Eagles’ Playoff Pulse is Getting Stronger After Win over Washington
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - For all practical purposes, Monday's game was an elimination affair for the Eagles.
Nate Silver's famed probability website FiveThirtyEight.com had Philadelphia's chances of making the playoffs at 20 percent coming into the game with Washington and a loss would have knocked that number down to four percent, not exactly a death sentence but certainly a march toward an inevitable demise.
The Eagles took advantage of a banged-up Redskins team which was already missing its starting quarterback Alex Smith and frontline offensive guards -- Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao -- and then lost their replacements in-game, pulling away late for a 28-13 win that evened their record at 6-6 on the season, even with the reeling Redskins and one game behind 7-5 Dallas in advance of next Sunday's game in North Texas.
It marked the first time this season Philadelphia has won consecutive games.
Redskins signal caller Colt McCoy left the game in the second quarter with a fractured fibula, forcing the recently signed Mark Sanchez, a former Eagle, into action behind an O-Line that suffered further attrition in the form of Jonathan Cooper and Tony Bergstrom leaving.
The Eagles offense wasn't perfect but piled up 436 total yards against a 'Skins counterpart which really offered little in return save for a 90-yard second-quarter touchdown run from Adrian Peterson, the longest in history against the Philadelphia franchise.
Carson Wentz had a few poor hiccups like a red-zone interception trying to force the football into Alshon Jeffery, a badly missed crossing pattern that would have went for big yards to Nelson Agholor and a missed screen to Dallas Goedert but showed some outside-the-pocket effectiveness that defined his 2017 season, completing 27-of-39 passes for 306 yards and touchdowns to Golden Tate and Jordan Matthews.
Josh Adams again paced the running game with 85 yards on 20 carries while Darren Sproles returned after a 10-game absence to chip in with a 14-yard TD run.
Zach Ertz hauled in nine receptions on 10 targets for 83 yards and set the franchise record for catches in a season with 93. Tate has his best game since arriving in Philadelphia at the trade deadline, snaring all seven of his targets for 85 yards, the TD and a two-point conversion. Corey Clement was also very effective in the screen game, catching it three times for 47 yards.
In the end that aforementioned playoff probability spiked up to 27 percent with the win and if the Eagles can keep it going next week against the Cowboys, a long-shot turns into a more-likely-than-not scenario at 56 percent.
Things change quickly in the NFL.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen