The Philadelphia Eagles disintegrate offensively, but could not be in a better position to win another NFC East crown.
Monday’s 23-17 overtime victory against the New York Giants who sabotaged allowed the Eagles to shoot even with the Dallas Cowboys 6-7 overall in the NFL’s worst division.
“Enter after the break, against the wall, what happens in the season,” Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz told reporters after the game. “I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t win in the regulation, the extra time [was] huge for me personally and the team.”
The Cowboys still have an advantage for the division crown due to the playoffs, but the Eagles are not out of this race. If they recover their health and run their business as part of a more relaxed schedule, they could sneak into the playoffs for the third consecutive year.
On Monday, Wentz showed that he could bear the burden of the entire crime. But the Eagles cannot function the same way they did against Giants 2-11 and hope to survive. Philadelphia had a healthy open catcher at the end of Monday’s game, and right tackle Lane Johnson also left with an injury.
These situations will have a significant influence on the division career.
Philly’s options became severely limited when the best Alshon Jeffery catcher suffered a contactless injury early in the second trimester. He left without catching and would have heard something pop, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, although there is hope that it is not an Achilles injury.
“The boys were in positions that we certainly do not practice this week,” Wentz said after the game. “The boys are going down, we are changing X and Z in the group, and the boys have made the games.”
Greg Ward Jr. led all Eagles receivers with four catches for 34 yards. The rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside got two passes for 29 yards. That is all that the great Philadelphia receivers could produce.
DeSean Jackson is already in the wounded reserve. Nelson Agholor missed Monday’s game because of a knee injury. Arcega-Whiteside also left the game unharmed. The Eagles may have no choice but to strengthen their original body to make life easier for Wentz, even if Agholor, Jeffery, or Arcega-Whiteside are doing well.
The third-year quarterback played exceptional football in the second half of the year, as Warren Sharp of Sharp Sharp pointed out:
Carson Wentz 4th quarter + OT:
17/24, 8.1 YPA with 1 healthy WR for most of this span
+ game tying TD
+ game winning TD
Rough start but delivered when it mattered most.
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 10, 2019
Wentz looked at him for much of the night. The placement of the 26-year-old ball was irregular and made terrible decisions. He made a horrible trial at the end of the last quarter when he tried a pass for a defender. Another giant hit the balloon and floated in the air for what seemed to be forever.
Despite this, Wentz attacked without a legitimate external threat and helped the team win with two exceptional passes, especially the draw.
— NFL (@NFL) December 10, 2019
Wentz launched a laser from his rear foot to a closed window at 3rd base with the game, and the Eagles season, on the line. This is precisely what a true franchise quarterback should do. He improved the players around him at the most critical moment.
Fortunately, the Eagles have a substantial security blanket in the narrow corner of Zach Ertz. The only positive aspect of not having wide functional receivers is that the Philadelphia Attack is built around its Pro Bowler twice. See how the Eagles used Ertz in extra time for the winning touchdown.
— NFL (@NFL) December 10, 2019
Ertz lined up widely and set off before restarting as an external threat in a group of narrow trips. This alignment is often used as a man-made drummer, and the game worked perfectly. The back of the defense got confused and left Ertz entirely open for the score. Game over.
However, the Eagles cannot rely solely on their closed wings for an efficient pass play.
Philadelphia currently has three open receivers in its practice team. Robert Davis and rookies Marcus Green and Marken Michel can provide representatives of depth and quality in the coming week. The trio may be inexperienced in general, but the Eagles need all the help they can to align a complete list.
The Eagles could also seek outside help in the coming days, such as independent receiver Antonio Brown. I could have more problems than Philadelphia wants in this critical part of the season. However, it is by far the best option to contribute immediately and make a difference.
Others like Dez Bryant, Donte Moncrief, and Josh Doctson are also free agents, but none of them can touch Brown in terms of his ability to change the dynamics in a team’s field. Brown’s erratic behavior and his uncertain position in the league can deter the Eagles from chasing him, but at least they must discuss the possibility internally.
Fortunately, the offensive line may not need reinforcements. Johnson suffered a sprained ankle against the Giants, according to Derrick Gunn of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Although ankle sprains are quite painful, Johnson can overcome the pain if necessary.
Philadelphia must win to play in the playoffs. This may seem confusing considering the Eagles record and the inconsistent game, but Wentz and company can win all three, as they don’t play against a single opponent with a history of 500 or more.
The remaining opponents of the Eagles, the three rivals of the division, have a combined record of 11-28. A week 16 meeting with the Cowboys will likely determine the winner of the division. Dallas also has a fierce game of the 15th week with the Los Angeles Rams, which could put them a game behind the Eagles if Philadelphia eliminates the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
There is still much to do for the Eagles to win the division. Falling into a 17-3 half-time deficit against the Giants 2-10 does not inspire confidence in their ability to lead the table. But given what they have in front of them, the Eagles have a legitimate opportunity to win the NFC East title, especially if they get more help from Wentz in the next few days.