Philadelphia Eagles Season Over: Washington Wins 38-24


The Philadelphia Eagles lose, the Washington Redskins win the NFC East. Life is a disaster.

The Philadelphia Eagles entered the day with the opportunity to wrestle control of the NFC East away from Washington, but now find themselves playing a meaningless game against the New York Giants in week 17.

Inconsistency and mind-numbingly awful mistakes have been a hallmark for the Eagles in the 2015 season. It’s only fitting that their final game served as a culmination of miscues. Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver  Nelson Agholor, who’s struggled with drops all season, botched a routine touchdown catch. Fellow receiver Riley Cooper allowed a gorgeous deep-ball to fall to the ground on a pivotal play in what was, at the time, a close game. Tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek each added a fumble, the former of which couldn’t recover. Beleaguered running back DeMarco Murray had his eyes upfield before he secured a toss, dropped it, and allowed defensive back DeAngelo Hall to scoop it up and coast in for six. Moreover, the team in general simply couldn’t catch the football, or take advantage of any opportunities on either side of the ball.

Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford played another good game despite the horrendous receiver play. Bradford made several “wow” throws throughout the course of the game, including the aforementioned dime to Cooper, and a well placed sideline throw to wide receiver Jordan Matthews (who was the only consistent receiver on the night, by the way). Bradford regularly displayed good footwork/pocket movement, and delivered tight, accurate passes. The looming contract negotiations are sure to be a huge talking point over the offseason, but barring something unorthodox and unforeseen, I’d expect Bradford to be back with the team in 2016.

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The defense continued it’s poor play, mired by inconsistent linebacker play and poor play calling. It’s become abundantly clear that the season-ending injury to rookie linebacker Jordan Hicks (both ironically and bafflingly) somehow became the impetus for a catastrophic defensive meltdown. The Eagles have allowed yards and touchdowns in drives down the stretch (tonight 4 TDs and 350 yards passing). Simply put, the Eagles defense fell apart in the second half of the season. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins consistently exploited holes in the coverage and picked up yardage in chunks. Tight end Jordan Reed was the prime offender in the assault on the Eagles secondary, catching 9 balls on 11 targets and piling up 129 yards and 2 touchdowns.

It’ll be interesting to see how Chip Kelly, who, make no mistake, will be here in 2016, will approach the offseason. Heavily investing in the offensive line should be a foregone conclusion at this point, particularly with the future of franchise tackle Jason Peters undoubtedly up in the air. However, DB depth, pass rush help, and possibly an offensive skill player or two will also be in play, whether they’re obtained through free agency or the draft. Regardless, one thing is certain; This Eagles teams needs a lot of work heading into Chip Kelly’s fourth year.

Looking forward to next week, the Eagles will be jockeying for draft position. I’m sure the team will do their best to come away with a win, but, as a fan, rooting for a loss might be the most beneficial longterm. I don’t think a loss will damage the team’s moral irreparably, but a few spots in draft position could prove the difference between landing one of the top OL prospects, or an impact defender.