Philadelphia Eagles

Can Nick Sirianni get the Eagles firing on all cylinders after the bye?

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The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t exactly had the smoothest of seas to sail this year. But despite all the setbacks, concerns, inefficiencies, the team have won three of their last four games and are in the thick of the NFC playoff race. At least, they were before they Bye week arrived.

The situation is still favorable for Philadelphia. They have nothing but divisional matchups remaining and two of those come against the very team they’re trying to leapfrog in the sprint for a wildcard finish. It doesn’t help that the Niners were able to beat the Bengals, but the final wildcard spot is there for the taking so long as the Eagles can keep momentum alive.

There in lies Nick Sirianni’s next challenge. If we go back to the beginning of the season, the Eagles were mired with issues. They had more penalties than successful drives, a quarterback who was as sporadic as anyone, and a refusal to ignite the run game. Let’s not talk about the defense in the opening half of the season, purely for the fact that it’s nearly Christmas and I don’t want to spend it unable to sleep thanks to Eric Wilson haunting my dreams.

But as time went on, Sirianni ironed out the kinks. The Eagles found their groove, the Head Coach adapted, and the players started to feel confident in executing. They’re not the scariest team in the league, but they finally stopped getting in their own way. Part of that, debatably, is due to the fact that they bye week came so late into the season.

The Eagles are one of only four NFL teams to have to play 13 consecutive weeks without a break. Somehow, they’ve got through that huge stint relatively unaffected by injuries, and have been able to get back up after being knocked down purely because they’ve had to. There wasn’t a bye on the horizon after the Dallas beat down. There wasn’t a break just around the corner after tough losses to Las Vegas and Tampa Bay. Sirianni and his troops had no choice but to soldier on and keep kicking.

But now the noise has stopped. The Eagles have finally been able to breathe and take their foot off the gas. It’s now down to Sirianni to ensure his team don’t come out complacent, sluggish, or baring signs of slipping back into the old habits that destroyed their chances of growth early on.

It’s no easy feat. The team they’re playing just so happens to be Washington and the game carries heavy playoff implications. There’s no time for caution, no room for a rusty game, and no second chances. The Eagles have to take care of business and while fortune favors a well-rested outfit, Sirianni’s next big challenge is ensuring that statement rings true and that the momentum that pushed the Eagles to a big rebound win over the Jets hasn’t been sucked out of the NovaCare Complex due to their short absence.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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Liam is a 25-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.

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