Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) vs. Washington (6-5-1)
Sunday, 1:00 pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Spread: Washington -2
Well, as Brett and I accurately predicted last week, this Philadelphia Eagles team is done. Watching that embarrassing performance last week, you could see players begin to think:
“I wonder where the fam and I should go for vacation, this January? I mean, someplace warm, for sure, but what about Zika? Florida’s definitely out. I guess the southwest might be nice? Oh, they scored again. 29-0. Huh.”
It’s natural to get tired at the end of a grueling season – especially when the playoffs are out of the equation. It becomes easy to think about the off-season and staying healthy for next year. There is a fire that, unlike what The Smiths may have told you, certainly can go out when the goal of the game becomes to stay healthy and get the season over with. It becomes unwatchable and results in what Eagles fans had to suffer through last week in the second half against Cincinnati.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. As that three-win Bengals team showed last week, you can still find some pride and play for the man next to you, even if the season won’t end with division titles and a shot at the Lombardi. As the Eagles enter the final quarter of their season, let’s see which players show up and do their jobs, and which ones mail it in, happy to get their check and stay healthy.
As we await kickoff, here are the predictions from the football minds here at Pattison Avenue and what we’ll be watching throughout the game – please follow and harangue them on twitter dot com:
As the Eagles are officially bad, the only hope Birds fans have for the playoffs is in fantasy football. Good luck, fam. I hope to see some good football from the Eagles in the final four games, but I suspect it will need to come in individual performances. This team has shown an inability to put together a positive, whole-team effort. When the defense is on, the offense is lost. When the offense is on, you’re playing the Browns, so it doesn’t really matter, anyway. Let’s watch how young players like Jordan Hicks play when there’s no playoffs as incentive. Who will be the last one to the pile on defense, or “the Kiko” as I like to call them? Will Zach Ertz respond to justified criticism of his lack of toughness and desire? Or will he confirm it while putting up empty numbers in garbage time against a Prevent defense? And lastly, can Doug Pederson acquit himself in the last quarter of the season by calling games effectively and managing his team, well? This week, I see the Eagles blowing a lead, late in the fourth quarter. Washington 28-23
So this is the most important game of the Eagles season. Not because it is for their playoff lives, but because it will show the fanbase whether this team has quit, again, for the third season in a row. If the Eagles lay an egg versus Washington, drastic changes need to be made in the offseason regarding their veteran “leaders,” but that’s a chat for another day. Unfortunately, the Birds are going to get boatraced. Kirk Cousins has owed the Eagles the last three games and the Skins get tight end Jordan Reed back. Hey, at least the Birds will get to see former and future Eagle wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Washington, 31-17
Until proven to me otherwise, this Philadelphia Eagles team right now, even with the return of Ryan Matthews, is just not a very good football team on any level. I don’t even care how they do or do not match up with the DC Football team. The only team these 2016 Birds have to beat is themselves, and I do not see enough players believing at this point in the season. If they could not come together enough to beat a very ordinary Cincinnati Bengals team when their playoff hopes depended on it last week, what would make me think they can do it against a not much better Washington team this week when they are out of that picture? Washington 28 – 13.
Call me crazy, but for some reason I think the Eagles win this game. The Skins have come back to reality in the last 2 weeks and now sit on the outside of the playoff picture. Meanwhile, the Eagles hit rock bottom last week in a pathetic effort against Cincinnati (apologies to Malcolm Jenkins, but Pederson was right in saying not everyone gave 100%) and now have their dignity at stake in a home game against a hated division rival. Redskins have won 4 straight over the Eagles, but Kirk Cousins is due for a laugher and the Eagles get some offensive “weapons” back this week in Ryan Mathews and Jordan Matthews (even though they both actually stink). Eagles win a hideous football game that should not be viewed by anyone outside a federal prison. EAGLES 23-19
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