The Eagles clinched their first-round bye at the perfect time

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts scrambles against the New York Giants during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

In case you missed it, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Giants 22-16 on Sunday day night to clinch the NFC East. Not only are they your 2022 NFC East champions but they also were able to secure the number one seed in the NFC.

Now, what does this mean? It means that Philadelphia will have home-field advantage in the playoffs and will also have a first-round bye. With the bye, the Eagles will only need to win two games to make it to the Super Bowl.

The Eagles now have the opportunity to get healthy as every other team in the NFC battles for their playoff lives. Philly will then face the lowest remaining seed which could either be the Giants, Cowboys, or Seahawks, depending on who wins and loses.

This puts the Eagles in a favorable predicament. While the football world continues to be enamored with Brock Purdy and the 49ers, the Eagles are retooling themselves and getting healthy for what could be a strong run.

Jalen Hurts has shown that even at 60% health, the team is 100% better with him in the lineup. While the optics of him playing late into the game against the Giants are great, the fact of the matter is that it was necessary. Philadelphia needed Hurts to shake off the rust and get the feel of being pressured and hit.

All eyes on the Eagles coaches

This also allows the coaching staff to help refocus their approach on him and the offense. Sirianni and company have steered away from the running game over the last couple of weeks at a time when they needed it the most.

Against the Bears, Jalen Hurts was asked to run the ball 17 times. Whether that was on him or the offensive staff, doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is how they approach it going forward. Jalen should have to throw the ball 35 times for the team to win. 

The Eagles only ran the ball 11 times with Miles Sanders which will be unacceptable if they’re expecting to make it to Arizona. They have to have a more balanced attack going forward which allows them to preserve Jalen’s shoulder as opposed to overusing it. 

They’re in the perfect position to strike on a weak conference for a possible Super Bowl appearance but to do so we will have to see the coaching staff shine brighter than their players.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke