SB Nation & Bleeding Green Nation!

Flawed Message - Iggles Blitz
I hope Lurie understands just how bad this season is. Last place in one of the worst divisions in NFL history. Wins over Nick Mullens, Ben DiNucci, Taysom Hill. Daniel Jones is the only starting QB the team has beaten. Eagles have trailed by at least 10 points in 11 of 15 games this year (not just a play or two away). Serious problems on offense, defense and STs. Underachieving players all over the depth chart. Three Pro Bowl players were all drafted between 2010-2012. I hope Pederson understands what a mess this is. I can’t tell if he does and is just covering to protect his players and coaches or if he’s truly delusional and thinks things are actually that bad. A week from now we’ll start to get some answers or at least some hints.

Why Washington Cut Dwayne Haskins Now and Why He Won’t Be Claimed on Waivers - MMQB
This was Eagles coach Doug Pederson on WIP on Monday: “I feel fully confident to be the head coach of the Eagles in 2021. The thing I’m most proud of, this football team, we have been in the postseason three of the last five years since I’ve been here, and that’s pretty good. We have won a championship here. We have gone through a season where a lot of our veteran guys are not playing due to injury. We are playing with a lot of young players.” All of that is true and, to be clear, I do believe both Pederson and GM Howie Roseman deserve a shot to right the ship (though if either gets outside interest, that would be kind of intriguing)—the franchise was in the playoffs three years running before this one, and did win a championship, and that should count for something. That said, I do think owner Jeffrey Lurie will take a hard look at everything (and evaluate everyone, including Pederson), and it wouldn’t be surprising if Pederson has to make changes to his offensive staff in some form or fashion ahead of the 2021 season. Two names to watch on that radar have been Chiefs passing-game coordinator Mike Kafka and Bears coach Matt Nagy. But the latter looks like he might be safe now in Chicago, and the former, at the very least, could be promoted in K.C. if Eric Bieniemy lands a head coaching job somewhere.

Six NFL Week 16 collapses and comebacks that shook up the playoff race: The fallout from losses by the Browns, Eagles and Raiders - ESPN+
The game highlighted how the decisions from the past two offseasons have gone wrong. The Eagles counted on a healthier Jackson, but his return was just his eighth appearance over the past two years and his first touchdown since Week 1 of 2019. Javon Hargrave had been better over the past month after a rough start to his Eagles career, but he was anonymous without Cox against backup Cowboys linemen on Sunday. Slay hasn’t been great this season, and while he came up with his first pick on Sunday, the money the Eagles spent on the cornerback kept them from investing elsewhere.

Doug Pederson places the onus on Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman - Inquirer
Or maybe Pederson knows more than he’s letting on, in that he would welcome being fired, certainly if he has another job lined up. The most obvious guess would be a reunion with former Eagles executive and current New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas. For five years, Pederson has endured a front office that has weighed in heavily on football decisions, and in some cases has undermined him. Last offseason, Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman forced Pederson to fire offensive coordinator Mike Groh and hire new offensive coaches. He was not pleased. Pederson also knows where all the bodies are buried, so to speak, in terms of personnel. The Eagles’ roster has been an abomination, and a mismanaged salary cap offers little opportunity to go outside for improvement next offseason. That alone may be reason for Pederson to want to leave, but if he were to prefer to stay, the decline of the roster could offer an opportunity for the coach to have more say in personnel. He has never publicly questioned Roseman or their partnership, but on Monday he seemingly got as close as ever to asking to pick the groceries.

The bottom line: Can Doug Pederson fix Eagles’ Carson Wentz? If not, Jeffrey Lurie has MASSIVE decision to make - NJ.com
Pederson has had arguably the best five-year run in Eagles history: 42 wins, three playoff appearances, two division titles and the team’s only Super Bowl victory. But, as this organization is learning during this awful season, the past is in the past. If the front office doesn’t think Pederson can lead the team and fix the QB position in the immediate future, then he shouldn’t be running the show anymore. That’s why Lurie’s decision should come down to his understanding of the dynamic between Pederson and Wentz. Is that partnership fixable? On the surface, it doesn’t look that way. If that’s the case, Lurie will need to make a choice — between Wentz and Pederson — in the coming days and weeks.

Jeffrey Lurie is on the clock: Eagles future on line as difficult decisions loom - The Athletic
There are no easy decisions. No doubt, Lurie is fond of Roseman and Pederson. Just as there is risk in trading Wentz and watching him excel elsewhere, so too could Roseman or Pederson flourish with another team. Finding the right replacement for either would be difficult. The Eagles have been one of the league’s most stable organizations, and there is value in continuity and culture. But that alone can’t satisfy the thirst for victory. The good news about the Eagles’ 2020 season is it’s almost over. Mercifully, that means the speculation will soon come to an end. As much perverse fun as it might be to argue about who’s to blame, Lurie is the one with the most information. He knows whether Pederson’s influence on the offense was neutered this offseason. He knows why the team drafted Jalen Reagor over Jefferson, passed on trading for DeAndre Hopkins and fell for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. That doesn’t mean he’ll make the right decision — it just means we’re about to find out what he really thinks about what has been going on behind the scenes. Finally.

Opener in Washington previewed the season ahead - PE.com
2. And then … the giveaway that changed everything. First-and-10, Philadelphia 28-yard line, 1:44 remaining in the second quarter. Eagles 17, Washington 0. Wentz dropped back and threw left for Reagor, who maybe, probably, certainly should have come back harder for the ball. Instead, cornerback Fabian Moreau made the interception and, suddenly, everything changed. Washington put together a 45-yard drive and scored a touchdown and the Eagles’ mojo was gone. Wentz threw a second interception on the Eagles’ second possession of the third quarter and Washington converted it into a touchdown the score was 17-14. On the next possession, the Eagles moved into Washington territory, but Wentz took a sack on third down, and Elliott was short on his 53-yard field goal attempt. Relying on the passing game almost exclusively, the offense failed to move the ball and Washington kept coming and coming. Washington tied the game early in the fourth quarter, took a 24-17 lead on its next offensive possession, and then upped the lead to 27-17 – scoring 13 points on three straight possessions – with 3:25 remaining in the game.

Week 16 Quick Reads - Football Outsiders
35. Jalen Hurts loses 40 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He ran nine times for 69 yards, with a fumble. Hurts was the league’s worst passer on third/fourth downs (5-of-12 for 73 yards with three conversions and two interceptions) and inside the opponents’ 40 (4-of-11 for 29 yards, no touchdowns, three sacks, one interception, one fumble). However, he was the best passer inside his own 40 (10-of-13 for 220 yards and a touchdown, plus a 43-yard DPI). Hurts now has nine fumbles in 284 snaps this season. For comparison’s sake, Derek Carr leads the league with 11 fumbles, but he has played 937 snaps.

Ron Rivera “optimistic about the opportunity” to have Alex Smith back in Week 17 - PFT
The Washington Football Team will win the NFC East if it defeats the Eagles on Sunday Night Football in Week 17. That result is much more likely if Washington has its starting quarterback. Head coach Ron Rivera said Smith was “very close” to playing in Sunday’s game against Carolina, but there’s a better chance for the regular-season finale. “I thought he had an exceptional day on Friday, but it’s always about how that person feels the next day and he felt it was still grabbing him a little bit,” Rivera said Monday, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. “This week, I’m optimistic about the opportunity.”

Washington at Philadelphia update: The other game Cowboys fans care about this week - Blogging The Boys
If the Dallas Cowboys can take care of business in the 1 PM ET hour on Sunday versus the New York Giants, then the scoreboard watching will begin. The NFL has moved the Washington and Philadelphia game to the Sunday Night Football time slot, meaning all Cowboys fans’ eyes will be on that game if the Dallas wins earlier in the day. Of course, the Cowboys need the Eagles to beat the Football Team, and that will be an interesting task for the team from the City of Brotherly Love. One, they will have nothing left to play for as their loss to the Cowboys eliminated them from playoff contention. Two, they will be helping their hated rival by winning. But, NFL players have pride, and coaches do too, so you never know what will happen.

Washington Football Team Waives Quarterback Dwayne Haskins - Hogs Haven
In his Washington tenure, Haskins played in just 16 games, starting 13, while posting a 3-10-0 record with a 267-of-444 for 2,804 passing line with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The 2020 season has been a disappointment for the second-year signal-caller out of Ohio State University, as he posted a 1-5 record and a paltry 30.7 quarterback rating. In addition, Haskins completed just 26.8% of his passes on throws over ten yards down the field this season, which represents the worst total of any NFL quarterback over the last decade.

Giants vs. Cowboys opening odds - Giants open as 2.5 point underdogs - Big Blue View
The New York Giants are opening week 17 as 2.5 point underdogs at home to the Dallas Cowboys, per Draft Kings Sport Book. Ordinarily, a meeting between a pair of 5-10 teams in the final game of the regular season would be relatively meaningless in the larger scheme of things. After the NFL made the decision to reserve week 17 for divisional games, a meeting like this would likely be for bragging rights among fans and draft seeding among teams.

How Week 16 Changed the NFL Playoff Picture - The Ringer
If Washington loses in Week 17, the winner of the Cowboys-Giants matchup would emerge from the NFC East. Those teams are trending in opposite directions. The Cowboys offense has started to click and moved the ball well against the Eagles after defensive tackle Fletcher Cox left with a stinger. The Giants defense has lost its way and let the Ravens do whatever they wanted in a blowout win this weekend. Three months after losing Dak Prescott to injury, the Cowboys are finally finding their footing. Don’t be surprised if Dallas hosts Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Jerry World come January.

3 winners and 2 losers from Week 16 in the NFL - SB Nation
Loser: Cardinals. The last six weeks have been tragic for Arizona. For so much of the season the Cardinals looked like a playoff lock, and that’s all evaporated. Losing to the 49ers in Week 16 might have sealed the coffin shut on the season. It’s not just that Arizona has lost games, it’s how woefully inconsistent the team has been. Since the end of October the Cardinals have beaten the Seahawks and the Bills, two of the best teams in the league. They’ve also lost to the likes of the Patriots, Dolphins, Rams and 49ers. Truth be told, the Cardinals don’t deserve to make the postseason with their inconsistency, but there will need to be some serious soul searching this offseason. [BLG Note: Eagles lost to this Cardinals team.]

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