With an imperfect win, Eagles remind everyone they’re alive in NFC: ‘Don’t count us out’


The Eagles and quarterback Carson Wentz can pressure a tie atop the NFC East standings with a win over the Cowboys subsequent week. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Submit)

PHILADELPHIA — An unsettling perception began to sprout right here as fall ceded to early wintry weather, an concept that might now not taint or diminish remaining 12 months — not anything may just — however threatened to ruin the afterglow. What if it was once a fluke? What if the Philadelphia Eagles’ Tremendous Bowl triumph was once just a blip, a one-year anomaly, a loved fulfillment right here, however a supply of misunderstanding in all places else?

Monday evening’s 28-13 victory over the depleted Washington Redskins preserved the Eagles’ identify protection however did little to quell the ones uncomfortable ideas nagging on the town. The Redskins misplaced their quarterback and each beginning guards, and but the Eagles may just now not put away a staff quarterbacked by way of Mark Sanchez till halfway throughout the fourth quarter. They received, and so their season stayed alive. They confirmed promising indicators, however evidence they’re a caliber of staff in a position to repeating by no means materialized.

“We’re some distance from that,” Eagles proper take on Lane Johnson stated. “I promise you.”

The Eagles received consecutive video games for the primary time all season, however their locker room overdue Monday evening was once extra subdued than celebratory. It accommodates sufficient champions for them to grasp victories over the New York Giants and quarterback-starved Redskins don’t imply they have got became any more or less nook.

The ones victories, which got here at the heels of an embarrassing, 48-7 shellacking in New Orleans, handiest nudged them to 6-6, nonetheless within the thick of the NFC wild card image and one sport at the back of the Dallas Cowboys, whom they’ll face Sunday in Dallas in a season-shaping showdown, within the NFC East race. The magnitude of the looming sport mattered extra to Philadelphia than the minor fulfillment of consecutive wins.

“We’ll see after this week,” protection Malcolm Jenkins stated. “We perceive the place we’re so far as the season. Whilst we had been desirous about hanging two wins in combination, if we don’t maintain industry this week, it’s interested in naught.”

The case for the Eagles stays faith-based. To imagine they may be able to change into a perilous playoff danger, you must imagine they may be able to recapture the magic carpet trip of remaining season. The issue is, that can be unattainable. Their protection has been ravaged by way of accidents, even supposing reserves Rasul Douglas and Nathan Gerry made the most important performs of the sport for Philadelphia’s protection Monday evening — a key open-field take on and an interception, respectively.

Remaining 12 months, when Frank Reich was once the offensive coordinator, the Eagles ranked 8th in third-down conversions and primary in red-zone scoring. This 12 months, with Carson Wentz coming off knee surgical treatment and Reich the top trainer in Indianapolis, they’re 15th and 21st. The adaptation has trickled over to their protection, which thrived remaining 12 months when it performed lower than part the sport and may just rush the passer with abandon.

“We’re constructed to play with the lead,” tight finish Zach Ertz stated.

Whilst the Eagles have various issues to type via, the truth that they’re now not useless but issues. Beating the Giants and Redskins is probably not purpose to throw a parade, nevertheless it indicators that the Eagles aren’t going to start out sprucing their Tremendous Bowl rings and get started making plans for the offseason.

“We can have simply tanked after we misplaced how we misplaced towards the Saints,” linebacker Brandon Graham stated. “Typically whilst you lose that unhealthy, you have a tendency to look some stuff you don’t like. Happily, it wasn’t that. Everyone got here in tomorrow able to move, able to get that bitter style out.”

The Eagles, charmed all of remaining season even after Wentz tore up his knee, have discovered learn how to play via tough patches. Within the 0.33 quarter, conserving just a 14-13 lead, Wentz threw an interception to Redskins cornerback Josh Norman in spite of everything zone. However Philadelphia’s protection held, and the Eagles asserted keep an eye on on their subsequent ownership.

“Such a lot unhealthy stuff has took place this 12 months that you simply more or less get resistant to it now,” Johnson stated. “We need to transfer on.”

Monday evening was once a long way from a masterpiece, however the Eagles may just in finding promise, particularly in broad receiver Golden Tate’s efficiency. In Tate’s first 3 video games after coming from Detroit in alternate for a third-round select, Wentz finished 11 of the 20 passes he threw in Tate’s path for handiest 97 yards. Monday evening, Wentz finished all seven of his objectives to Tate for 85 yards and the receiver’s first landing as an Eagle, plus a two-point conversion.

“This night simply felt actually natural,” Tate stated. “We simply went in the market and performed ball. I didn’t suppose any person was once looking to get me the ball an excessive amount of. It labored how it labored. It simply so occurs statistically, I had a good sport. This week, it simply felt like we went in the market and performed, had a really perfect week, simply let all of it occur how it’s intended to occur.”

The Eagles had now not scored on a gap force since Week 6, however their first ownership Monday evening was once a good looks. The Eagles held the ball for 7:29 as they marched 75 yards on 12 performs. Wentz completed the force by way of escaping the pocket, scrambling and rifling a thrown at the run to Tate within the nook of the top zone, the ball zipping simply previous the outstretched hand of a cornerback.

The Eagles had made a rapid get started a concern, realizing the Redskins entered Zero-Five when the opposite staff scored first. Their rapid get started stalled, however in spite of everything, they did sufficient to stay their hopes alive. Now comes Dallas, a stiffer take a look at and a more true signal of simply what’s going to occur to those Eagles.

“The whole thing remains to be proper in entrance folks,” Graham stated. “Like we inform everyone each week: Don’t depend us out.”

Extra from The Submit:

Kareem Hunt’s NFL long term stays unsure after no staff claims him on waivers

Clayton: Who will win the AFC? Plus, four extra large questions on the NFL season’s quarter pole.

Who will substitute Mike McCarthy as Packers’ head trainer? Listed here are eight conceivable applicants.

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