Training camp is just four days away and it is evident that the excitement is building for another season of Philadelphia Eagles football. The Eagles were some of the top news this week when Head Coach Doug Pederson said, that he believes this team has more talent then the 1990’s Green Bay Packers teams he played on that won the super bowl. “I look back on my time in Green Bay as a player when we were making those playoff runs, those Super Bowl runs there. And do we have as much talent on this team than we did then? We probably have more talent, right?” The first step to mimicking those Packers teams and winning the super bowl is making the playoffs. Here are three games the Eagles must win in order to make the playoffs.
Week 1: AT Washington (9/10 1PM)
One might ask why is the first game of the season a must win game? The Eagles open their season on the road in Washington against the Redskins, a division rival who they have lost five of the last six games against. This will be a very tough game for the Birds as they are going up against QB Kirk Cousins who always seems to torch the Eagles secondary. The Eagles will be starting two new corner backs in either Jalen Mills, Rasual Douglas, or Patrick Robinson and they will have their work cut out for them from the opening kickoff. A win on the road in week one would be huge in the direction this team could head in 2017 by building momentum. Not only would it start them off on the right path, but it would be a division win on the road. Another reason why this game is so important is because of who the Eagles have to play the following week. In week two the Birds have to go to Arrowhead Stadium to play the Chiefs, which is one of the toughest environment in the NFL. Lose the game in D.C. against the Redskins and severely face going 0-2 after two weeks. It is key for the Eagles to change their losing ways against Washington if they wanna make the playoffs this year.
Week 9: VS. Denver (11/5 1 PM)
Week nine brings a tough AFC West opponent in the Denver Broncos to Lincoln Financial Field. This match up is the game before the Eagles bye week, which is followed by a trip to Dallas against the hated Cowboys. This is a tough two game stretch for the Eagles in the middle of the season. A loss in both games could possibly give the Eagles no wins in three weeks, which would be a tough pill to swallow. The Broncos are a team that have recently won the super bowl and have one of the top defenses in the league. If the Eagles can beat Denver and score points on their defense, they have to believe that they can score on anybody and beat anybody. A win also gives the Eagles momentum heading into the bye week, which is very important. The Eagles have to show the league that they are for real and starting the second half of the season with a win against the Broncos would be a good way to do so.
Week 14: AT Los Angeles Rams (12/10 4:25 PM)
If the Eagles are on the path to the playoffs, week 14 at the Los Angeles Coliseum against the Rams will be a huge game. The Eagles schedule in the month of December is absolutely brutal with games against at Seattle and New York and home against Oakland and Dallas, who are all playoff teams from a season ago. The game in LA against the Rams obviously won’t be easy, but is definitely a must win. With that schedule it is more then likely the Eagles lose at least a game or two in the month. Coming down the final stretch of the season it is key that the Eagles win as many games as possible to try to ensure that playoff spot. Say the Birds split the month of playoff teams and go 2-2 in that stretch. A win against the Rams gives the Eagles a 3-2 month, which anyone would be happy with because of how brutal the schedule looks. A loss against the Rams puts a lot pressure to win at New York and home versus Oakland. If the Eagles are in the middle of the playoff race come December, a win at the Rams will be crucial.