Quick Takes: Eagles defeat Washington 20-16, get one step closer to playoffs
Taylor Heinicke put up a respectable fight, but the Eagles were able to take care of business and defeat Washington 20-16 en route to their fourth consecutive victory.
Nick Sirianni’s offense continued their recent trend of starting slow, rushing for a total of 47 yards in the first half while being held to a season-low 3.4 yards per carry. The Eagles’ defense allowed Washington to score on their first four drives before finally getting to Heinicke in the second half.
Taylor Heinicke has started— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 2, 2022
7-7, 97 yards
Birds had favorable schedule against backup or third string QBs lately
Washington was shut out in the second half after going into halftime with a 16-7 lead. Philadelphia has been scoreless in three straight first quarters and have been outscored 35-7 in the last five first quarters.
Luckily for the Eagles, they’ve been facing inferior teams down the stretch. They won’t be afforded the same luxury when they face more complete teams in the postseason.
Despite not having Miles Sanders due to a broken hand, the rushing attack continues to be effective for Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts’ ankle appears to be nearing 100%, rushing for 44 yards on seven carries and making the cuts we’re used to seeing from him on the ground.
Boston Scott led the team with 47 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Jordan Howard — ruled questionable for this game with a stinger — looked a step slower and was held to 2.4 yards per carry.
The Eagles’ defense continues to step up, their efforts culminating with a game-sealing interception in the endzone by Rodney Mcleod.
“I knew I caught it was once I secured it,” McLeod said after the game. “That was the biggest thing. I let one slip away the first time we played them, so I wanted to make sure I closed this game out the right way. It felt good to be able to finish the game and make a big catch playing for this team.”
Additionally, Jalen Hurts is proving by the week that he deserves to lead this team on a longer-term basis, making plays happen when needed and now poised for the playoffs during a “rebuilding” season. Hurts ended the day with 214 yards on 17/26 passing.
The Eagles improve to 9-7 on the year and now have a 95% chance of making the postseason per FiveThirtyEight. If the 49ers beat Houston and the Packers defeat Minnestoa tonight, Philadelphia will clinch a playoff berth before even suiting up next week.
If one of those teams lose, the Eagles can clinch by defeating Dallas in the season’s final game. Washington falls to 6-10 and are officially eliminated from the playoffs.
HURTS MAGIC. pic.twitter.com/KLmDG2vXqG— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) January 2, 2022
Mandatory Credit: AP Photo | Alex Brandon