Eagles Have Only Themselves to Blame for Their Predicament - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Eagles Have Only Themselves to Blame for Their Predicament

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    Eagles Have Only Themselves to Blame for Their Predicament
    CSNPhilly.com
    Eagles have only themselves to blame for their predicament

    It's an agonizing situation, and they only have themselves to blame for it.

    Don't give up a 4th-and-15 against the Titans and you're not in this position. Don't blow a 17-0 lead with 11 minutes left against the Panthers and you're not in this position. Don't miss a PAT against the Cowboys and you're not in this position.

    The Eagles have won four of their last five games to reach 8-7 with a game remaining at Washington on Sunday.

    But only if the Bears beat the Vikings while the Eagles are beating the Redskins will they find their way into the playoffs.

    They have a chance. But because of those awful early losses, they need some help. 

    It is tough," Zach Ertz said. "It's tough not to control your own destiny. But at the same time, if you focus on everything else that is going on and we have a slip up because we're not focusing on our jobs, it's really not going to matter. We've said for a while now that every game is a must-win game. That's the way we've approached these past five games. We were 4-6 at one point after the loss to the Saints when we just got smacked down there, but no one quit and everyone was just focused on doing their job better. I think that's the mark of a good team.

    And it's not as simple as just hoping a very good Bears team beats the Vikings.

    The Bears are the No. 3 seed unless they win and the Rams lose to the lowly 49ers, in which case they'd move up to No. 2 seed and get a first-round bye.

    So as long as the 49ers-Rams game is close, Bears coach Matt Nagy - a long-time Doug Pederson colleague and friend - will play his starters and try to beat the Vikings.

    If the Rams are up 30, Nagy will take out his starters, which could end the Eagles' playoff chances before their game against the Redskins is even over.

    It's a bizarre situation that leaves Eagles fans rooting for Nick Mullens, the 49ers' third QB this year.

    Obviously, we need some help, and hopefully we do get some help, but at the same time, we're focused on beating the Redskins," Ertz said. "We just need to go there and win. We can't look at scenarios like if the Bears win or if the Vikings win. We just have to focus on being the best team that we can be against the Redskins.

    The Vikings are seven-point favorites over the Bears in Minneapolis and the Rams are 7 ½-point favorites over the 49ers in Los Angeles.

    In 2008, the Eagles needed help - a Raiders upset over the Buccaneers and a Texans win over the Bears - but those games were over before the Eagles clinched a playoff spot with that 44-6 win over the Cowboys.

    This situation is more similar to 1988, when the Eagles finished the regular season with a 23-7 win over the Cowboys at Texas Stadium but didn't clinch a playoff berth until after their game ended.

    When Morten Anderson's short field goal on the final play of the game gave the Saints a win over the Falcons at the Superdome, the Eagles were in the postseason. A few minutes later, they clinched the NFC East title when the Jets came back to beat the Giants on the last play of their game.

    Only twice in the last 50 years have the Eagles had a winning record and failed to make the playoffs - 1991 and 2014. They were 10-6 both years.

    According to fivethirtyeight.com, there's a 28 percent chance the Eagles will make the playoffs.

    That only goes up to 44 percent if they win in Washington. 

    The odds aren't good.

    And it's all their fault.

    "All we can control is going to try to win one more game on the road and see what happens," Chris Long said. "But I think this team can be proud of the way we've battled."

    They have battled, and they have played better. But without some help, none of it will matter.

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