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December 23, 2018

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Texans game

Eagles NFL
122318NickFoles Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Can Nick Foles create some more postseason magic for the Eagles?

For the second straight week, the Philadelphia Eagles took down a team heading to the postseason, as the Birds are playing their best football of the year, by far. Last Sunday, a shocking road win over the now 11-3 Los Angeles Rams put the Eagles in position to make the playoffs, should they get some help. This Sunday, Nick Foles and the Eagles took care of business against the now 10-5 Houston Texans.

As always, win or lose, we hand out 10 awards.

1) The 'Legend of BDN' Award: Nick Foles

With the season on the line, needing one last drive to get the Eagles into field goal position for the win, Foles stood tall and delivered a strike to Alshon Jeffery, while taking a vicious shot from Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney. After the play, Foles was writhing in pain on the ground.

Foles was sidelined for one play, but he came back in, moved the Eagles into field goal range (with an assist from Darren Sproles), and got the job done. Foles was already a legend for life in Philadelphia, and today only added to his story.

Final stat line: 35 of 49, 471 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT, 120.4 QB rating.

2) The 'Incompetence' Award: The officiating

It's baffling how bad officiating in the NFL is. On a two-point conversion attempt, Nick Foles was thrown to the ground by his face mask on a Clowney sack:

On the ensuing drive, Brandon Graham was flagged for a ridiculous roughing the passer call in which his hit was within the legal strike zone, and he even went as far as to break his fall so his body weight didn't land on quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The first awful call costed the Eagles a chance for two points from the 1, and the second call turned what should have been a 3rd and 10 from the Eagles' 32 into a 1st and 10 from the Eagles' 17, with the Texans eventually scoring a TD on the drive. 

Don't expect any accountability. Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Eagles were victims of some absurdly bad officiating in their loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The league never addressed the incompetence that occurred in that game, and I doubt they'll address this incompetence either.

3) The 'Record-Breaker' Award: Zach Ertz

Ertz came into this game needing 10 catches to pass Jason Witten for the NFL record for most receptions by a tight end in a single season. He had 12 catches for 110 yards and two TDs. On the season, Ertz now has 113 catches for 1,148 yards and eight TDs. 

4) The 'OMG a Deep Ball!' Award: Nelson Agholor

The Eagles have struggled to connect on deep passes all season long, but they got an 83-yarder from Foles to Agholor on an absolute dime from Foles.

Good God that's pretty.

On the day, the Eagles had five players with at least one catch of 20-plus yards.

5) The 'Ski Mask' Award: Chris Long

Long had two sacks on the day, one of which was a sack-fumble recovered by Fletcher Cox.

Credit Brandon Graham for forcing DeShaun Watson off of his spot, where Long could make that hit.

After the play, Long was shown on the jumbotron wearing a ski mask, and the crowd at the Linc went nuts.

6) The 'Forever Young' Award: Darren Sproles

I can't believe Sproles still looks as good as he does for a 35-year-old man. He made several huge plays, most notably a 37-yard TD reception on 4th and 2.

On a side note, stop giving footballs to Mike Trout. Unless, you know, he's going to sign here in a couple years.

7) The 'Lucky' Award: Josh Adams

Adams is lucky the Eagles won this game, or he would have been forever known as the guy who fumbled away the 2018 season. That's not the first time Adams has gotten lucky this season. He was lucky his butt touched the ground in the nick of time as he was fumbling in a late-game situation against the Jaguars back in October.

8) The 'Big Balls Doug' Award: Doug Pederson

Pederson went for it on 4th down four times on Sunday, and was 4/4.

070318DougPederson

Meanwhile, on the other sideline:

9) The 'QB Controversy' Award: Carson Wentz

The Eagles are Carson Wentz's team. He is their undisputed, unquestioned franchise quarterback. That remains the truth (though if the Eagles were to win another Super Bowl with Foles, I could maybe be persuaded otherwise).

However, I do believe there's now a legitimate debate as to who should start in the playoffs (should the Eagles get there) in the event both quarterbacks are healthy. Indulge my purely hypothetical question here:

10) The 'Superfans' Award: Da Bears

If the Eagles beat the Redskins Week 17 and the Bears beat the Vikings, they're in! That makes the Eagles huge Bears fans next Sunday.


The Bears love would last precisely one week should the Eagles get into the playoffs, as the Eagles would then likely play, you know, the Bears.


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