Every game is important. The NFL is a week-to-week league. We’ve said that all year. The Philadelphia Eagles have said the same thing. There’s another side to that coin however. Losses aren’t created equally.
Some things can be explained. The Birds walked into Arlington to face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16. Jalen Hurts was missing from the lineup. Philly lost their right tackle, Lane Johnson, during the contest. They were playing in their third consecutive road game of the season, something they hadn’t done all year. We’re also talking about a divisional opponent and four turnovers during the contest. We can explain why the Eagles lost to Dallas even if we hate doing so.
Week 17’s loss makes no sense. Philadelphia was the better team and had better players. They were playing at home. Gardner Minshew should have been good enough to get the job done, yet here we are.
The Birds dropped their second consecutive game and missed out on a chance to secure themselves the NFC East’s crown, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and a top-ten draft choice for the time being. Still, we’re positive. There are several reasons to feel that way.
Rather than trudge through the muddy waters of a gloom-and-doom mindset, we, instead, choose to focus on the positives.
Here are a handful of reasons to keep your head up despite a tough Eagles loss versus the Saints.
Well, if you pay attention to Twitter, you’d assume the Eagles were out of the playoff chase. They aren’t. That’s a reason to be positive. Here are several more.
1. Believe it or not, the stakes haven’t changed.
The narrative has gotten old, but it bears repeating. Despite consecutive losses, the Eagles can lock up the NFC East’s crown and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with one more win. Unfortunately, they only have one more opportunity.
Oh, that’s right. We’re supposed to be positive, aren’t we?
2. The Eagles own the league’s best record and can lock up home-field advantage.
Okay, let’s try this again. By beating the New York Giants, Philadelphia will earn a division title, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and a first-round bye. Hopefully, the third time winds up being the charm.
3. Josh Sweat is going to be okay.
According to reports, Josh Sweat was taken to a local Philadelphia medical facility. He had movement in his extremities and seems to be recovering from a neck injury. If nothing is broken, that’s the best news that someone could hope for. With a little rest, signs point to him possibly returning for the postseason.
4. This team will get some pieces back for the roster.
This team has seen a lot of bodies drop recently. Avonte Maddox, Jalen Hurts, Lane Johnson, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson have missed recent time with injuries, and fingers crossed, all could return at some point during the postseason. Obviously, some will return before others. Maybe Maddox can go if the Birds reach the Super Bowl. Maybe he won’t (he’s currently in a walking boot), but fingers are crossed that reinforcements are coming.
5. One win changes everything.
As bad as things have been, all this team needs is a win. They need to taste victory again, and once they do that, things will settle down.
Again, if they topple the New York Giants in Week 18, they own a 14-3 win-loss total, and they’re the owners of the NFL’s best record. Hey, from where we’re sitting, that’s something to be proud of.
6. Wait! Are the Giants resting their starters now?
By beating the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, the New York Giants locked up the fifth seed in the playoffs. That makes next week’s game meaningless for them. Will they play their starters?
There’s no way to tell, but if they don’t that increases Philly’s chances of winning the game. If they do, what’s encouraging is the Birds have been successful versus New York more often than not as of late.
7. Jalen Hurts will be back.
Whether Jalen Hurts wins the MVP trophy or not, he has convinced us that he deserves it. This team is just better when he plays. There is no way he won’t play next week.
We haven’t reached desperation, but Week 18’s game is hugely important, and we see no scenario in which Garner Minshew starts over Jalen.
8. This roster is uber-talented. They’ll figure this out.
We still believe in this coaching staff. We believe in this team’s talent. A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith are studs. This team is loaded with veteran leadership. They’ll figure this out. We truly believe that.