NFL Season in Review – Eagles Playoff Run

The Philadelphia Eagles had a memorable season and plenty to be proud of and hang their hat on. Although the Vince Lombardi trophy was not lifted by the birds, they blew everyone’s expectations out of the water during their historic run. There were doubts coming from every angle prior to the start of the regular season with sports analysts and media personalities alike worrying about the arm power and consistency of Jalen Hurts and the surrounding talent. There is absolutely no question that Hurts ended those doubts and made himself some new fans through his impeccable play on the gridiron and his unbreakable demeanor off the field. The team had a super start to the year winning their first 8 games and finished with a record of 14-3. Their three losses were flukes in my eyes as the team was dealing with countless injuries during two of the three losses, including being without their starting QB and captain of the squad against Dallas and New Orleans. The Saints game was close right up until the end when Eagles backup QB Gardener Minshew threw a bad pass and gave NOLA 6 easy points – effectively ending the match right there. The regular season is where champions are bred, but the postseason is where champions are truly tested.

Eagles rout Giants 38-7

(Daniel Jones under pressure from Eagles defenders)

The New York Giants had an amazing season too…. Up until Saturday January 21 when they traveled to Lincoln Financial Field. New York was absolutely manhandled by the Eagles in every phase. The bird’s offense had a whopping 268 rushing yards while managing a respectable 148 yards thru the air on only 16 pass completions. The defense held to their end of the bargain, only allowing Saquon and company to 7 measly points that came in the third quarter. The total dismantling of the Giants felt poetic in a way and supercharged the locker room of Philadelphia going into the NFC Conference Championship game. Not only was this 38-7-win dominant in all three phases, but it also felt so natural and like this was just another regular season game. Not to say NYG rolled over, because they played hard until the final whistle, but people expected at least some level of competition between the fierce division rivals. An extreme step up in play was in line, as San Fransico and company were slated to come down to Philly to try and spoil what the Eagles were building.


Eagles’ teammates RB Miles Sanders (26) & WR Zach Pascal (3) celebrating a touchdown.

Admittedly, San Fransisco came into this match with lots of problematic injuries. Of course, the Eagles had no part in the health of their foes team and did not choose them as an opponent, but it is important to acknowledge the multitude of injuries SF was dealing with. Now, that is not to say the core of the talented team and amazing coaching from Shanahan and Ryans was not present, because it surely was. Some of the public attempt to discredit the success and playoff run of the Eagles due to this specific game, but I think they are being unfair. The coaching was no different and huge names like Deebo Samuel, Trent Williams, CMC, Fred Warner, Ward, Hufunga remained in the lineup the entire game. SF Quarterbacks Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson both were hurt during the course of the game, leading to a run-heavy scheme and not much threat of a vertical attack. To the Eagles credit, they stacked the box and let their stars do the work rather than ‘getting cute’ with coverages. Yet again, the rush attack of the green and black was overwhelming for the Niners defense and racked up 148 yards with 4 touchdowns on the ground. The time of possession also heavily favored the Eagles, as they held the pigskin almost double the amount of time SF had their hands on it. Overall, this was a similar display of dominance to the NYG game the previous week but had some outside noise from the critics. Now, faced the biggest test to date for Philly…. could they travel to Arizona and compete with the juggernaut that is the Kansas City Chiefs?

PHI 35 – KC 38.

QB Jalen Hurts reflects on the loss as he exits the field.

Before I start, can we appreciate how far the Eagles have come and the success they have had. Nobody expected them to make it to the NFC Championship Game, let alone the Super Bowl. The match itself was super tightly contested and ended with a controversial holding penalty call on CB James Bradberry. To back up a bit, in the first half the Birds were able to go up 24-14 after the first 30 minutes of action. After Queen B preformed, the Eagles began to slip on the defensive end. They were giving up consistent chunk plays and being lit up via the run game of Mahomes and Pacheco. Philly only scored 11 points in the final 30 minutes of play and that is simply not enough – but the 24 points in the first half was more than enough, and the Eagles defense gave up 24 points in the second half. No matter your team affiliation, the end of the game was super anticlimactic and ended way too abruptly!! Whether the holding call was warranted (it was) or not, the Super Bowl ended in this way after a thrilling back and forth affair for 59 minutes. In the end, Philly lost on a last second field goal. Devastating. Demoralizing. Different feelings than before. Even though the Eagles did not win the Super Bowl, there is so much to be proud of. Hurts top 2 in MVP voting, player signings such as Brown, CJ, White, Suh came through in big ways and bolstered the Philly team. The Birds also only lost 3 regular season games (1 with Jalen at QB) and won 2/3 playoff games in total dominant fashion and lost the big game by 3 points after leading at halftime and being tightly contested the entire time. Make no mistake, Jalen Hurts and his squad will be back and better than ever. Only difference is… this upcoming year people will recognize the talent from the start!

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