The Philadelphia Eagles are, without a doubt, a comeback team.
Over the last three weeks, the Eagles have fallen to deficits in the first half, returning to the field hungry for a win. Philadelphia may have started the 2021-2022 season 2-5; however, their most recent victory against Washington on Sunday now places them 9-7.
More importantly, the win keeps playoff contention alive.
Despite another mediocre start, the Eagles did many things right to secure their place, which now lies in the hands of other teams across the league.
5 THINGS THE EAGLES DID RIGHT
The rush game thrived thanks to Boston Scott
Leading running back Miles Sanders may have been out, but that didn’t matter today. Boston Scott kept Philadelphia’s rushing game alive with 14 attempts for 47 yards and the only two touchdowns of today’s game.
Scott’s first touchdown came during the Eagles’ second drive in the second quarter. After Sirianni kept the offense on the field on 4th and goal, Scott scored with a two-yard run. His next was during the third quarter on a one-yard run, leaping into the endzone.
— NFL (@NFL) January 2, 2022
Scott may be known as “The Giants Killer,” but maybe we shouldn’t count him out when it comes to the remainder of the NFC East.
Josh “Sack” Sweat
Philadelphia’s defense was quiet during the first half of Sunday’s game, with the exception of Josh Sweat. The defensive end had 1.5 sacks against Washington’s Taylor Heinicke today.
Sweat finished the game with five tackles. His two passes defended included a massive stop for the Eagles as Washington held the lead with 30 seconds remaining in the game.
Jake Elliott gave the Eagles the lead
After possessing a perfect field goal percentage over seven weeks, Jake Elliott missed one last Sunday against the New York Giants. But his kicking streak has returned.
Elliott made his first field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, giving the Eagles the lead for the first time all game with a 42-yard kick. With 2:21 left, Elliott completed a 41-yard field goal, extending the lead 20-16.
Jalen Hurts remained poised
In recent weeks, fans have seen Hurts struggle under first-half pressure. The quarterback has had four interceptions and five sacks since he took on his NFC East rivals during the latter half of the season. But today, he remained poised, only sacked once with zero interceptions.
During the third quarter, center Jason Kelce stepped on Hurts’ foot; however, Hurts was still able to get Scott the ball for the touchdown in an acrobatic play. He completed 17 of 26 attempts for 214 passing yards and kept his foot game alive with seven attempts for 44 rushing yards.
The ultimate catch by Rodney McLeod
The catch of the day.
Heinicke drove his team down to the 20-yard line for a first down. With no timeouts left for Washington and a drive that may have ended with a touchdown, Rodney McLeod caught an interception in the endzone. The game ended with 24 seconds remaining in favor of the Eagles.
BIG TIME PLAY!!! Rodney McLeod seals it!
— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) January 2, 2022
PHILADELPHIA’S PLAYOFF FATE
Before Sunday’s game, head coach Nick Sirianni commented on the Eagles’ playoff chances.
He stated, “Every scenario that I’m being told that we have to clinch a playoff spot, ‘Okay, if this happens and this happens and this happens, we’re in.’ ‘Okay, what else?’ ‘If this happens and this happens, and this happens, we’re also in.’ But every one of those things requires us winning and that’s all that we can control.”
And the Eagles controlled just that.
Their playoff fate now lies in the hands of other teams across the league. The Texans must now lose to the 49ers, OR the Saints must lose to the Panthers. During Sunday Night Football, the Vikings must also lose to the Packers.
The Eagles have never made the playoffs after a 2-5 start but only a few hours stand between that now.
Whether it happens or not, Philadelphia returns home for their final regular-season game against the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday.