Can The Philadelphia Eagles Make The 2018 Playoffs?

We are past the halfway point in the NFL season and the defending Super Bowl Champions are against the ropes. The Eagles find themselves facing a 4-5 record, good enough for 3rd place in the NFC East. The Eagles fell victims to Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys this past Monday, dropping them from the second slot to the third within the division.

All signs point to a Washington Redskins team that favors a few game cushion over the rest of the NFC South and boasts a 6-3 record. Putting the easy portion of the schedule behind them, the Eagles face an uphill climb to end the season. Within present time, 5 out of the 7 remaining teams on the schedule host a winning record.

3 of those teams are division leaders in the Rams, Saints, and Redskins. Two crucial matchups remain with the Redskins, one of which comes the first weekend in December and the last rounding out the 2018 regular season for the Eagles. Can this Philadelphia squad overcome the Super Bowl hangover and make a late push for the playoffs in 2018? Below, we’ll provide , detailed analysis as to how this could become a possibility for the team.

Road Warriors

The team is going to have to perform on the road. Traveling to tough environments is going to be the storyline with the team’s remaining schedule. Next on the docket is a visit to New Orleans. Facing the high-power offense that Drew Brees operates with is going to make this contest a paced affair. Starting the scoring early and often will be a staple to success in this environment. Recent addition, Golden Tate, will need to make an instant impact. Tate is a dual-threat receiver, opting for possession routes but not shying away from the deep ball. The chemistry between Wentz and Tate must be established early. The team is coming off their bye week, gaining them time and access to play calling efficiencies. This period has afforded them enough time to sew up the holes on the offense and work on some of the smaller aspects of gameplay.

The team also must travel to Los Angeles to take on the high-power offense that the Rams possess. The organization has high hopes that the team focused on conditioning during this time off, because their stamina will be needed to match the pace of play these opponents emit. The team also must travel to Dallas and Washington for inter-conference play. Both of these matchups are key to establishing standings. The NFC playoff picture is cloudy once you get past the division leaders. Settling for a wild card birth is not something the team wants to be suited with, but it might mark their best chance for playoff entry. Avoiding quick burnout in these road contests will play a key role in determining the team’s standing come season’s end.

The Record

A 4-5 record is not something the management team and coaching staff would have envisioned for the team with their early-season predictions. Slight falloff has come near the end of contests, with narrow escapes being performed by the opposing team to secure the W. With each loss, the team has remained relevant all throughout the course of the contest. Late mistakes and mishaps have cost the team a few swings in the wrong direction. The Eagles take this with a grain of salt, knowing they are on the cusp of returning to playoff form. Their overall record does not pose a threat to their ability to rebound. This internal acceleration must be switched on soon, otherwise conference foes will prevail.

Outside Looking In?

Most of the teams sitting just outside the playoff picture feature similar records. With a little less than half the season to play, the team decides their own fate. They can return to Super Bowl form and start pounding in metrics and other analysis to outlast the competition, but the effort must be there for all four quarters. It’s not crazy to believe an 8-8 team could claim a playoff spot in the NFC, especially when you consider the wash of teams that are trending near the .500 average mark. If the Eagles can go 4-3 with their remaining schedule, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see them claim a playoff berth. Two contests against the Redskins represent key instances for the team. A two-game swing could swap roles between division leader and playoff outsider.

Relying on Past Consistencies

Reverting to what the team did well last year could pay dividends as the 2018 season rounds to a close. The team centered their play calling and structure around a back-up quarterback to reach them to the sweetest stage in the game. Returning your star quarterback must create new meaning to revitalization.

Sure, Wentz is still working through his progressions and returning to game speed, but these developments are something that must be embraced by an entire squad. Wentz cannot do it all, which is where support extensions must be created. The offense needs to keep the defense fresh and extend their drives. The defense needs to work their pass protections and instill fear in the minds of the opponent through creative blitz packages.

This roster has seemed to miss out on a few of the flair attributes that kept them feared throughout the regular season and post-season just a few short months ago. Lean on these pillars, keep pressure at a constant, and outlast the competition via conditioning drills and stamina impactors that were established long before the season began.

If the team executes on the things that they do well, they could claim a playoff berth in 2018. They cannot afford to sit back and let plays develop, the action must come fluently and often. It will be interesting to see how the team adapts to the challenges that remain on the table in 2018, but never count out a team that is hungry for a return to glory.

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