With tough stretch ahead, is Thursday night’s game a must-win?
After Sunday’s disappointing 27-24 home loss to the Lions, the Eagles, who sit at 1-2, are about to begin a very important seven game stretch.
With four of the next five games on the road, including games in Green Bay, Minnesota, Dallas and Buffalo, staying afloat in the NFC East and in the playoff picture won’t be easy.
Green Bay sits at 3-0, the Vikings are 2-1 and the Bills and Cowboys are both undefeated and playing extremely well.
Add on home games against the Jets (with Sam Darnold possibly back), the undefeated Patriots and talented Bears, there aren’t many easy victories on the Eagles’ upcoming schedule. In other words, dare it to be said, is Thursday night’s game a must-win?
There are 7 unbeaten teams in the NFL.
The Eagles play 4 of them in their next 7 games.
— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) September 23, 2019
Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t, but head coach Doug Pederson has to treat it as such. A victory Thursday night against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers might just be all this team needs to get back on track and focused on their playoff hunt.
Think of it as the 2019 version of the win against the Panthers back in 2017. A tough, close road game on Thursday night against a formidable opponent with playoff implications. With a loss, it could cost the team a spot in January, and with a victory, the entire league could be put on notice.
Winning in Green Bay is no easy feat. Since the start of the 2016 season, and including 2019, the Packers are 17-8-1 in their last 26 games at Lambeau Field. The last time the Eagles played there, back in November 2014, the Packers put up 53 points, as Rodgers went 22-of-36 for three touchdowns, a 120.3 rating and no INTs.
But back to the Eagles, has this season been disappointing? Yes. Have they under-preformed? Yes. Can they play better? ABSOLUTELY! Does a win Thursday night put them right back in the thick of things, both in the NFC East and in the NFC standings? You better believe it!
A win on Thursday can eliminate some of our early season anxiety, especially after the back-to-back gut-wrenching losses to the Falcons and Lions. It can close the gap on the division winning Cowboys and can get the Birds off to a good start on this tough stretch.
No fan should feel 100 percent that a loss is eminent against the Packers. At the same time, no fan should get an Eagles Super Bowl LIV tattoo just yet. But ALL fans should feel hopeful that this team can bounce back and play up to their potential.
Mistakes, penalties and sloppiness, all prevalent in the last two games, can and will be cleaned up, as the starters’ preseason is now over. Seven drops in a single game can’t possibly happen again, right?
Nobody should be jumping off the Ben Franklin or Walt Whitman bridges yet. If we’ve learned one thing from this team the last two years, it’s that they play their best when everybody doubts them.
Most people in the media and all over the country will be doubting them Thursday night. We all know what that means. Good luck with all that.