Ea­gles still have hope for play­offs

Philly brings de­pleted lineup to FedEx Field

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NFL - By Stephen Whyno

LAN­DOVER — The list of in­juries for Philadel­phia has got­ten so long that the Ea­gles just added a castoff from the lowly Wash­ing­ton Red­skins to their ros­ter.

Sign­ing wide re­ceiver Robert Davis off the prac­tice squad is just the lat­est move for the de­pleted Ea­gles, who at 6-7 are tied with the Dal­las Cow­boys atop the NFC East.

Miss­ing in­jured run­ning backs Dar­ren Spro­les and Corey Cle­ment as well as re­ceivers DeSean Jack­son, Al­shon Jef­frey and pos­si­bly Nel­son Agholor, Philadel­phia vis­its 3-10 Wash­ing­ton on Sun­day look­ing to keep its playoff hopes alive.

“It’s been a chal­lenge for us,” Ea­gles coach Doug Ped­er­son said of his team’s in­juries. “With some of the young guys, we’ve just got to con­tinue to coach and con­tinue to pre­pare them and find ways to move them around or uti­lize the tight ends a lit­tle bit more. What­ever we can do to still be ef­fec­tive in the pass­ing game, we’ve got to do it. Our young play­ers un­der­stand their role and they’re ex­cited for the op­por­tu­nity.”

The good news for Car­son Wentz and the Ea­gles is they shouldn’t have to put up many points be­cause they’re fac­ing the NFL’s worst of­fense, and their de­fense is more than ca­pa­ble of cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the mis­takes of Red­skins rookie quar­ter­back Dwayne Hask­ins.

In­terim Red­skins coach Bill Cal­la­han thinks his team’s of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive strug­gles trace to bad first quar­ters.

“I’d like to see our of­fense start bet­ter than what we did last week,” Cal­la­han said.

“If you’re a good foot­ball team in the Na­tional Foot­ball league, that’s a fac­tor, start­ing fast. Now, it doesn’t mean that you’re go­ing to be in the playoff hunt be­cause of that, but it just en­hances your op­por­tu­nity to get your tempo go­ing, to get your rhythm go­ing, to get the con­fi­dence you need for your units and ob­vi­ously for all sides of the ball.”

The Ea­gles are un­der .500 but in the playoff hunt be­cause the Cow­boys have stum­bled just as much.

A matchup with Dal­las awaits in Week 16 be­fore wrap­ping up at the New York Gi­ants, and the Ea­gles would cap­ture the divi­sion if they win out.

The clos­ing stretch be­gins with a winnable game at Wash­ing­ton.

“Each of the teams had great hopes, high ex­pec­ta­tions and it was go­ing to be one of the tougher di­vi­sions in foot­ball,” Ped­er­son said.

“It is a lit­tle bit of a shock that all four (NFC East) teams are un­der .500. And for what­ever rea­son, it could be in­jury, it could be bad luck, what­ever it might be, it’s un­for­tu­nate, but I still have a lot of re­spect for the three other teams in our divi­sion and look for­ward to the matchup on Sun­day.”

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