On the first day of Christmas, the Eagles gave to me… Control of their playoff destiny!
It was ugly at times, depressing at others, but overall enjoyable and got the job done. No, not Christmas with in-laws. But what are the Eagles playoff chances?
The Philadelphia Eagles took a major step forward towards the 2021 postseason Sunday with a 34-10 pasting of a dysfunctional New York Giants team.
Eagles Playoff Chances
Currently, the Eagles have a 72 percent chance to make the playoffs entering Week 17 on sportclubstats.com and a 68 percent likelihood on ESPN.
- The Birds now sit at 8-7 and are in the lead for the final wildcard spot with two weeks to play.
- For a team that sat 3-6 just seven weeks ago, clinching a playoff spot a week before the season ends appeared implausible.
- However, if the Eagles win next week in Washington, the Vikings lose in Green Bay, and either the Saints drop to Carolina or the 49ers win over the Texans next Sunday, that will complete the NFC side of the postseason bracket.
Surprisingly, only one of the major PA sports betting apps have “To Make the Playoffs” markets open on Monday, the 27th. Mind you, there are only six spots of the 14 currently clinched, with five on the NFC side.
No one has been eliminated from contention in the AFC North. Even had the Dolphins lost on Monday, there would still be 12 teams in contention for the final six AFC spots.
- DraftKings has priced the Eagles at Yes: -250 and No: +200.
Yes, the Eagles have feasted on inferior competition during their current three-game win streak. Yes, it probably should be six straight but for that disastrous outing against the Giants that appeared to be happening again during Sunday’s lackluster first half. They don’t count style points for postseason qualification. Just win the games.
Is Jalen Hurts Ready For This?
One thing has stood out to me with quarterback Jalen Hurts’ play in the two games he won in five days. For a first-year starter to come back from missing time due to injury, it’s key to look for adjustments in play. It appears he has taken a step forward with making throws to the sidelines, or at least outside the numbers.
Hurts made some impressive throws to tight windows against Washington and added a few more against New York. Of course, the highlight catches came from his college teammate Devonta Smith, first in the early stages against Washington, then the second-half score that seemed to seal the Giants’ fate on Sunday.
It helps to have a receiver with incredible body control, which obviously boosts confidence.
Throws outside the numbers to Dallas Goedert, Jalen Reagor, and others are a necessary step to the evolution of the Eagles offense. For a run-heavy team like Philly, having that ability to spread the field and challenge boundary defenders gives the Eagles balance and more options.
Is that safety creeping towards the box to stop the run? Maybe he thinks twice if two or more receivers are stacked on a side.
Getting to the playoffs would be a huge gratification for Hurts and rookie head coach Nick Sirianni. However, for the team to do ANYTHING in the playoffs, they must execute. No more drops. Limit the penalties and missed tackles.
Hurts must protect the ball when scrambling (he may still be favoring that ankle with his decisions to stay in the pocket). If they make it, it’s likely a trip to Dallas in a 2-7 match-up. The Cowboys are balanced and seem to have their defensive issues from last year solved.
A postseason win in Big D would help solidify Hurts’ incumbency and perhaps convince the team to build around him, instead of bringing in an aging, more established name under center.