Three Keys to Philadelphia Eagles NFC East Divisional Championship Success

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Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) thaws a pass during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles entire season will be decided in one game this Sunday night on NBC in prime time television glory (you can also find Eagles @ Cowboys tickets if you’re looking to attend.)  These are the types of games every NFL fan lives for; a do-or-die, win-or-go-home shootout with the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East Division title.  It just doesn’t get much better than this!

In order to fully appreciate the delicious Eagles versus Cowboys matchup, it’s important to take a look at the first meeting between these two teams back in Week 7 on October 20th at Lincoln Financial Field.  The Eagles entered the game carrying the weight of 8 straight losses at home, and enduring the further difficulty of starting quarterback Nick Foles’ ailing groin.

It was easy to see Foles’ struggles on tape as he missed wide open receivers all game, and his throws did not have much zip.  The Cowboys pass rush didn’t make things any easier for the young quarterback as both defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and defensive end George Selvie combined for three sacks and three quarterback hits.

Foles was eventually knocked out of the game at the end of the third quarter, and quarterback Matt Barkley took over the offense with relative ineffectiveness.  The Eagles played from behind the entire game and arguably their best offensive weapon, running back LeSean McCoy, only ran the ball twice during the fourth quarter.  The game ended with a 17-3 Eagles defeat increasing the Lincoln Financial Field losing streak to 9 games.

But the Eagles are a different team coming into this week 17 matchup.  Philadelphia has the experience of almost an entire NFL season under their belts, and will look to exact revenge against the Cowboys using three keys to success.

Healthy Nick Foles   

As discussed previously, the Dallas Cowboys faced a severely hampered Nick Foles in week 7.  Foles missed wide open receiver after wide open receiver as a result of his injured groin.  He threw for just 80 yards in three quarters and was pressured the entire game.  The offensive line will need to do a better job of protecting Foles which will allow him time to get back to his 25 touchdowns to 2 interceptions ratio, and league leading 118.7 quarterback rating.

Foles has proven himself to be one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL this year.  Facing a Dallas secondary which ranks second worst in the league giving up 290 yards per game while also allowing 31 touchdowns should offer Foles plenty of passing success.

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