Extra Points Column: Eagles Enjoying the Ride
The Eagles have already enjoyed a successful season.
Sure, it would be great for fans, players and coaches if they were able to beat Seattle today and advance to the second round of the playoffs. But even if they lose to the Seahawks, they can take a measure of satisfaction out of winning the NFC East and reaching the postseason, considering what they've endured along the way.
Read More: Weinberg: Seahawks vs Eagles Scouting Report
Carson Wentz's supporting cast currently features a bunch of guys who had never even put on an Eagles uniform this season until about a month ago. Running back Boston Scott, wide receivers Greg Ward, Rob Davis, and tight end Josh Perkins spent most of the year on their practice squad. They spent their weekdays on the scout team, running the plays of the Eagles' upcoming opponent, before donning sweatsuits and watching games from the sideline.
Wide receiver Deontay Burnett and new running back Elijah Holyfield served the same role for San Francisco and Carolina, respectively.
What a difference a few weeks makes.
Scott, who was the NFC Offensive Player of the Week last week, is now so popular that Eagles fans waited two hours to get his autograph at the Willow Grove Park Mall outside Philly Friday.
"It's surreal, man," Scott told WPVI-Channel 6. "It's very humbling. Just to see the support and commitment from our fans is incredible."
Good thing they picked that mall. If Scott had shown up at the Playground Pier - formerly known as Ocean One Mall and the Pier Shops at Caesars - he would have been sitting in solitude. Since the Apple and Tommy Bahama stores shut their doors, there's not much left there except for a few stores and restaurants such as Buddakan, Continental, Phillips Seafood, and my personal favorite, Souzai.
Coach Doug Pederson deserves the bulk of the credit. The Eagles have managed to put up 30 points in three of the last five games with Wentz, center Jason Kelce, rookie running back Miles Sanders and a bunch of guys who were as well known as the folks selling Christmas trees in the vacant lot next to Rio Station a couple weeks ago.
Admit it, you thought Boston Scott's name was Scott Boston, that Deontay Burnett was getting ready for a rematch with Tyson Fury.
Speaking of Tyson Fury, it's a real shame his fight with Deontay Wilder is being held in Las Vegas next month instead of Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. Boardwalk Hall hasn't hosted a fight in its main arena since Kovalev-Hopkins in 2014.
Just think, it wasn't too long ago that fans were complaining Pederson was a bust without Frank Reich and John DeFilippo.
"It's how we prepare during the week and really staying humble through the whole thing and understanding what got us here, how we got here and what has transpired in the last couple weeks," Pederson said Friday. "We just have to continue to get better and hang tough, battle and find ways to win."
Wentz also merits kudos for his play down the stretch. Although his fumble-itis is still a concern - he's coughed it up 16 times this season, second-most in the NFL behind New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones (18) - he's also shown the special ability to carry a team in crucial situations.
Most significantly, he's been able to stay healthy for the entire season. While teammates have been bitten repeatedly by the injury bug, Wentz has apparently coated his body in "Skin-So-Soft" repellent.
There is still a fly in that ointment, however.
And the only way it can be swatted is to win a Super Bowl.
But that's a bugaboo for another day. The Eagles aren't going to win a championship this season. There's actually a good chance their playoff run ends against the Seahawks today.
In the meantime, break out those dog masks, take a seat on the Wentz Wagon and enjoy the ride for however long it lasts.
Maybe even stop by the mall while you're at it.
Dave Weinberg is a former sports writer/columnist for Press of AC, he covered the Eagles for the Press for 27 years.
Contact Dave Weinberg on Twitter @DaveWeinberg19