Between the practice squad, active roster, and injured reserve lists, there have been around 75 former Eagles to routinely keep and eye on and keep up with throughout the league this year, with about 50 on active rosters. Now that the 2021 regular season is over and we’re heading into the playoffs, that number has dwindled down to about 28, with 16 players on active rosters and 11 playing during Super Wild Card Weekend.
Teams with some of the highest number of former Eagles, including the Houston Texans (7), Washington Football Team (4), New York Jets (4), Miami Dolphins (3), and Indianapolis Colts (3), all fell short of the postseason.
Here’s a look at the teams that did make the playoffs, and how some former Eagles fared in the first round.
The Raiders (DeSean Jackson, Derek Carrier, Damion Square [PS]) came up short against the Bengals (Elijah Holyfield [PS]) in the first wild card game of the weekend, 19-26, and errant whistle or not, looked like the losing team to a momentum filled Cincinnati.
DeSean Jackson was targeted a few times for the Raiders, but had a huge missed opportunity in the second quarter. Trying to play catch-up, Las Vegas finally drudged down the field, and Derek Carr threw to a wide open Jackson in the redzone, but it went right through the receiver’s hands — had it not, Jackson would have likely scored, or at least claim a new set of downs with inches to go. He made up for it after halftime with a big catch that was unfortunately called back due to penalty. Later, during the Raiders come back, Jackson did end up nabbing a 26-yard reception, but those were his only recorded yards of the game.
Desean Jackson drop...not good pic.twitter.com/FodqqA1Y6l— Roto Street Journal (RSJ) (@RotoStJournal) January 15, 2022
Tight end Derek Carrier was activated ahead the Raiders Week 18 matchup after missing 13 games due to injury. He started for Las Vegas on Saturday but didn’t see much action.
The Patriots (Nelson Agholor, Jalen Mills [COVID], De’Vante Bausby [PS], LaRoy Reynolds [PS]) were embarrassed 47-17 by the Bills (Ryan Bates, Jordan Poyer) on Saturday night.
New England was without one of their starting safeties, Jalen Mills, who wasn’t activated from the COVID list ahead of the first round game. On offense, Nelson Agholor had just two targets on the night, catching one for 18 yards — his target on the opening drive was picked off by Micah Hyde, who simply made a great read on the pass. It won’t show up in the stats, but Agholor also drew a big 22-yard defensive pass interference flag, but the Patriots still ended up punting on the drive.
The Bills defense didn’t face a lot of pressure with their offense racking up so many points, but still, Jordan Poyer had a decent game with two tackles. Buffalo’s offense has also seen a noticeable improvement in pass protection with Ryan Bates in the starting lineup. He’s gotten the start the past four weeks, and coincidentally, the OL as a whole has allowed zero sacks in that time.
How good has the Bills pass protection been? Josh Allen has attempted 143 passes in the last 4 games and has been sacked ZERO times.— Josh Reed (@4JoshReed) January 16, 2022
I also did not expect to go out of my way to talk about Ryan Bates in a Wild Card recap podcast this year, but that's where we were last night.— Robert Mays (@robertmays) January 16, 2022
We all know what happened here, and it wasn’t pretty. The Eagles lost to the Buccaneers (Andrew Adams, Kenjon Barner [Inactive]) with two Philly alumni ending up on the winning side of things.
Andrew Adams finished the game recording just one pass defended, but his big highlight moment of the day came after Jalen Reagor’s muffed punt, when head coach Bruce Arians smacked him upside the helmet in an attempt to keep him from drawing a taunting flag. Not a great move by Arians, but Adams should have been more careful, especially with how easily the refs are calling that penalty this season.
The Niners (River Cracraft, Nate Sudfeld [PS], Jordan Matthews [PS], Lavert Hill [PS], Raheem Mostert [COVID - IR]) ended up winning thanks to a failed come back by the Cowboys (Corey Clement) late-Sunday afternoon.
Dallas running back Corey Clement lost his job as the kick returner with Tony Pollard back, so while Clement was one the field for 21 of the special teams snaps, he didn’t see any action. Similarly, for the Niners, River Cracraft saw 19 special teams snaps, but didn’t make any returns.
There was only one former Eagles player in the Sunday Night Football wild card weekend edition, Chiefs’ long snapper James Winchester. The Chiefs beat the Steelers 42-21 and Winchester did his job dutifully. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Travis Kelce, Dan Sorensen and James Winchester are tied for most postseason games played in franchise history with 13 each. All three have played in the same playoff games from January of 2016 through now. pic.twitter.com/jIWpSsQpaY— Farzin Vousoughian (@Farzin21) January 17, 2022
Also, kudos to head coach Andy Reid, for getting his team back into playoff contention after a surprising mid-season slump. (And get the man some cake.)
Favorite quote from Andy Reid today:— Megan Strickland (@StricklyMeg) January 17, 2022
“If you like chocolate cake and eat a piece and then you have one dangling in front of your face, you’re probably gonna want to eat that too.That’s how you feel about the Super Bowl. That is the chocolate cake with the ultimate frosting.” pic.twitter.com/CyNNRxqtGl
Things did not go well for the Cardinals (Zach Ertz, Jordan Hicks, Joe Walker [PS]) on Monday night against the Rams, with Arizona losing on the road, 11-34.
Few things went right for the Cardinals offense, and as a result, Zach Ertz only had three receptions for 21 yards in the playoff game. Since being traded to Arizona, Ertz has gradually made himself a staple on offense, and in the past four games, was on the field for over 90 percent of the offensive snaps. His four targets in Monday’s playoff game was his fewest since Week 13 and tied for second fewest in his time with the Cardinals.
On defense, Jordan Hicks made eight total tackles and took 100 percent of the defense snaps — his 12th game this season at 100 percent, plus five games at or above 90 percent and just one game at 68 percent. He may have had some injury issues while he was in Philly, but those haven’t seemed to follow him to Arizona.
DIVISIONAL WINNERS (Bye week)
- The Packers locked up the No. 1 NFC seed weeks ago, giving them the first round bye, and former Eagles (Rasul Douglas, Dennis Kelly, Chandon Sullivan) a chance to recharge.
- The Titans were the AFC’s No. 1 seed, but the two former Eagles on their roster (B.J. Bello [IR], Marcus Johnson [IR]) won’t be available for the playoff run.