2019 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 5
It speaks to the inconsistency of an NFC
East in 2019 that both the Eagles and
the Cowboys are still alive to finish in
first place and host a playoff game. At
5-7 and entering the final quarter of the
season with four games against division
foes, the Eagles plan to take advantage
of the opportunity.
They didn’t expect to be 5-7 at this
point in the season, but that’s the way
it is, and the Eagles have no time to
look back. Instead, they want to finish
with a flourish, knowing that a fourgame
sweep of games against the Giants
(twice), Dallas, and Washington puts the
Eagles in first place at the end of the
“That’s the thing,” head coach Doug
Pederson says. “We are still in it. We
still control our destiny. That’s what the
players need to know. We still have a lot
of football to play this season.”
This has been, to say the least, a very
different kind of season for the NFC
East. A division that hasn’t had a backto
back winner since the Eagles from
2001-04 has struggled from top to
bottom. At the bottom, the Giants enter
tonight’s Monday Night Football game at
Lincoln Financial Field the losers of eight
consecutive games as they build around
young talents Daniel Jones at quarterback
and Saquon Barkley at running back.
Washington dismissed head coach Jay
Gruden after an 0-5 start and have shown
signs of life recently with rookie Dwayne
Haskins at quarterback and second-year
man Derrius Guice showing his strength
at the running back position.
Dallas started the season 3-0 and
gained national attention as a “Super
Bowl contender” before the schedule
toughened and the Cowboys started
showing their warts. They visit Lincoln
Financial Field on December 22 for what
could be a winner-takes-the-division kind
The Eagles? You know how up and down
this season’s ride has been. The Eagles
are coming off a shocking loss in Miami
last Sunday and have no time to feel
sorry for themselves: A division title
and a home playoff game is still there,
incredibly for a 5-7 team, for the taking.
“We know we haven’t played our best
ball yet, so that’s the goal for these
final four game,” defensive end Brandon
Graham said after the game in Miami.
“We have to be more consistent. We
had a chance to put the Dolphins away
and we didn’t do it. That can’t happen
again. We have to get after it and keep
the intensity going for 60 minutes. I think
that if we do that, we’re going to be fine.
It’s coming down to these final games.”
As it stands, the final quarter of the
season is a schedule-maker’s dream.
The Eagles face must-win games against
the Giants tonight, at Washington next
Sunday, home against Dallas the following
Sunday, and then a regular-season-finale
on December 29 at the Giants.
“That’s just how you want it,” offensive
tackle Lane Johnson says. “Playing
division games against your rivals with
something on the line.”
The NFC East is in a transition period
with the Giants and Washington turning
their teams over to rookie quarterbacks.
The Eagles and Dallas are veteran,
experienced teams and were expected to
be neck-and-neck throughout the 2019
campaign. Nobody thought they would
be hovering at or below the .500 mark
coming down the stretch.
But that’s reality.
And the Eagles are still alive.
“The urgency level has to be high,”
Pederson says. “We’ve got a lot to play
for, a playoff spot. We need to start with
one win and then go from there, build
off of that. That’s the goal for these final
ON THE INSIDE
THE NFC EAST REMAINS UP FOR GRABS
BY DAVE SPADARO, EAGLES INSIDER
Dave Spadaro is the host of the Eagles Insider
podcast, an Official Eagles Entertainment podcast.
Download new episodes weekly.