The Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention last week and because of that they’d be better served in the long run if they lose to Washington on Sunday.
Heading into Week 17, the Eagles hold the No. 6 pick in the draft. They could end up with as high as the No. 3 pick or as low as the No. 10 pick. That’s a big difference.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the Eagles won’t try to win. There’s pride involved. And that was Jim Schwartz’s point on Tuesday.
“We gotta have a no-hat rule this week,” Schwartz said. “We can’t let opponents put division win hats on at the Linc. There’s a lot of pride on that and all our focus has to be on accomplishing that this week.”
If Washington beats the Eagles on Sunday Night Football, they will win the NFC East. That’s something that probably doesn’t matter to most Eagles fans.
While the Eagles would certainly be better off losing on Sunday Night Football, that doesn’t mean the players on the field are going to try to lose. Think back to Jason Kelce’s admirable comments about tanking in the NFL a few weeks ago.
Sure, the Eagles can play young players and protect some veteran trade assets but when they get on the field Sunday, they still have a chance to beat Washington.
And, ultimately, that’s not great.
The Eagles opened as 1-point favorites, according to PointsBet, but that line has since moved and as of Tuesday morning, the Eagles are 2-point underdogs. Either way, this is not a slam dunk loss.
Schwartz on Tuesday, citing focus on the upcoming game, declined to answer any big-picture questions about his defense in 2020. He said those are questions for after the season. When it was pointed out to him that he hasn’t spoken to reporters after the season since he’s been here, Schwartz agreed but laughed it off.
“Those are after-the-season questions and it doesn’t do a service to us to start talking about that now,” he said. “We have a division opponent coming in that’s trying to earn a playoff spot on our field. We gotta have all our attention on this game. I’ve got too much respect for the guys that are gonna be on the field, some of which are going to be playing for the first time. I’ve got too much respect for the game to talk about anything other than this game. I apologize for that but that’s where our focus is.”
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