While many would agree that the beginning of the season has been largely a disappointment for Philadelphia Eagles fans. After winning the Super Bowl many people thought that the Eagles would be one of the strongest teams this year. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. The Eagles are currently sitting at 4-4 midway through the season. However, the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins are only up by one game and have a tough matchup this week with the Atlanta Falcons.
Eagles still have a strong chance of winning the division
If the Redskins win this week, they will take a strong two-game lead in the NFC East. Which sounds bad, but the Eagles still have two games remaining against Washington. Which means that the Eagles’ playoff fortunes are still in their hands.
That being said, the Eagles probably will not be forced to win out because the Redskins will probably drop a few other games along the way as well. Not only that, but Carson Wentz is having the best season of his career this year. Which is largely flying under the radar because of Philadelphia’s deficiency in other areas.
The bye week is at the perfect time
Philadelphia has been struggling with injuries all year. Jay Ajayi, Rodney McLeod, Mike Wallace, Mack Hollins, Derek Barnett and Richard Rodgers are all on Injured Reserve. In addition, Carson Wentz missed the first two games of the season, Alshon Jeffery missed three games, Corey Clement and Sidney Jones missed a couple games, and Timmy Jernigan and Darren Sproles have not played all year. Lane Johnson and Jason Peters have been playing injured. Although Johnson is now set to miss games with an MCL injury he picked up last week. This bye week should help the players immensely to heal up and feel more healthy heading into the second half of the season.
Late season reinforcements
In addition, Philadelphia surely made the trade for Golden Tate keeping in mind that he had a whole two weeks before having to play in a game. With that being said, Tate will likely begin starting right away and should make a huge impact in the Eagles’ offensive production. Tate, a former pro bowler, has the skills to thrive in coach Doug Pederson’s system. Golden Tate is one of the shiftiest receivers in the game right now and in an offense predicated on getting the ball to playmakers in space, Tate is one of the best fits in the league.
Timmy Jernigan has also said that he may return to the lineup after the bye. Which should provide a huge boost to a defense that has already been playing well. If the Eagles can start getting to the quarterback as much as last year, combined with the return of Sidney Jones to the secondary, the Eagles should be able to dominate even more on defense.
Add to that the fact that the Eagles play five more games against divisional opponents in the wretched NFC East and Philadelphia should be primed for a bounce back. They will likely need to have a bounce back if they want to fight their way into the playoffs as they still have away games against the New Orleans Saints and against the Los Angeles Rams. As well as a home game against the Houston Texans. The Eagles will likely need to win at least two of those games if they want to beat out the Redskins for the NFC East title. Looks like its going to be an exciting ride to the finish.
Featured image by Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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