PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3)- The Philadelphia Eagles are NFC East champions. Somehow, some way, despite injuries to seemingly their entire starting lineup, the Birds are headed to the postseason and hosting a Wild Card round game.
Quarterback Carson Wentz deserves a large share of the credit for getting the team to the playoffs as the fourth year starter completed 67 percent of his pass attempts for 1,199 yards and seven touchdowns in that stretch. Questions about his leadership have been raised in each of the past two seasons and to this point, Wentz has answered him. Now, Hall of Fame wide receiver and Inside The NFL analyst Michael Irvin wants to see if he can do it again with the stakes raised in the playoffs.
“The only way the Eagles can get deep into the playoffs is if Carson Wentz lifts up everybody around him and take them there. In order to lift people up, that is about leadership,” said Irvin. “He has done an incredible job of that so far. Can he do it now as they take that next step and move to the next step which we call playoff football. It’s going to be a great story to watch.”
The first test for Wentz and company is a rematch with the Seattle Seahawks. The first go round saw an anemic offensive performance in which Wentz tossed two interceptions and lost a pair of fumbles. The good news is, there may be some cavalry arriving from the injured ranks this weekend. Running back Jordan Howard was active for Sunday’s game against the Giants but he didn’t see any snaps. He should be back this week. The same goes for rookie receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and there is some hope that right tackle Lane Johnson could return.
The bad news? The injury list saw several new additions Sunday with guard Brandon Brooks out for the year due to a shoulder injury along with defensive end Daeshon Hall (torn ACL). Running back Miles Sanders (ankle), corner Avonte Maddox and tight end Zach Ertz’s status are all up in the air for Sunday as well.
If Eagles fans are looking for a bit of hope entering the weekend, the FiveThirtyEight game prediction model lists the Eagles as 5.5-point favorites with a 69% win probability. The Eagles and Seahawks kickoff the final game of Wild Card weekend on Sunday at 4:40 p.m. EST.
You can catch Michael Irvin along with Phil Simms, Brandon Marshall, Ray Lewis, and host James Brown on Inside The NFL every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.