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Eagles rookie storylines for the regular season finale

Philadelphia Eagles v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

The Eagles are walking backwards into the postseason, losing four of their last five games and likely squandering their chance at winning the NFC East. If they are to capture the division, beating the Giants on Sunday is a must. The Giants put up a fight on Christmas and they will probably come out swinging again to be spoilers. Winning will be a full team effort and here is how the rookies can factor in.

The Eagles need four quarters of quality play from Jalen Carter.

Jalen Carter’s drop off in play has been frustrating, but not exactly surprising. There was a midseason stretch where the Eagles defense played a ton of snaps and that wear and tear has seemingly caught up to the rookie, as it can happen for players adjusting to NFL conditioning demands. The problem is that the Eagles need Carter. Not necessarily to be great in the way he was through the first few weeks of the season, but rather to play some solid football for four quarters. They need help defending the run and the lack of pass rush is a defense-wide problem that starts with the lack of interior pressure. It would be great to see Carter bounce back as the Eagles gear up for the playoffs.

Can Nolan Smith keep flashing?

Hey man... I’ll take the good news where we can get it. Nolan Smith has shown some brief moments over the last few weeks to be optimistic about the talented rookies future. He has a long ways to go, but the athleticism and the effort are a great place for him to start. Matt Patricia has been seemingly more willing to involve Smith, partially out of necessity, and move him around the formation to maximize his speed. It would be great to see him keep making encouraging plays in this game.

A bounce back game for Kelee Ringo

Kelee Ringo got the start at cornerback three weeks ago and had two really good games, including a great game against the Giants, before struggling more in the loss to the Cardinals. Of course Ringo was bound to have some warts to start his time on the defense, but the question is how he can come back from those struggles. The Eagles defense needs to tighten up on the back end and we saw in the second half of the Giants game that New York’s offense can move the ball with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. Ringo’s play could have a big impact on the outcome of this game.

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