January 03, 2016
As far as what happened on the field at MetLife Stadium during Sunday’s season finale between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants (won by the Eagles 35-30), there were some positives that the Eagles can likely build on going into next season. Most of them came on the one side of the ball, where the Birds racked up 425 total yards of offense.
Zach Ertz was a monster in the passing game with 152 receiving yards. Nelson Agholor flashed some of the athleticism that turned him into a first-round pick. Jordan Matthews made a couple of nice plays in the red zone. Eric Rowe appeared to hold up pretty well in coverage. Mychal Kendricks rebounded from a rough afternoon to seal the game with a deflected pass.
(Sam Bradford was also excellent with 320 yards on 30-38 passing, but we’ll have to see if this was his last game as an Eagle.)
Make no mistake, though: This was a meaningless game that the Eagles would’ve been better off losing. There is always going to be value in the first round, but it’s easier to find value when you have the ability to pick five or six spots higher in the draft.
7:00 pm. edit: Looks like it will turn out as only a three-spot difference:
Assuming the Buccaneers lose (they're down 3 TDs), the Eagles would have drafted 10th if they lost to the Giants.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) January 3, 2016
According to the draft value chart, the difference between the 10th and 13th picks is essentially the value of a mid-late 3rd round pick.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) January 3, 2016
As it turned out, the play of the game ended up being Walter Thurmond's 83-yard interception return in the third quarter that gave the Eagles a 28-27 lead. It was likely a 14-point swing, and here was Tom Coughlin's reaction:
To be clear, I don't think you can blame any of the players or coaches for giving their all. Football is both a brutal sport and business, and many of them are fighting for their jobs. In the big picture, it just is what it is.
The Eagles will now have the 13th or 14th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. And instead of playing the St. Louis Rams in London and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home in 2016, they will be paired with the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle and Atlanta Falcons in Philly.
It rains in Seattle a lot too, right?
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann