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Your in-depth Eagles vs. Redskins Week 17 preview

It feels a lot like 2008 again, the Philadelphia Eagles do not control their own destiny.

It’s simple, if the Eagles beat the Washington Redskins on Sunday and the Chicago Bears defeat the Vikings in Minnesota, Philly will sneak into the postseason.

And if they get in, uh oh!


PHI- 99.6 PASSER RATING (8/32), 270 YPG (8/32)
WAS- 93.4 PASSER RATING ALLOWED (14/32), 238 YPG ALLOWED (15/32)

If that was the final home game for Nick Foles on Sunday, it was one hell of a way to go out.

Foles was 35-of-49 on Sunday and threw for an Eagles franchise-record 471 yards and four touchdowns against the Houston Texans in their 32-30 win. He also led the Birds down the field for their game-winning field goal.

Foles made sure to let Philadelphia know how important it was to him after the game.

Doug Pederson explained why there’s such a connection between Foles and the Philly fans.

“I think, number one, there is a great connection with a lot of our players and this city. I think there is a work ethic with a lot of guys. I think Nick possess that, I think [QB] Carson [Wentz] possesses that. That’s what our community sees, that’s what our city sees.

I think too when you’re just down to earth, genuine, you’re open, you’re honest, you’re transparent, people can respect that. People, they sort of gravitate to that just a little bit. I think Nick has some of that honesty in him, and obviously he’s playing at a high level, so people are going to gravitate to that.”

The Eagles averaged 9.1 yards per pass play, their highest mark of the year after averaging 8.7 yards per snap against the Rams. Foles is now 6-0 in his last six games in December or later against opponents with 10-plus wins.

Zach Ertz set the all-time tight end receptions record for a season Sunday, totaling 110 yards and two touchdowns on 12 catches. Good thing Dallas Goedert was alert enough to recover Ertz’s fumble on the record-breaking snag.

It was another huge game for Ertz, who surpassed Jason Witten’s 110 receptions on the all-time tight ends list. His 23-yard score gave the Eagles their 29-16 margin early in the fourth.

Wide receiver Mike Wallace was activated off the IR this week. He hasn’t played since Week 2 due to a fractured right fibula. The Eagles waited until the final week of the year to activate their second and final player off the injured reserve. Wallace is a deep threat, something the Eagles have lacked this year, but how much will you get out of Wallace at this point?

“He did good. He was limited. He just did our individual stuff. We kept him out of the team stuff. We’ll do that again today and see where he is at. He held up good.”

The offensive line continues to be a huge reason for the Eagles’ turnaround offensively. They’ve allowed just one sack the last three weeks after leading the league in quarterback hits allowed for most of the season.


PHI- 4.0 YPC (29/32), 96.1 YPG (28/32)
WAS- 4.6 YPC ALLOWED (20/32), 115.4 YPG ALLOWED (17/32)

Darren Sproles provided a huge spark for the Eagles in the passing game last week coming out of the backfield. He had nine carries for only 32 yards, but added three key receptions for 76 yards.

Pederson expressed that he’d love to have Sproles back again next year.

“I think Darren Sproles would be a great addition. He’s a great leader. He works hard. He’s a great mentor to a lot of young players. I think anybody would love to have a Darren Sproles. I would”

This was supposed to be Sproles’ last season, as was the case last year, but injuries have derailed him. Would he decide to come back one more time and would it even be a good investment for the Eagles considering how long they had to wait for him to get healthy this year.

Josh Adams has totaled just 49 yards on the ground in 26 carries the last two weeks. The inside runner has struggled to gain traction against the interiors of the Rams and Texans and the Washington Redskins are no slouch defensively either.


PHI- 95.9 PASSER RATING ALLOWED (20/32), 283 YPG ALLOWED (32/32)
WAS- 80.3 PASSER RATING (29/32), 197 YPG (28/32)

Josh Johnson has a nice story. The 32-year-old journeyman quarterback has played for 12 different teams in the last decade and helped the Redskins to a 16-13 win over the Jaguars in Week 15. He spoke about that win postgame.

“This is like going to Disneyland every day for me, for real. Because just a week ago, I was at home in the hood, chilling with the kids, chilling with my family and thinking on the couch that I might never play in the NFL again, but a week later, look at me now, I’m here starting with a great opportunity to get us a victory this Sunday against Jacksonville.”

Johnson has thrown for 499 yards with three touchdowns and three interception in three games.

“I know every opportunity I get could be my last one. That’s just the reality of my situation. I just want to leave it all out on the field. I owe this game that much because I love it that much. I mean, I’ve put in this work; I’ve stayed around this game for this long. For me to go out there and not leave it all out on the field, I would be disrespecting it. So, at the end of the day, if I have an opportunity where I know I can make a play, I’m going to go do that. I mean, we ended up pulling out the victory, so it worked out for us.”

Fletcher Cox and Michael Bennett have cause major disruptions the past few weeks and going against a depleted offensive line, it could be a long day for Johnson.

Avonte Maddox has also emerged the last two weeks, playing 102 snaps on the outside and allowing just five receptions for 59 yards on 13 targets. He’s also recorded an interception and impressive quarterback rating allowed of 21.0.


PHI- 4.8 YPC ALLOWED (25/32), 102.0 YPG ALLOWED (7/32)
WAS- 4.4 YPC (16/32), 116.9 YPG (16/32)

The 33-year-old Adrian Peterson has thrived in a bounce-back season and has rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns through 15 games. Peterson, who turns 34 in March, said to ESPN that he’d like to come back to Washington next season.

“I would love to come back here and finish off on a better note. We have a great group of guys here — all the adversity we’ve faced this year and how guys have responded. To come to work and really stay focused shows a lot about this team, this locker room, coaches as well. … That’s something I would love to be a part of.”

“I feel it can work. It’s always good to have a couple backs in there with the different styles. Obviously, CT is more a third-down back; he can run the ball as well. So having two guys that can pound the ball and have a no-plays-off mentality if it’s that type of game plan, why not?”

Washington drafted Derrius Guice in the second round, but the rookie tore his ACL prior to the season. He’ll be back next year so it’ll be interesting to see if Washington would bring Peterson back.


PREDICTION: The Eagles will take care of business, but will they get the help they desperately need? The 49ers will hang around with the Rams, allowing Chicago to keep its starters in long enough for Kirk Cousins to choke away the season for Minnesota.

Eagles 31-13.


You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at [email protected]. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here.

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