LANDOVER, MARYLAND - JANUARY 02: Rodney McLeod #23 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after an interception during the fourth quarter against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on January 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.

By Dylan MacKinnon

Deja VU. Another mostly ugly game, that the Eagles pull out. They beat Washington 20-16 in the end. Luckily in the NFL there is no such thing as style points. An ugly win is worth just as much as a great win. And this win may just be enough to get them into the playoffs. All they need now is either a win by the 49ers or a loss by the Saints and a loss by the Vikings. Short of those things, a win next week will also do the trick. But how did they pull out the win today? Here are 5 numbers that tell that story.


They were 3 of 4 on 4th down conversions. A huge improvment from their season ratio. They game into today dead last on 4th down conversions at just under 30%. And those 3 4th down coversions, were the difference in the win. Two went for TDs. So if they had failed it would take 14 points off the board. Had they settled for FGs it would be 8 points off the board. The 3rd one not only lead a FG that gave them a 4p point lead, but also allowed them to run an extra 2:30 off the clock. If they had either failed to connvert, or settled for FGs or a punt those 3 times, it would be a much different game. If they never went for it on 4th down theyd have only 9 points today. So consider that the next time you yell “just take the points” at you TV screen.


The Eagles allowed 0 points in the 2nd half. They forced two punts, got a stop on downs, and then had the game sealing pick to end the game.  Granted 0 is also the number of stops they had in the first half. But they also allowed only 1 TD in those 4 first half drives. It was an uneven performance, but overall a succesful game for the Defense. The big thing is they have been good in the red zone. They bended a ton in that first half, but only broke the one time. Plus they are  forcing turnovers at a decent rate, and got pressure on Taylor Heineke in the second half. It would just be nice to see more consistency.


In the last 5 Weeks, they have a point differantal of -28 in the first quarter. While they may be 4-1 in that span, thats not a good recipe for success. They may be able to afford to fall behind teams like the Giants, Jets, and Washington. But they cant afford to fall behind teams like the Rams, Cowboys, Bucs, or Packers. Those are the potenital opponents they would meet in the first round. The Slow starts have to stop. I dont know what the issue is, but it will have to be fixed within the next two weeks. On both offense and defense. If they fall behind in the playoffs, they may not come back.


Jalen Hurts was very good today. It was his 7th game this seaon with a QB rating over 90. The Eagles are 5-2 in those games (.714). If Hurts is playing well, this offense can be very good. They have an elite run game. Even in a down game for the running game today they reached 100 yards. Their o line is elite. And they have two weapons who are more than reliable in Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert. If Hurts can play like this, they have a chance to be good. Yea they scored only 20 today. But they also only punted twice, and scored on 4 of the 7 drives that were not just taking a knee to end the half or the game. Despit the low scoring thats still pretty impressive.


The Eagles have held 5 stright opponents  to 18 or fewer points. That is the first time they have accomplished this since 2009. Granted the cailber of opponent has been lacking, but you play who is on the schedule. And they have taken advantage of who they have been playing. Is this defense perfect? No. Am I concerned about how they will look vs the good QB? Yes. But you have to give them credit for how they have played recently. We just need to hope it carries over.