Despite the division’s shortcomings this season, the collective eyes of the football world will be watching the NFC East games quite closely as the NFL’s regular season comes to an end on Sunday night.
To begin with, the lowly Cowboys will take on the flawed Giants in the early window, with the winner of that game having a shot at the post-season, only if Washington loses to Philadelphia later that evening on Sunday Night Football. It truly is remarkable given the fact that every team will finish with a losing record, but yet here we are!
For Washington, the script is simple as they prepare for their crucial final clash. If they win vs. Philly, they’re in – regardless of what occurs between Dallas and the Giants earlier in the day. For Jalen Hurts and the Eagles, they’re out and are simply playing for pride.
The Eagles began last week in fine form, a game they needed to win if they were to have a shot at the playoffs, but it quickly unravelled. Hurts’ protection in the pocket disappeared in the second half, and Philly’s woeful pass defense let them down yet again. It will be interesting to see what team shows up in Week 17, as either the Cowboys or Giants will really be counting on them.
For Washington, Alex Smith is ready to return and has been cleared to play. Former first-rounder Dwayne Haskins has been waived, and the drama that came with him has likely disappeared as well. Smith is an impressive story, as just returning to the field has been quite the achievement. Now with a shot to lead Washington back to the playoffs, it’s quite the fairytale story – but a win must be secured first.
Keep reading on beneath the current odds for Sunday Night Football in what promises to be a drama-filled encounter between the Football Team and Eagles to close out the NFL’s regular season. Few people thought we’d make it this far, and even fewer thought Washington would have a shot at the playoffs! Continue this preview to find out our take on what will happen this Sunday evening.
Washington Football Team vs. Philadelphia Eagles Betting Odds:
Washington Football Team -4 (-110)
@ Philadelphia Eagles +4 (-110)
Over 44 (-110)
Under 44 (-110)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Washington Football Team vs. Philadelphia Eagles Pick:
While it is certainly good news that Alex Smith has been cleared and ready to play for Washington in Week 17, it is uncertain just how healthy he’ll be. The expectation is that he will still be fighting it a bit, and could be somewhat hobbled against the Eagles.
Still, he’s playing the Eagles – and by all accounts this is a team that has mostly quit and are just gearing up for their off-season. Smith won’t have to worry about Fletcher Cox chasing him around for four quarters, and that should free him up to hit some targets downfield. It’s also believed that key receiver Terry McLaurin should return this week for Washington, and having the speedy wideout back in the lineup should really help this offense. There isn’t anyone within Philly’s secondary that can slow him down.
On the other side of the ball, expect more of what we saw in the second half from young Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts. The former Alabama product thrived early on vs. Dallas, but the Cowboys quickly caught on and made his life quite difficult in the latter stages of that game. This week, expect Washington’s defensive line to really make it tough on Hurts. Chase Young especially should dominate in the trenches and get after Hurts with regularity.
The injury report and matchup definitely leans toward Washington for this pivotal showdown. They should dominate the trenches, and with Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin both suiting up – Alex Smith should have enough talented pieces to keep the chains moving. While Jalen Hurts can be a factor, the Washington defense has been very talented all season long, and should be able to keep him in check. In a must-win spot, expect Washington to get the job done and win convincingly here in Week 17.