Alright, Philly fans, the Philadelphia Eagles were able to walk out of FedEx Feild with a win over the Washington Football Team and are just that much closer to heading to the postseason. After another slow start by the offense and a terrible showing by the defense, the Birds quickly found themselves in another 10 point hole and it started to really look like everything was going Washington's way.
Cue to the second half (as always) both the offense and defense found their footing and were able to start putting up points and keep points off the board. With only a few minutes left, WFT was able to continuously drive down the field. With the defense being unable to stop this offense, it was almost certain we would be talking about a loss.
After some blunders by this defense, Washingtons' Taylor Heinicke took a shot to the endzone which was picked off by Rodney McLeod to seal the game and sweep the division rival. As always, let's dive into what we learned from this Week 17 victory.
1. Jalen Hurts kept this teams chances of victory alive.
The second-year quarterback has been taking away more and more reasons for this organization to look anywhere else for the QB position and this week was no different. Statistically, Hurts is not going pop of the chart, but this may have been his best performance of the season.
The Football Team had a great defensive scheme dialed up as they went up against #1. They had different looks both in the secondary and in pressure packages that they sent and QB1 was able to stand in the pocket, escape when need to, and deliver accurate throws. Not going to dance around this one, Hurts was the reason they stayed in this game.
2. Sirianni finds himself in the 'idk' column in Week 17.
Another reason why Hurts' performance was impressive was simply because Head Coach, Nick Sirianni, playcalling was all over the place. Many ill-timed play calls put this offense behind the chains more then in front of them, particularly in the 1st half. Including some bad 4th down calls, this offense was treading water for almost the entire first few series.
Another concern is how flat this offense comes out to start games. Second half adjustments are nice and all, but not trailing trash franchises would be preferred. This so far has been a two-week trend that we all as Philly fans hope comes to an end quickly.
3. The offensive line struggled in pass protection.
With different packages being thrown at this otherwise great offensive line, they struggled at times to keep their quarterback protected. Even in the run game, there was missed blocking assignments that left Scott or Howard with no where to go. Penalities also seem to be racking up once again along the offensive line that are absolute drive killers.
Not a major concern of this game, but something to kick around in the back of your minds.
4. The Milton Williams pick has the potential to payoff big.
The rookie third-round pick has been flashing more and more over the course of the past few weeks. He is still raw in his talent, but his overall athleticism and pure power have made him a force to be recognized by opposing offensive lines. He has an eye for the ball and is improving quickly in his ability to read what the offense is showing and be in the right places at the right time.
Will be great to see what this team can do for him over the course of an offseason. He has the ability to be a game wrecker and a bigtime piece of this franchise moving forward.
5. What in the F**k was Gannon doing?
Seriously, this was maybe the most pathetic game plan and showing by the defense as whole that we have seen in a long, long time. This defense allowed Heinicke to throw for over 200 yards, completing 75% of his throws. You have a team that already struggles offensively and you are going to run out soft zone coverage?
The worst part about this is that Washington offensively game planned for this defense and found all the spots within the coverage scheme and exploited them. They also kept some pressure off their QB by continuing to run the ball, but instead of keeping your Pro Bowl cornerback in man coverage, you kept your secondary playing in a different area code.
As this team looks to get into the post season, this type of defensive scheme cannot continue. Soft coverage, that relys on your LB core to make plays in the passing game, is just asking for a blowout loss. The Eagles defense is not lacking talent, but they need to be put in a good position to win.
As the close out of Week 17 has happened, the Eagles have officially clinched a playoff spot.