Philadelphia Eagles News

A Long And Winding Road To Reach This Point

The long and winding road to this point began on a sultry, stormy September night at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles opened the 2018 NFL season, hoisted the World Championship banner and got into action against the Atlanta Falcons. Sixteen weeks later, here we are. It has been, at times, maddening and confounding and encouraging and exhilarating as the Eagles sit, 8-7, needing a win over Washington and a loss by Minnesota at home against Chicago on Sunday for Philadelphia to reach the postseason. How did we get here? Let's count the ways …

Week 1: A Squeaker Over Atlanta

A sudden lightning and rain storm delayed the pregame ceremonies and, eventually, the kickoff – at 9:05 p.m. -- and the Eagles turned a 6-3 halftime deficit into a win in the final two quarters. The offense started slowly, a theme throughout the season, gaining just 68 total net yards in the opening two quarters. On the second possession of the third quarter, head coach Doug Pederson dialed up a trick play and wide receiver Nelson Agholor completed a 15-yard pass to quarterback Nick Foles to convert a third-and-5 play and the Eagles were in business. Jay Ajayi scored on a 1-yard touchdown and the Eagles had a lead.

Atlanta took back the lead in the fourth quarter and then Foles mounted the game-winning touchdown drive to put Philadelphia ahead, 18-12. Just as in the NFC playoffs a season before, Atlanta drove the length of the field and the Eagles' defense made its stand. A fourth-down pass to Julio Jones in the end zone was incomplete. FINAL: Eagles 18, Falcons 12

Week 2: Disappointment In Tampa

In 91-degree temperatures, the Eagles traveled to Tampa and failed to take advantage of a Bucs defense missing its starting cornerbacks. On the defensive side, the Eagles had trouble handling Tampa Bay's explosive passing game and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw for 402 yards and four touchdowns, including a 75-yarder to DeSean Jackson on the game's first play. After mounting a comeback to keep it close, the Eagles couldn't get off the field defensively late in the game as Tampa Bay gained two first downs to eat up the fourth-quarter clock. FINAL: Bucs 27, Eagles 21

Week 3: Carson Debuts To Beat Colts

Lincoln Financial Field thundered with applause as quarterback Carson Wentz was introduced as the starting quarterback, and he came right out and engineered a 12-play, 79-yard drive on the Eagles' first offensive possession, ending it with a touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Goedert. It wasn't as pretty all the way through, but Wentz was solid, the running game gained 152 yards on 35 carries, and the defense held Indianapolis to one touchdown in five red zone trips. A last-minute sack of quarterback Andrew Luck on a fourth-and-goal play at the Philadelphia 4-yard line helped seal the deal. FINAL: Eagles 20, Colts 16

Week 4: A Titanic Letdown In Tennessee

Everything looked so promising midway through the third quarter as the Eagles opened the second half with a 75-yard touchdown drive, capped by a Wentz scoring pass to Alshon Jeffery. The Eagles led 17-3. They were dominating. And then it all fell apart as the offense couldn't sustain drives and the defense couldn't get off the field. Ultimately, the game went into overtime and Tennessee converted three fourth-down plays on the opening drive, eventually scoring a touchdown and ending the game. It was a tough loss to swallow. The inability to close out the game looms large in this final weekend of the season. FINAL: Titans 27, Eagles 21

Week 5: Not Enough To Send Vikings Home

In a rematch of the NFC Championship Game, the Eagles started slowly and trailed 17-3 at halftime. The offense didn't generate much at all, and a Wentz fumble was recovered by the Vikings and returned for a touchdown. Early in the third quarter, Ajayi fumbled at the Vikings' 6-yard line and the offense lost another opportunity. In the fourth quarter, with the Eagles trailing 20-14, the defense recovered a Vikings fumble at the Minnesota 30-yard line and couldn't do anything with the takeaway. Minnesota put together an 11-play drive that consumed 6:24 and went up nine points on a field goal. FINAL: Vikings 23, Eagles 21

Week 6: Finally, 60 Minutes To Beat Giants

Playing on a short week, the Eagles traveled up the New Jersey Turnpike to play the struggling Giants and took control of the game right away. The defense had a first-possession takeaway that the offense tuned into a touchdown and it went from there. Only a terrific performance from New York running back Saquon Barkley kept things interesting from the Giants' side. FINAL: Eagles 34, Giants 13

Week 7: A Collapse Against Carolina

At 3-3, the Eagles were in prime position to gain some momentum in the up-and-down season. They led Carolina 17-0 early in the fourth quarter, and then it all fell apart. Carolina suddenly became unstoppable on offense and the Eagles couldn't stay on the field with the football. A 21-0 fourth quarter rally gave Carolina the lead, and then the Eagles had a chance late. On third-and-2 from the Carolina 14-yard line, Wentz threw incomplete for Jeffery in the end zone and then on fourth down Wentz saw nobody open and ultimately was sacked and fumbled the football away. It was the Eagles' second consecutive loss at Lincoln Financial Field. FINAL: Panthers 21, Eagles 17

Week 8: Across The Pond, A Win To Get To 4-4

This was an enjoyable way to end the first half of the season as Wentz tossed three touchdown passes and the running game produced 133 yards and the defense did just enough to ward off a game Jacksonville offense for a win at Wembley Stadium in front of an international, mostly-Eagles crowd. Rookie Josh Adams emerged with 61 rushing yards on nine carries. Everyone was in a positive mood on the long trip back to Philadelphia. FINAL: Eagles 24, Jaguars 18

Week 9: A Bye Week Trade To Boost Offense

The Eagles made a trade-deadline deal that everyone loved, sending a 2019 third-round draft pick to Detroit for wide receiver Golden Tate, an exceptional catch-and-run player whose productivity in recent seasons was off the charts. The only question was how quickly the Eagles could get Tate involved in the offense.

Week 10: Bummer Of A Start To Season's Second Half

With Dallas in town for a prime-time game, the first game of the second half of the season seemed like the perfect time for the Eagles to take control of the NFC East. Instead, familiar problems surfaced. The offense went 0-for-4 on third down in the first half, scoring only three points. By the time the offense started moving, the defense failed in its late-game attempts to get off the field and the Eagles ended up losing a tough one at home to a Dallas team that many thought was on the brink of making wholesale changes on the coaching staff. Dallas turned its season around with the win and the Eagles continued searching for consistency. FINAL: Cowboys 27, Eagles 20

Week 11: Overmatched In New Orleans

Everything went wrong for the Eagles on the road in the Big Easy. The defense couldn't stop the Saints' varied attack and the offense had trouble all game. It was a nightmare in every way as the Eagles fell to 4-6. FINAL: Saints 48, Eagles 7

Week 12: Hanging On To Beat Giants At Home

By this time, it was apparent that nothing would come easily for the Eagles in 2018. The Giants jumped out to a 12-0 lead and the Eagles had to scratch and claw to gain momentum in a game they absolutely had to win. A Malcolm Jenkins interception late in the first half turned the tide as the defense clamped down on New York and the Eagles' offense slowly gained control of the game. It wasn't pretty by any means, as Jake Elliott's 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining provided the winning points. FINAL: Eagles 25, Giants 22

Week 13: Convincing Victory vs. Washington

Tate had seven catches, 85 yards, and a touchdown and the Eagles were balanced offensively to handle Washington relatively easily. The Eagles were only 2-of-4 in goal-to-go situations, which kept the game reasonably close. A big win, though, as the Eagles pulled to 6-6 in the second of three consecutive NFC East games. FINAL Eagles 28, Redskins 13

Week 14: A Crushing Loss At Dallas

This one remains fresh in our minds, right? The opening kickoff was clearly fumbled by Dallas and recovered by the Eagles, but the officials were having none of that and the controversy was on. Ultimately, the Eagles showed great heart and determination and they kept fighting, but Dallas had too much with wide receiver Amari Cooper, who had 10 catches, 217 yards, and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime. Ouch. Dallas was in the driver's seat in the NFC East. The Eagles were 5-6 and pretty much left for dead in the playoff picture. FINAL: Cowboys 29, Eagles 23

Week 15: Foles In At QB And Eagles Stun Rams

An unsettling week unfolded after returning from Dallas as tests revealed a stress fracture in Wentz's back, forcing a change to Foles at quarterback. The Eagles were huge underdogs at the 11-2 Rams, but no matter. In their best performance of the season, the Eagles moved the ball up and down the field offensively – Jeffery had eight catches for 160 yards – and the defense harassed Rams quarterback Jared Goff all night and the Eagles held in the fourth quarter for a big-time win. FINAL: Eagles 30, Rams 23

Week 16: Thriller In Every Way Keeps Playoff Chances Alive

Foles was brilliant, throwing for a franchise-record 471 yards with four touchdowns and the Eagles came from behind in the final two minutes to beat Houston on Elliott's last-play field goal. It was the season finale at Lincoln Financial Field and it was a fitting way to end the home schedule. The Eagles went 5-3 at Lincoln Financial Field, and not a single one of those five victories was a breeze and all three losses were agonizing. The win lifted the Eagles to 8-7 on the season: FINAL: Eagles 32, Texans 30

And here we are, Week 17. The regular-season finale. So much on the line. You look back on the season and see so much – the injuries, the inconsistencies, the inability to get to the top of the NFC East and stay there, chances to put teams away that failed. It's been a whirlwind.

It all changes with a win over Washington and a Bears win in Minnesota. Keep your fingers crossed. The season comes down to its final Sunday.

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