The path to the playoffs just got a whole lot easier for the Eagles

Eagles quez watkins
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) celebrates his touchdown with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during the preseason game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 12, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The Washington Football team announced this evening that it will be Garret Gilbert taking the reins against the Eagles. Neither Taylor Heinecke or Kyle Allen were able to recover from COVID in time, leaving the Eagles with a very advantageous matchup. The good news is that it’s only the beginning of what could be a very easy run-in towards the end of the season.

First and foremost, the Eagles obviously have to get past a weakened Washington team. On paper, this seems easy enough, but nothing is ever that simple on any given…Tuesday? There are heavy playoff implications here and the Eagles have to take care of business, but if they can prove that there is no rust from a bye week and some change, then this should be pretty easy to do.

Sure, the idea of playing 3 games in 12 games isn’t exactly nice, but the Eagles have gotten over the worst of their schedule and now face a very easy run-in in comparison to the rest of the NFL. Putting the cherry on the cake is that the game against the Giants will see Jonathan Gannon’s defense face another comparatively weak QB.

The New York Giants are a mess. Daniel Jones is on IR with a neck injury and after Mike Glennon decided to stink it up at the weekend by throwing 3 picks and completing 13 of 24 passes, Jake Fromm was thrown into the mix. He ended up completing 6 of 12 passes for 82 yards in limited exposure and to be fair, it’s hard to play much worse than Mike Glennon did…but he didn’t play much better.

If Fromm takes the field next week then this only further works in Philadelphia’s favor. It’s not like he has much in the way of NFL experience and his role in the offense would likely be that of a game manager, especially considering New York are already trying to work out how to even coordinate an offense after firing Jason Garrett.

Then, there’s one more game against Washington, who could still be battling a COVID-ravaged hellscape by that point, and could have very little to play for.

The Cowboys are the final team on the schedule but unless they really want to risk their starters for a meaningless week 18 matchup, they’ll likely be resting players which gives the Eagles a real chance to secure their playoff berth if they haven’t already.

Dallas could be competing for a first-round bye, but given that they also play Washington before a game against the Cardinals, their fate will have been long sealed before the Eagles come to town.

Remember earlier in the season when the Birds had to deal with Tom Brady, Derek Carr, an Patrick Mahomes? Well now they have to deal with the WFT roulette wheel and one of either Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm.

As for the actual playoff picture, Minnesota currently hold the final wildcard spot. They could be tied with the Eagles tonight. Their remaining games consists of matchups with the Rams, Packers, and Bears. Something tells me that they’re not winning all three.

As for the New Orleans Saints, even if they win all three, the Eagles would still be able to sneak past due to the fact that they beat them earlier in the year.

Atlanta could be a wildcard (If you pardon the pun). They have a 6-8 record and have to face the Bills and Lions before closing the season out against the Saints. That final game is going to nullify any advantage gained because the Saints losing would automatically help the Eagles anyway. For a win against the Saints to matter, they’d have to win each of their final three games and hope for the best.

Of course, a nice schedule on paper is one thing, actually taking advantage of it is a totally different ballgame. The Eagles can take the first step on that road tonight by securing a convincing win over a depleted Washington team.

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Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire