Although Carson Wentz tore his ACL against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles still have hope.
Currently, the Eagles are the best team in the weak NFC. They have three games to go with a one game lead over the Minnesota Vikings. Today, the Eagles face a weak Giants team with nothing left to prove. On Christmas day, the Eagles take on the Oakland Raiders who are not the same team as they were a year ago. If the Eagles win both games, they will lock up a first round bye and home field advantage through the playoffs. If the playoffs started today, the Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Saints, Panthers, and Falcons would all be in. With a first round bye and home field advantage, the Eagles would be in a favorable position because out of the six teams listed above four of them either play in a dome or are a West Coast team. In a cold January game at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles would have a significant edge over any one of those teams for obvious reasons. With the first round bye, the Eagles would have to win only two games to make it to the Super Bowl. It will not be an easy feat for the Eagles, but they still have a shot.
Yes, there is a huge drop-off between Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. I am not here to deny that. But, Foles is familiar with Doug Pederson’s system and also has had some experience in a playoff game. In the Eagles’ playoff game against the Saints, Foles played to his maximum potential. If he can replicate that type of performance, the Eagles have a legitimate chance to compete for a Super Bowl.
The Eagles are 11-2 and the best team in the NFC for a reason. A lot of that has to do with Wentz, obviously, but this Eagles team does have many other playmakers and leaders in all three aspects of the game. If the Eagles are going to win the NFC, they will need their playmakers to step up. This starts with the receiving core of Jeffrey, Agholor, Ertz, and even Trey Burton. The Eagles must commit to a balanced attack and the running game must be established from the start of the game. Pederson must give more snaps to Ajayi who has proved to be the most effective back.
With that being said, Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz will need to call exceptional games to cover up the flaws of the team. Pederson must change the play calling because Foles does not have the escapability of Wentz. The Eagles must run the ball to alleviate the pressure from Foles, who has not been tasked with this type of pressure since the 2013 season. Until Foles acclimates to the offense, the Eagles must work around his skills.
I remain hopeful of the Eagles because it is no time to quit. And, in Philadelphia, our sports teams fight hard despite the circumstances. So, the Eagles and the fans should not give up, especially, not after a 11-2 start to the season. Yes, Wentz was the biggest piece to the Eagles’ success, but every single player has contributed in some form. If the Eagles rally behind Foles, they still have a shot.