By Jennifer McGraw, Sports Talk Philly Contributor
The Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) are back at home for their last stretch of NFC East division games in hopes of the last playoff position. They will face the Washington Football Team (6-7) who are currently in the playoffs, but almost half of the team is on the COVID/Reserve list. Philadelphia is coming off of their bye week, having won against the New York Jets (3-10) prior to that. Washington comes off of a close loss to division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys (9-4), with a final score of 27-20.
This game has been rescheduled from it's original date and time, Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 1:00 p.m., due to the Washington Football Team COVID-19 outbreak.
Date: December 21, 2021
Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
When: 7:00 P.M./Eastern
Radio: 94.1 WIP and the Philadelphia Eagles Radio Network
Washington leads the all-time record 88-80-6.
2021: Washington Football Team clinched the NFC East title when they won on the road in Week 17 versus the Eagles, 20-14. Jalen Hurts went 7-for-20 for 72 yards, two rushing touchdowns, and one interception. WFT QB Alex Smith went 22-for-32 for 162 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
This is a must-win game for both teams. Washington Football Team is plagued with injuries and COVID-19, so their secondaries are going to need to step up in these last stretch of games to continue keeping their playoff spot. The Eagles have the best shot of making the playoffs out of all of the 6-7 teams, so every game from here on out is a must-win. They’ve gotten back on track for a playoff push, now it’s a matter of continuing to execute as the next set of games are the most important.
Jalen Hurts split practice reps with backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, so there will be a big decision as to who will start on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how the Eagles defense chooses to attack the WFT offense, but they must do something. Likewise for Washington, the team will only win the game if they can keep the Eagles offense at bay. The Eagles offense had a near perfect game with almost no turnovers against the Jets, so Washington needs to create pressure.
They need to pressure the quarterback…and the offense…and the whole team. Washington will be putting together some form of a team for Sunday. Odds are, they will be full of secondaries as a lot of key starters will be out on the COVID/Reserve list. The team is going to be to some degree inexperienced, so the Eagles are going to need to step up on both sides of the ball.
Given Washington’s circumstances, the team is going to have to get creative in the ways they can stop the Eagles. Pressuring the offense and forcing them to make decisions they don’t want to make – much like when they faced the Giants – will be key in keeping the offense from scoring points. Alex Smith should be ready to go Sunday, and he played the Eagles the last time they matched up. Smith is a great quarterback who can make things happen and score points.
Prediction: Eagles 38-27
The Eagles have all the odds in their favor to go out and win this game. If they can keep the momentum going of what they have done for the last few games, they will be in a great position to get to the playoffs. The Eagles are going to be