By Connor Thomas


2021 was a tough year for Philly sports, and the world in general. This past weekend, we said goodbye to that year, though, and headed into 2022 with hopes of the Eagles exceeding expectations and getting closer to a surprising playoff berth. Well, the first NFL Sunday of 2022 could not have gone better. Seriously. The greatest script writers in the world could not have written something more to the Eagles favor. Teams that needed to win, won. Teams that needed to lose, lost. And most importantly, of course, the birds took care of business in Washington. Well, at least they did on the scoreboard. It wasn’t the most inspiring performance out of the Eagles, so in lieu of digesting what happened on the garbage can that is FedEx Field, here are the 5 best things that happened for the birds around the NFL yesterday:

  • 1.) The Dolphins got smoked by the Titans

    This year has been a very interesting dichotomy of draft pick watching and playoff pushing for the Eagles. There has been a section of the fan base that has even rooted for the draft picks harder than the team at points, and those folks weren’t necessarily wrong to do so at the time. The Eagles own the Dolphins first round pick thanks to the DeVonta Smith trade-back from last year’s draft, and with Miami floundering against Tennessee yesterday, they were officially eliminated from playoff contention. That means that pick cannot possibly be worse than 18th overall. As it currently stands, this loss pushes the Dolphins pick up to 14th overall, setting the birds up for a nice mid-1st to select in 2022. They’ll finish out the season against the Patriots next week, making it very possible that pick gets even better. It’s a great break for Philly.

  • 2.) The Colts lost on a last second field goal to the Raiders

    The other pick that the Eagles will own in the 1st round besides their own is that of the Indianapolis Colts following the Carson Wentz trade. For all of those who were worried about the dead cap hit and other implications of trading Wentz this offseason, it should settle your mind to know that the Eagles have now locked in a playoff berth, the Colts are still on the outside looking in with Wentz at the helm, and the birds are one 1st round pick richer. That’s a whole different argument, but what is fact is that the Colts lost yesterday, moving their 1st round pick up to 21 in the 2022 draft. The Colts play the Jaguars next week with playoffs on the line, so that pick could certainly end up being much worse, but every game in the loss column for Indy is helpful for the Eagles. Another good result for Philly fans.

  • 3.) The 49ers took down the Texans

    Ok, now let’s get to the really fun results from yesterday. The Eagles actually had a scenario where they could clinch a playoff berth a week before the season ended (I’m sure you already know how that played out). One of the things that was needed for that to happen was San Fran downing the lowly Texans. Well, despite missing Jimmy Garoppolo to injury, Kyle Shanahan was able to coach his team to a decisive 23-7 win. That set up the final piece of the puzzle chronologically, which would be a Sunday night showdown between Aaron Rodgers and… Sean Mannion? With the 49ers win, if the Packers were able to take care of business in Lambeau, that would push the birds into the playoffs. Since the Saints beat the Panthers, this was a huge win for the birds’ playoff chances.

  • 4.) The Packers routed the Vikings

    The Sunday night matchup was the somewhat do or die game for the Eagles (outside of their own matchup, of course). If the Vikings pulled off the upset in Green Bay, the Eagles would need to win next week against the Dallas Cowboys to give themselves a real chance of making it into the playoffs. If the Packers won, it would give the birds the playoff berth they were looking for right then and there. Well, this one was never really in doubt despite the huge implications. With Sean Mannion starting for the Vikings in Kirk Cousins’ (COVID-19 Reserve) spot, Minnesota had no chance to compete with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. This one was a laugher at half time, and finished 37-10 in favor of Green Bay. It was a great late Christmas present for Philly, and pushed them into the playoffs for the 4th time in 5 years. Make sure if you know a Packers fan, you send them a nice wheel of cheese as a thank you for their efforts.

  • 5.) The Eagles took care of business in Washington

    Of course, none of what happened in those other games mattered at all if the Eagles lost to the Washington Football Team earlier in the day. It wasn’t the cleanest performance by any means, but the bottom line is the birds ended up on top. It took a comeback from being down 10-0 early, and 16-7 at the half. It took a last second interception in the end zone from safety Rodney McLeod. It took one of the cleanest performances of Jalen Hurts’ career. It took an expert adjustment from Jonathan Gannon in the 2nd half. It took a lot more than it probably should’ve against a team in Washington that has been reeling for weeks and is now eliminated from postseason contention themselves, but the Eagles got it done. And hasn’t that kind of been the theme of this season from the beginning? This wasn’t a season of style points, or blowout wins, or playoff contention. This season was always an evaluation year to find out what the Philadelphia Eagles have on their roster, on their coaching staff, and in their building. Well, despite the flaws that this team certainly does have, the most important thing that everyone learned about the 2021-22 Eagles is that they have a playoff berth, and a shot to continue what has already been one of the more improbable runs in the NFL this year.