Eagles

Updated Eagles playoff chances after Panthers' loss on Monday Night Football

Updated Eagles playoff chances after Panthers' loss on Monday Night Football

The Eagles took care of their business Sunday night and then they got a little help Monday night. 

After the Eagles beat the Rams, 30-23, at the LA Coliseum, the Panthers lost to the Saints, 12-9, on MNF. And it has slightly improved the Eagles’ chances to make the playoffs. 

The Eagles’ chances to make the playoffs moved up from 37 percent to 39 percent after the Panthers’ loss, according to FiveThirtyEight. 

Let’s take a look at the NFC playoff picture: 

Division leaders 

xSaints: 12-2
xRams: 11-3
xBears: 10-4
Cowboys: 8-6

x-Clinched division

Wild card

Seahawks: 8-6
Vikings: 7-6-1 

In the hunt

Eagles: 7-7
Redskins: 7-7
Panthers: 6-8

• Basically, the Panthers’ loss last night put them a game behind the Eagles and Redskins, who are still trailing the Vikings because of that tie between the Vikings and Packers earlier this season. The Panthers’ loss is big because they had the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Eagles. 

• According to FiveThirtyEight, if the Eagles beat Houston, their playoff chances improve to 53 percent. If they win the next two weeks, their playoff chances are up to 74 percent, but that’s independent of everything else. There’s no guarantee they’d make the playoffs if that happens. 

• The Eagles’ best chance to make it to the playoffs is to take care of their business and beat the Texans and Redskins in these last two games and hope Minnesota loses a game. If that happens, the Eagles would be in the playoffs, because they will have beaten the Redskins too. 

• The Vikings’ last two games are at Detroit and then vs. Chicago in the season finale. If the Eagles win the next two and the Vikings lose one, then the Eagles are in the playoffs. Heck, if the Eagles win this weekend and the Vikings lose to the Lions, the Eagles' playoff odds would already be at 75 percent and it would likely come down to that season finale in Washington. 

• There’s still a very outside chance (five percent) the Eagles can win the NFC East. For that to happen, the Cowboys would need to lose their last two (vs. TAM, @NYG) and the Eagles would need to win their last two. 

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Eagle Eye podcast: The biggest news from the combine

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USA Today Images

Eagle Eye podcast: The biggest news from the combine

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank is joined by Dave Zangaro from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to go over the biggest storylines of the day. 

Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Tuesday about a wide range of topics. 

Will Jason Peters return? Have the Eagles changed their free agent philosophy? And what will the coaching staff really look like in 2020? 

• One more year of Jason Peters? 
• Eagles might change free agency approach
• More details about the coaching structure
• The rise of Press Taylor 
• What will Rich Scangarello do?  
• Breaking down Duce Staley’s role in the organization 

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Eagles leave open possibility that Jason Peters returns in 2020

Eagles leave open possibility that Jason Peters returns in 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Jason Peters is 38 years old, will become a free agent in less than a month and the Eagles already drafted his replacement in the first round a little less than a year ago.

This seems pretty simple, right?

Yet, as Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Tuesday at the NFL’s Scouting Combine, neither man was ready to say the team is moving on.

“I think as it pertains to all of our free agents, it’s important that we keep an open mind with everyone and try to figure out as we get more information,” Roseman said.

“A big part of this week is accumulating information. That’s what we do here. Obviously, when you’re talking about Jason Peters, you’re talking about a Hall of Fame player, a Hall of Fame person, someone that’s very special to us and played at a really high level last year. We’ll go through all those decisions this week.”

Pederson gave less of a politician answer.

“Heck yeah,” Pederson said when asked if he wants Peters back next season.

So that leads us to this: Is there really a chance the Eagles would re-sign a 38-year-old left tackle instead of playing a first-round pick they traded up to get less than a year ago?

It seems crazy.

Coming into Tuesday, I thought there was a chance Roseman would get to the podium and use the forum as a chance to make a statement about Peters. I thought, maybe, he would get up there and tell us all that the Eagles were planning to let Peters hit the free agent market, thank him for his time and give a vote of confidence to Andre Dillard as the left tackle of the future.

That didn’t happen.

In fact, Roseman and Pederson actually invited more speculation and I walked away thinking there’s actually a chance they try to bring back Peters for next season, even though it sounds pretty crazy.

Maybe they just haven’t talked to Peters yet. That’s possible. In a case like this, if the Eagles want to move on, they wouldn’t want to do anything to disrespect a guy who has been here a decade and will likely end up in Canton. Even Roseman admitted that it’s important to treat guys of this magnitude a little differently.

“There’s no question,” Roseman said. “When you talk about guys who are historic players in the National Football League, guys who are going into the Hall of Fame, guys who are going into the Eagles Hall of Fame, those guys are special people and special players and you don’t have a lot of those during the course of your career.

“So you try to make decisions first that are best for the football team and at the same time have respect and appreciation for what guys have done and what guys have done going forward and have been a part of your organization for a long time.”

Peters played the 2019 season on a renegotiated one-year deal that he signed in March. And while Peters didn’t play at an All Pro level last year, he was still pretty good.

But throughout last season, it seemed like the Eagles were going to let Peters play and groom Dillard. And, sure, Dillard struggled at right tackle in his one start at the position, but acquitted himself quite well at left tackle when Peters missed a three-game stretch.

On Tuesday, I asked Pederson about the possibility that bringing back Peters could stunt Dillard’s long-term development. I mean, what would it say about a first-round rookie if the Eagles didn’t start him in Year 2 and instead re-signed a 38-year old to play in front of him?

“Andre is the guy we selected,” Pederson said. “He was our top pick a year ago. We feel like he has a bright future. Again, this is where that fine line comes in. We have to have some difficult conversations, not only for us internally but with the players.”

Pederson said his feelings about wanting Peters back are similar to the way he felt about Darren Sproles. Well, the Eagles brought Sproles back in 2018 and 2019 and he got hurt both seasons. It seems like a cautionary tale.

And unlike Sproles, who was a rotational player, if Peters returns, he’ll be the starting left tackle.

“It is that simple when it comes down to it,” Pederson said. “It’s either JP or it’s Andre and those are decisions we have to make.”

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