If a team fancies itself as a Super Bowl contender, it must win the so-called “easy” games on its schedule.
For the 6-1 Philadelphia Eagles, such an opportunity presents itself Sunday at home against the 3-4 Washington Commanders.
Washington gave the Eagles a scare in Philadelphia in Week 4 when quarterback Sam Howell threw a touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime.
The upset bid didn’t materialize, however, as Jake Elliott’s 54-yard field goal gave the Eagles a 34-31 win.
Since then, the Commanders have lost to the lowly Chicago Bears (2-5) and New York Giants (2-5).
Philadelphia was hoping it could come into Sunday’s game 7-0, but it suffered an upset loss to the New York Jets in Week 6. Tight end Dallas Goedert told WIP the Jets loss was a wake-up call:
“It was a good time to lose a game and reset and kind of look at what we were doing and find out the reasons why things weren’t working,” he said. “It was definitely a game that we’re going to learn a lot from and be better because of it.”
The Eagles are a game ahead of San Francisco and Detroit for the best record in the NFC, and given their upcoming schedule, Sunday’s game is one they can’t afford to lose.
Philadelphia’s next six games after Washington are against Dallas (twice), Kansas City, Buffalo, San Francisco and Seattle. Those five teams are collectively 24-10. All were playoff teams last season and are expected to make the postseason again this season. The Eagles schedule doesn’t let up until its final three games, against the Giants (Dec. 25 and Jan. 7) and Arizona Cardinals (Dec. 31). Those teams are a combined 3-11.
With rumblings that star defensive linemen Chase Young and Montez Sweat are on the trade block, Washington may soon be in free-fall, making this game close to a must-win for the Eagles.