The Eagles are who they are, and it’s unlikely they’ll put together a clean 60 minutes of football, especially with a number of starters injured. He isn’t flashy, but he knows how to get the job done, and I imagine he will here against a defensive secondary that is battered and bruised.
Galen Hurts gets his fourth straight start at quarterback and could be facing his toughest test against a sound defense with a ferocious front. Washingtonian make the playoffs for the first time in five years by beating the Eagles on Sunday night.
“We don’t want people celebrating on our field with hats and T-shirts,” corner back Darius Slay said earlier this week. But the bottom line is a good many of the Eagles starters either are going to sit this one out or play very little as some younger players get an early audition for next year.
Can Eagle offensive tackles Jordan Malta and Matt Pryor prevent Washington defensive ends Chase Young, Monte Sweat and Ryan Mórrígan from beating up Galen Hurts? Can the Eagles linebackers neutralize running backs Antonio Gibson and J.D.
Will Doug Peterson go for it on every fourth down and throw every gadget play in his playbook at Washington ? While the game means nothing to the Eagles from a playoff standpoint, playing in prime time in front of many of your peers still carries some weight.
Everybody who can limp out there is playing on Washington’s side, and nobody who can make an injury worse is going to see the field for the Eagles, in my view. The Eagles secondary is working at a huge disadvantage that got worse with the news that Galen Mills is on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Almost to a man, Eagles players have spent this week insisting they will go out Sunday determined to keep Washington from celebrating at the Line. They’ve called it the “no hat rule,” and the messaging has been clear that they don’t want to see any NFC East-championship gear in-person this weekend.
Sure, the Eagles’ best punch Sunday could be enough if they’re able to turn the game into a shootout and catch Washington a bit off guard. But there’s no sense pretending Washington isn’t the better team even when there’s not a gulf between how much is at stake for both parties.
The best-case scenario for the Eagles’ long-term outlook is a game in which Galen Hurts handles pressure with a calm, decisive approach and leads an offensive outburst that ultimately doesn’t matter because of the banged-up Eagles defense’s surrendering too many points. Whether Hurts is able to do that against Washington’s pass rush, ranked sixth in sacks, remains to be seen.
NFL Network's Kurt Warner's blueprint for the Washington Football Team to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, win NFC East Skip to main content The browser you are using is no longer supported on this site. When the Washington Football Team plays at the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday with a final chance to win the NFC East, it will do so in prime time.
The Week 17 game has been flexed from 1 p.m. to an 8:20 p.m. kickoff on “Sunday Night Football,” the NFL announced. If Washington loses, the winner of a 1 p.m. game between the Dallas Cowboys and the host New York Giants will win the division.
Running back Miles Sanders (knee) won’t play, and the Eagles will be starting backups at three-fifths of the offensive line positions, including potentially Brett Both and Matt Pryor at the tackle spots. It’s not looking good for Hurts, who will also be without tight end Dallas Modern (calf) and wide receiver Demean Jackson (ankle).
He’s showed off some good chemistry with the younger wide receivers, and his mobility allows him to keep plays alive when things break down. This plays off the above, but the Eagles should force the ball to the young receivers who have shown something this year, including rookies Galen Regor and Quiz Watkins and second-year pro Travis Fulghum.
That trio has showcased some play making ability during the course of the season, and the Eagles should give them more chances to things happen on offense. Veteran defensive end Brandon Graham made his first Pro Bowl in 2020, and he’s on the doorstep of his first 10-sack season.
The Eagles are missing too many key stars, and while there are plenty of young players who should turn in high-effort performances to make one last impression before the off season, it’s tough to see a team missing so many starters and contributors really competing against a team with the division on the line. Follow Penalize’s Philadelphia Eagles coverage on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen ® gets a high five from guard Jon Feliciano after a throwing a touchdown Monday night against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., where the Bills defeated the Patriots 38-9. The Bills' Lee Smith (L) charges down field while being chased by the Patriots' Adrian Phillips.
Kansas City Chiefs fans social distance their cars for tailgating before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Sunday, where the Chiefs defeated the Falcons 17-14. Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes (15) knocks the ball from the Atlanta Falcons' Keanu Neal.
The Chiefs' Darrel Williams (31) avoids the Falcons' Dan Jones (L) and Isaiah Oliver. The Falcons' Tyler Hall (L) takes down the Chiefs' Become Hartman during a punt return.
Groups of fans sit distant from each other in the stands before the Chiefs take on the Falcons. Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins stretches across the goal line for a 2-yard touchdown against the New York Giants at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday, where the Ravens won 27-13.
The Ravens' Willie Snead (L) makes a catch under pressure from the Giants' TAE Crowder. Ravens' defenders Chuck Clark (L to R), Design Elliott and Matt Judo stop the Giants' Sterling Shepard by his shirttail.
The Ravens' Chris Board (L) and Ramon Williams (R) sack the Giants' Daniel Jones for a loss. The Ravens' J.K. Dobbins leaps over the goal line for a 2-yard touchdown.
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) runs for a loss against the Carolina Panthers' defense at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., on Sunday, where the Panthers won 20-13. The Panthers' Mike Davis (C) pushes for a 1-yard touchdown.
The Panthers' Robby Anderson (L) beats Washington's Karen Curl for a 14-yard touchdown. Washington's Taylor Janice is slow to get up after being hit by the Panthers' defense.
The Packers have been due for another Super Bowl for quite some time, and they have a lot of factors on their side that could help. It boasts a strong passing and running game that has been a threat all year.
It’s hard to count a team out led by Rodgers, especially when the quarterback has been playing some of his best football and has a slew of weapons to help make the offense a tough one to beat. The red zone defense struggled for most of the year, but appeared to turn a corner in the last few games.
There’s no telling which defense will show up against their opponent (which is to be determined), but will it be able to withstand Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Cinderella story that is Alex Smith and the Washington Football Team? Smith fought through a right calf strain that worsened, and he relied on the pillars of his game to help his team to an early lead that it would hold on to, even as he struggled and his mobility was limited.
In the first half, Smith did his job, leading Washington on long drives consisting of short, quick passes to a variety of receivers and protecting the ball at all costs. Washington snapped its season-long scoring drought on its opening possession, taking more than eight minutes to run 15 plays and gain 91 yards with a five-yard touchdown pass from Smith to the also-hobbled Terry Clarín.
Rookie Km Curl, whose versatility allowed his role to evolve from sub-package defensive back to game-changing strong safety, intercepted Philadelphia quarterback Galen Hurts on the Eagles’ subsequent drive, giving the ball back to the Washington offense only 11 seconds after it left the field. Washington quickly expanded its lead, despite a failed third and seven, when Dustin Hopkins nailed a 42-yard field goal to make it 10-0 in the first quarter.
As the rush neared, Smith threw the ball away just as Cam Sims emerged wide open in the corner of the end zone on a blown coverage by Philadelphia. The very next play, as Washington trailed 14-10 with 26 seconds left in the half, Smith threw a bullet to tight end Logan Thomas, who had less than a yard of separation from his defender and leaped for the touchdown.
Classic bobbled off the running back’s chest and into the arms of safety Marcus EPP at Washington’s 15-yard line. The defense allowed the Eagles to creep to its 4-yard line but no farther, forcing a turnover on downs to keep the score at 17-14 in favor of Washington.
Washington was aided by a Surfed fumble two plays later that rookie Chase Young scooped up before sprinting up field 10 yards to set up his offense at Philadelphia’s 25-yard line. After a holding call on tackle Morgan Moses and a pass by Smith that was batted down at the line, Washington begrudgingly accepted the chance to expand its lead to 20-14 with another 42-yard field goal by Hopkins midway through the fourth.
Yet even as the NFC East mockery from fans and media alike seemingly reached its peak, Washington continued to fight its good fortune. Steven Sims Jr. muffed a punt (he recovered), Smith fumbled on a bobbled snap (he, too, recovered), and Washington spurned a fourth-down conversion (courtesy of an Eagles penalty, no less) to eventually limp to the finish line with the victory, the NFC East title in hand and a first-round game against the Bus on the books for Saturday night.
The victory and return to the playoffs comes at a price; Washington will pick 19th, at the earliest, in April’s draft, instead of 10th had it lost, and it will get a tougher 2021 schedule as the top team in its division. But Rivera and his players celebrated without inhibition Sunday, concerned not about the potentially tougher road ahead, or the ways in which Philadelphia made it easier for them, but about their sweet victory.