The Eagles have been one of the most shocking teams in the NFL. Even if you don’t like them, it’s safe to say that any football fan can appreciate the incredible growth of this squad. Prior to his injury, second-year quarterback Carson Wentz made amazing progress this year becoming the MVP frontrunner for the first 13 weeks of the season. Currently, the Eagles have the number one seed locked up and therefore have clinched home field throughout the playoffs. They are an astonishing 7-0 at home and an impressive 6-2 on the road. With one game remaining, and everything clinched, they plan on resting their stars prior to the playoffs.
Despite their regular season record, the Eagles season seemed to come to a halt three weeks ago. (Wentz tore his ACL against the Rams). However, the Eagles do have a viable backup. Nick Foles is an above average backup quarterback who had one remarkable season in the NFL. But, he is a backup for a reason, which is why it is hard to trust him moving forward. Even with two wins following the injury, the Eagles don’t look like the same team.
The NFC is loaded this season with the top 6 teams being true contenders, anyone could win the conference. The Eagles were the clear favorites, but now everything is up for grabs. Currently, there are five teams with a record of 11-4 or better. All five of these teams could legitimately make it out of the NFC.
The Eagles at home this season have scored 32.7 ppg and allowed 14.4 ppg. This differential is unheard of and simply unsustainable at this point. While I think home field is the only thing that gives the Eagles a chance moving forward, I don’t see this level of dominance possible as they move deeper into the playoffs.
The Eagles have weapons on both sides of the ball. They are an extremely talented team. However, losing your leader and the most important player will have consequences. While the NFC is highly competitive, the last team I would bet on would be the Eagles.
I expect either the Saints or Rams to come out as the winners. They both seem to be complete teams with fantastic rushing attacks and quality quarterbacks. Also, these teams have strong enough defenses, which I think may be enough to propel them to the Superbowl.
The only thing I see as the common weakness for the other teams are, coincidentally enough, quarterback play, as Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, and recently Case Keenum have struggled. Drew Brees efficiency has been down but should show up when needed in the playoffs and honestly has been leading a run-first offense.
With all this said, I predict the Eagles to make it no further than the NFC championship game, but more realistically, expect them to lose in the divisional round.