Microsoft Teams Top Connection
Rodney McLeod had no doubt, none at all. As the entire FedEx Field crowd – at least 60 percent of them Eagles fans – held their breath as officials reviewed an apparent McLeod interception in the end zone with 24 seconds remaining in Sunday's game against Washington, McLeod told his teammates "I got this. Don't worry about a thing."
"I knew I made the play," McLeod said after the call was upheld and the fans and the Eagles sidelines went crazy celebrating a 20-16 win over the Football Team. "I credit Anthony Harris and the defensive line for putting some pressure up there at the line of scrimmage, and then I just saw the ball and went after it. Dove for it, knew I caught it. Great feeling. Amazing feeling. It's a blessing, it really is. It's something that's never happened to me before and to have it happen in such a big moment, I'm just so happy about it."
McLeod celebrated by jumping onto the Eagles' bench as the fans – most of them adorned in Midnight Green and White – screamed their love at him. It was that kind of emotional, hard-fought game as the Eagles won their fourth straight and seventh in the last nine times out. Playing Washington for the second time in less than two weeks, the Eagles found themselves in an early hole, trailing 16-7 at the half, and then fighting and scrapping and clawing their way to daylight.
Read Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro's entire postgame column here.
RB Boston Scott steps up in a big way
With running back Miles Sanders out due to his fractured hand, the Eagles' offense relied heavily on running back Boston Scott on Sunday afternoon against the Washington Football Team. It was nothing Scott couldn't handle. The 5-foot-6, 203-pound back had 14 carries for 47 yards and two touchdowns – both on fourth-and-goal – and another 39 yards receiving in the 20-16 victory.
"He had a big game today. He came through for us twice in the red zone and had a couple other big runs," said tight end Dallas Goedert. "Anytime he gets the ball in his hands, he's a dangerous runner."
Throughout the season Scott has shown he's someone the Eagles can trust and rely on in critical moments. With the Eagles down by 10 late in the first quarter, Scott knew what he had to do. Scott started the Eagles' second offensive drive with a 4-yard run then to keep the Eagles moving quarterback Jalen Hurts found the running back for a big 19-yard gain. Then on fourth-and-goal, Scott plunged into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown and the Eagles were on the board.
"The O-Line had a great push. I think he (Scott) followed (Jason) Kelce right in, but I started to the left and went back to the right to block the right defensive end," Goedert said, who was the game's leading receiver with 71 yards. "I saw Boston laying on top of Kelce in the end zone. I'm assuming Kelce did his job and mauled someone like he usually does."
The Eagles' leading rusher flaunted his quickness and power. He found crucial holes throughout the game that allowed the chains to continue moving. With about seven minutes left in the third quarter, on another fourth-and-goal, Scott took a toss from Hurts and he, literally, flew into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game to cut Washington's lead to 16-14. Scott's seven rushing touchdowns this season are the most by an Eagles running back since the 2016 season.
Later in the third quarter, Scott got the first down and more as he found a hole and spun around a Washington defender for a 14-yard gain. He opened the Eagles' final scoring drive with an 8-yard run as Jake Elliott's second field goal of the game made it 20-16. After the game, Hurts had nothing but kind things to say about Scott stepping up in Week 17. Hurts commended Scott's work ethic and explained that is why he is so successful every time he steps out on the field.
"Boston has been a warrior all year. He stayed diligent knowing his role has changed throughout the season from years prior and he stuck with it. He's been the ultimate team player," said Hurts.
And if anyone knows how much work Scott has put in, it's Hurts.
"I remember Boston Scott would drive from Louisiana coming to Houston like four hours away and come to me in my little neighborhood where I lived to come throw with me because he's so hungry and wanted to get the work in and wanted to get better," Hurts added. "The Boston Scott I know is the guy that just got into town and I tell him I work out at 5 in the morning you want to go, we're gonna throw it at 5 and he's there. He's there early ready to go. Obviously for him to step up in a big-time win as he did today is big. A lot of respect for him and I'm happy for him."
Eagles secure their spot in the playoffs
The Eagles are going to the playoffs in Nick Sirianni's first year as a head coach.
After handling their business on the road against Washington on Sunday afternoon, the Eagles' ticket to the postseason was punched following San Francisco's victory over Houston and Green Bay's triumph over Minnesota.
The Eagles will be one of the NFC's three Wild Card teams when the playoffs begin the weekend of January 15. The Eagles will either be the No. 6 or the No. 7 seed depending on next week's results. It will be the Eagles' 14th playoff appearance since 2000 – tied for the second most among all NFC teams – and fourth in the past five seasons.
Philadelphia is also guaranteed a winning season for the fourth time since 2017 and 17th time under Jeffrey Lurie's ownership. The Eagles' 17 winning seasons since 1995 are tied for the fifth most in the league. The last time Philadelphia registered at least four winning seasons over a five-year span was from 2006-10 under Andy Reid.
Each of Lurie's five head coaching hires (all first-time NFL head coaches) have posted winning seasons within their first two years. Sirianni became just the fourth rookie head coach in league history to produce a winning season after starting 2-5 or worse through 7 games. Sirianni happened to be the offensive coordinator for the last coach to accomplish the feat, Frank Reich with the Indianapolis Colts in 2018.
Sirianni's nine wins are tied for the most by any member of the NFL's 2021 head coach hiring cycle. They are the most wins by an Eagles head coach in their first career season as a head coach (NFL or college) since Ray Rhodes in 1995, who finished 10-6 and earned a playoff appearance en route to AP NFL Coach of the Year honors.
Philadelphia has won each of its last four games, marking the Eagles' longest streak since the final month of the 2019 regular season, when they won 4 straight divisional matchups to earn a postseason berth and an NFC East championship. The Eagles (6-1 record since Week 10) have totaled 6+ victories during a 7-game stretch for the first time since 2018-19, which includes the Wild Card victory over Chicago.
Check out the best photos from Week 17 against Washington.
But first, some Saturday night football
The Week 18 regular-season finale between the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field was flexed to Saturday night at 8:15 PM. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and ABC. The Eagles will have played on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and, of course, Sunday this season.