January 01, 2021
Has our staff been the best at picking Eagles games this season?
There is certainly room for improvement.
But we have one last chance to get it right, with a completely meaningless game against Washington Sunday evening, a game that will decide the NFC East's champion — and it won't be the Eagles.
This will be the last chance for fans to watch the Eagles play football before what is sure to be an eventful offseason arrives. It's a pretty even split, as you'll see below. Here's what our writers have to say about the Birds' Week 17 matchup with the WFT...
TV: NBC (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth)
RADIO: 94.1 WIP (Merrill Reese & Mike Quick)
|DraftKings||PHL +2.5||PHI +120|
|FanDuel||PHL +1.5||PHI -+110|
|UniBet||PHL +2.2||PHI +120|
|Bet Rivers||PHL +2.5||PHI +120|
The Eagles are guaranteed to have a top 10 pick. More accurately, they'll be selecting anywhere between pick No. 3 and pick No. 10. Obviously, the higher the better, so the Eagles' front office should be motivated to lose this game. But with the way this disaster of a season has gone, we all know they're going to win this meaningless game, wreck their draft positioning, and usher the Cowboys into the playoffs, right? Just so we're on the same page.
I will bring my uniquely terrible season of picking Eagles games to a close with a final attempt at a reverse jinx. The Eagles would be best served to lose this one. They probably won't. I can see Washington just being awful and the Eagles young players playing for pride and breaking this one open, costing the Eagles several slots in draft positioning.
The Eagles ripped the Band-Aid off in Dallas last week to prevent us from another week of worrying about them potentially winning a worthless division title and costing themselves some premium draft position. Of course, there’s still some work to be done as they could be picking anywhere from as high as 3 (with a loss and some help) to 10 (with a win and some “help”). Washington could be without Alex Smith for another week, and after letting Dwayne Haskins go earlier this week, that means the start would go to Taylor Heinicke. Would there be anything more 2020 than the Eagles winning the one game they need to lose and falling down the draft order thanks to a quarterback you’ve never heard of before?
Wait, what’s that? It’s not 2020 anymore? Then give me Washington in this one. They have something more than just their own pride to play for — and if Smith and Terry McLaurin are both healthy, the Eagles secondary could be in trouble once again. On top of that, Washington’s defensive front crushed the Birds offensive line back in Week 1, and that was with a few more healthy pieces out there. Let’s just say it’s a good thing Jalen Hurts can run, because he might be running for his life on Sunday.
I know Jim Schwartz promised a “No Hats Game” at the Linc this week, but I’m leaning toward Washington taking the division crown.
Washington simply has too much to lose by losing, and the Eagles have too much to lose by winning, like a possible No. 3 pick in the draft. The Washington Football Team knew they blew it last week against Carolina, and if Alex Smith is back and playing, and Washington's vaunted defensive front is frothing at the mouth, the Eagles have no chance. Jalen Hurts showed growing pains in the way Dallas handled him, and if the worst defense in the league can do that to Hurts, just image what Chase Young and his buddies will do against him on Sunday. Besides, Hurts has scraps and tattered pieces in front of him right now, and some guys, wink-wink, could care less, looking to either jump this sinking ship or looking over their shoulders ready to get pushed over when the Eagles begin their rebuilding "process." Get ready for a "hat celebration" at the Linc. The one good thing about the COVID-19 pandemic is that Eagles fans won't be there to see it.
Hey, it could be worse. The Eagles could have had the embarrassment of putting on "NFC East champion" caps at the Linc, and then getting thoroughly embarrassed again the next week by being throttled in the playoffs--sans a future high draft pick that may actually have an impact. Washington will have won a putrid NFC East, with no hope whatsoever of winning the Super Bowl in its near future, and have the 19th overall pick. And not be much better than the Eagles, Giants or Cowboys. Hooray for them!
I don't see the Eagles doing anything special this Sunday night, mainly because so many guys are hurt or playing injured. Washington should have Alex Smith back, making it even more difficult for the Eagles to win. Still want to see more from Jalen Hurts but this game would be tough to win no matter who starts.
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