Week 17 Preview & Season Review

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

For the first time this season, the Eagles will be playing in a game that truly does not matter. Well, at least for them.

The Birds will be taking on the six-win Washington Football Team in a game that in any other year would be buried deep in the one o’clock slate. Instead, this game will be played on national television on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Why on God’s green earth would the NFL put this game on national television, you ask?

Well, because that six-win Washington Football Team would clinch the NFC East with a win against the Eagles. Furthermore, if the Eagles are able to pull off a victory that nobody in the Tri-State area wants them to, the winner of the Cowboys-Giants game from earlier in the day will take the division crown.

As if playing this disaster of a game in front of the entire country wasn’t bad enough for Eagles fans, the team will also be without a laundry list of key contributors due to injury.

That’s right, the practice squad Eagles are back, baby!

Considering the state the Eagles are in as a franchise at the moment, this will be a combination of a game preview and a “season summary,” if you will.

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Week 16 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (4-9-1) at Dallas Cowboys (5-9)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The Eagles head south for a date with the hated Dallas Cowboys in Jerry World on Sunday afternoon. This game is a prime instance of a, “Throw the records out the window,” game. Both teams have been barely watchable this season, which is something that neither franchise has been overly accustomed to in the 21st century.

Even with both teams being objectively awful, this game still carries significance. Both teams are still technically in the NFC East hunt, though the Eagles have an “easier” route to the division title than Dallas does.

If the Eagles were to win, coupled with a Washington loss to Carolina on Sunday evening, the Birds matchup with the Football Team next week would decide the division.

If Dallas beats the Eagles this week and the Giants next week, and Washington loses both of their remaining games, Dallas would get the NFC East “crown.”

Though the records are disgusting and the teams have been hard to watch all season long, this game has the potential to hold a lot of weight in the final standings.

Or, if the team without a real name wins, it could mean nothing.

Either way, it’s Eagles-Cowboys. If nothing else, this game is for pride and bragging rights.

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Week 15 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (4-8-1 and not dead yet!) at Arizona Cardinals (7-6)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

Eagles fans enter this week with quite the moral conundrum: rooting for the Eagles to win now, or rooting for the Eagles to get a better draft pick. It seems that the fans are pretty 50-50 about this.

With that being said, it had to have felt good to watch the Eagles win last week against the top seed in the NFC at the time. If nothing else, the Eagles were able to improve their record in “Enjoyable NFL football games to watch,” to a measly 1-12.

Fans and analysts alike saw something from the Birds they hadn’t seen in weeks: life. Did the extra pep in the players’ step have everything to do with the quarterback change? Hard to say, but the week 14 Eagles looked a heck of a lot different than the Eagles of the previous 13 weeks.

The Eagles travel to the desert this weekend for a tilt with yet another playoff contender in the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona has had an up-and-down year, and they are currently trending downwards at the wrong time.

With the Eagles suddenly soaring high after their big win against one of the NFC’s elite, this game could have the makings for yet another Birds upset.

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Week 14 Preview: New Orleans Saints (10-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

Giddy up, y’all.

The Philadelphia Eagles season is, barring a major turn of unforeseen events, essentially over. They would need to basically win all of their remaining four games and hope that the Giants and Washington Football Team collapse down the stretch.

If something wild like that were to happen in any division, it would be the NFC East, so who knows. Just don’t get your hopes up, because the murderer’s row of opponents isn’t done yet for the Birds.

The Eagles welcome in the New Orleans Saints, who have not lost a game in three months and currently have the best record in the NFC. Yippee.

However, this version of the Eagles has the potential to look a lot different. Or, they could continue to look just as bad or possibly even worse. Either way, I’m anxiously anticipating to see how it goes.

In uniform news, the Eagles have pulled out the, “In case of absolute chaos and disaster on all fronts,” uniforms this week, as they’ll be wearing all black. I can only assume that they are dressing for their own funeral.

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Week 13 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (3-7-1) at Green Bay Packers (8-3)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The Philadelphia Eagles travel up to Wisconsin this weekend for a “battle” with the Green Bay Packers. Battle might be a stretch. With the trajectories both of these teams are on, this game could be over by the first quarter.

The Eagles are coming off of yet another infuriating loss. The Packers are coming fresh off a beatdown of a division rival on national television.

With the trends both teams are on, and the fact that going to Lambeau Field in December is hard enough on its own, this game has the potential of getting very ugly very quickly.

Yes, the Eagles handed the Packers one of their three regular season losses last season. Yes, that game was in Lambeau. One key difference about that game compared to this Sunday’s contest?

The Eagles offense showed up in that one. If you’ve watched the Eagles offense at all this season, you know how unlikely it is that the Birds repeat last year’s scenario. This game is far more likely to finish the way their 2014 matchup did when Aaron Rodgers “dueled” with Mark Sanchez. You can guess how that went.

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Week 12 Preview: Seattle Seahawks (7-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

Eagles fans are coming into Monday night’s game against Seattle just wondering if the pain and suffering will ever end. This Eagles season has become increasingly infuriating with every passing week, and there is little to no confidence left in the fan base. It also seems like the same can be said from within the team itself.

The Eagles, with an ugly record of 3-6-1, are now looking up at the team without a real name in the NFC East. The Birds gauntlet of a schedule continues on Monday night when they welcome in one of the top teams in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks.

As if the fact that the Seahawks are tremendously better than the Eagles wasn’t enough reason for pessimism already, the history of this matchup will only further the negativity.

Dating all the way back to the Eagles miserable 42-0 loss to Seattle on a Monday night in December of 2005, the Birds are 1-8 in their last nine games against the Seahawks. Their lone victory came in 2008 against a 4-12 Seattle team. They’ve never beaten Russell Wilson, and lost to the Seahawks twice last year, but we don’t need to discuss that pain again.

Instead, I offer you this calming realization. Once you accept the fact that the 2020 Philadelphia Eagles are a truly awful football team and lower your expectations, it becomes a lot less frustrating to watch this team every week.

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Week 11 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (3-5-1) at Cleveland Browns (6-3)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The last time the Eagles played the Cleveland Browns, things were very different. Carson Wentz was a rookie making his NFL debut. The Browns were on their way to being the second 0-16 team in league history. I was still in high school. The Eagles had never won a Super Bowl.

Now, the Browns are a winning team competing for their postseason birth since 2002. Meanwhile, the Eagles are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time since that aforementioned 2016 season.

The Birds travel to Cleveland coming off of a demoralizing loss in a season full of them. With a record of 3-5-1, the Eagles still sit atop the NFC East but the Giants are right on their heels at 3-7. Tensions in the Eagles locker room might be the highest they’ve been since Chip Kelly and his stupid visor were still on the sideline.

Not great, folks! Meanwhile, the Browns are coming off of an ugly win against the Houston Texans. Cleveland is 6-3, currently just outside the playoffs in the AFC but firmly in the picture. The Eagles should expect the Browns best effort on Sunday, because they need this game to stay in the hunt.

I’d say the same about the Eagles, but that’s exactly what I said about last week’s game. Look how that turned out.

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Week 10 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1) at New York Giants (2-7)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The first place 3-4-1 Eagles will travel up the New Jersey turnpike to East Rutherford to take on the two win New York Giants.

These two teams played just three weeks ago, a narrow 22-21 comeback victory in favor of the Birds that saw the Giants find new, impressive ways to lose a football game.

The Eagles are coming off of their much needed bye week after a disgusting victory against Dallas. The banged up Birds are finally starting to get healthy. Big name offensive contributors Miles Sanders and Alshon Jeffery look set to play, while Lane Johnson's status remains up in the air.

The Giants are coming off of a victory in Washington D.C. against the Football Team, something the Eagles could not do. Both of New York's wins this season have come against Washington.

On paper, you would not think this game would be close. But, that’s why sporting events aren’t played on paper. Expect this to be a close game between teams that know each other well, much like their Thursday night battle a couple weeks ago. I expect this mostly because the Eagles are incapable of blowing a team out.

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Week 8 Preview: Dallas Cowboys (2-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

This is a classic “throw the records out the window” game. Eagles vs. Cowboys. The most intense, bitter, hatred-filled rivalry in the city of Philadelphia.

Most players and coaches will dismiss any rivalry game as “just another game on the schedule.” Not the Eagles. Say what you will about the performance of the team this year, but they understand the importance of this matchup. Even the new guy, cornerback Darius Slay, knew the significance behind this game pretty quickly.

Yes, both these teams have severely underwhelmed this season, and quite frankly are not good football teams. Yes, it’s increasingly probable that the Cowboys will be down to their third string quarterback on Sunday night. Yes, there will only be about 6000 fans in Lincoln Financial Field to witness the game.

It doesn’t matter. This game is still so much more than a game. When these two teams get together, they are playing for the history of the rivalry. They are playing for their cities. They are playing for everyone that came before them. They are playing for bragging rights.

In Philly, the Eagles could go 2-14, but if those two wins are against the Dallas Cowboys, those two wins feel like a whole lot more than two wins. The hatred spans from the cities, to the fan bases, to the two organizations.

So when outsiders are confused why we, as fans, get so invested in this game even though both teams objectively stink, it’s simple. This game just means more than any other game on the schedule. It always has, and always will.

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Week 7 Preview: New York Giants (1-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The Eagles are coming off of yet another loss on Sunday, and will have a quick turnaround as they host their divisional foes, the New York Giants, on Thursday night.

The Eagles have a putrid 1-4-1 record, yet sit just a half game out of first place behind the 2-4 Cowboys. Recently, that ugly record that disgustingly has three digits honestly has not been as horrifying as it may seem on the surface.

The Eagles last two losses came at the hands of two of the best teams in football, the Steelers and the Ravens. In both games, the Eagles found themselves down double digits in the second half, and in both instances they clawed their way back to make it a two point game.

Obviously, both games ended in extremely frustrating losses that only tantalized Eagles fans of what could have been, but that despicable 1-4-1 record doesn’t seem detrimental once you factor everything into account.

That being said, if the Eagles lose this game at home to a truly terrible New York Giants team, it will be much harder to shine a positive light on this squad.

As is tradition at this point, the Eagles will be #BackInBlack as they like to say, for a home game against the Giants. For those of you who are not doing the math at home, don’t fret, because I am.

This is the sixth time in the last seven years the Eagles will wear their black uniforms for a home game against the Giants, and the fifth instance in which it will be a night game. I think this tweet sums up the current situation pretty well.

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