Eagles

A stacked Washington D is pivotal in the NFC East race

Eagles

Two parts cinnamon, two parts nutmeg and one part backup quarterback is the ultimate Philadelphia holiday recipe. The Birds' colossal upset over the Saints behind the inspired play of Jalen Hurts is the talk of the city right now, but the rest of the NFL has given us insight into the Eagles' franchise. Here are my takeaways from Week 14:

1. The Washington Football Team might run away with the NFC East. A quarter into the Eagles' Week 1 game against WFT, did you imagine you'd be saying that? Even if the Eagles were to miraculously run the table, wins for Washington in their next two games against Seattle and Carolina, both at home, would end the Birds' season before the two teams meet in Week 17.

Washington has won four straight and while their two victories over Cincinnati and Dallas aren't overly impressive, their win over the then-undefeated Steelers last week certainly was. Maybe Pittsburgh is more of a fraud than their 11-0 record indicated, but doing that on the road on Monday Late-Afternoon Football was stellar. Beating a talented and well-coached 49ers team across the country was big as well, though starting quarterback Alex Smith did sustain an injury to his surgically repaired right leg.

Doug Pederson's backup quarterback magic may have come too late with how stout this Washington defense is.

2. Patrick Mahomes played the worst game I've ever seen from the dude, tossing three picks and taking a ridiculous 30-yard sack that could even make Carson Wentz wince:

Despite it all, even against a true AFC playoff contender in the Dolphins, the Chiefs survived in a 33-27 road victory. With the most talented quarterback to ever live at quarterback, Kansas City was still able to wade through the murky waters and win because of how stacked the roster is around their franchise QB.

 

It's easier to do while Mahomes is still on his rookie contract, but Kansas City showcased that even with a quarterback as good as the one they have, building the roster around that guy with talent is of the utmost importance. Regardless of whether Hurts or Wentz or maybe someone else entirely is the Birds' Week 1 signal-caller in 2021, it'll take the rest of the roster around their quarterback to get the franchise out of the mud of these seasons that leave them hanging around .500.

Hurts is on a cheap rookie contract, but with his deal coinciding with Wentz's monster looming extension, it's hard for the Birds to even capitalize on the inefficiency that was on the table. Hurts' play creates a palpable level of excitement, but the future of the organization is still totally up in the air.

3. Nelson Agholor is on a full-blown redemption tour in Las Vegas this season following his 100-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Colts in a Raiders win. Agholor is now up to seven receiving touchdowns on the year. His 635 receiving yards is more than any Eagles player.

It may be easy to say the Birds should've kept Nellie, but that's just not rational. It wasn't going to happen here. The talent was there, but too many bad moments had built up and a fresh start was best for both parties. It doesn't take away from the pivotal role he played on the Eagles' 2017 Super Bowl-winning squad, but the backlash if the Eagles kept him would've been wild.

Over the next 18 months, the franchise could be facing a similar situation if they find themselves needing to break away from Wentz. Moving on from Wentz doesn't diminish what he accomplished in Philly, but it could be the natural next step in retooling the roster.