Eagles continue title defense with win over Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) looks on from under center during the NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Eagles won 32-30. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) looks on from under center during the NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Eagles won 32-30. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

The Philadelphia Eagles are officially a playoff team — holding out hope that they can continue their Super Bowl title defense one more week. Its now on to Chicago for a matchup in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs next Sunday at 4:40 PM.

The Eagles dominated the injury-decimated Redskins at FedEx Field Sunday afternoon. Still, even with that win, the Eagles needed the Chicago Bears to beat the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis in their game. Either an Eagles loss or a Vikings win would have eliminated Philadelphia from the playoffs.

The Bears beat the Vikings 24 to 10.

Philly once again put faith in quarterback Nick Foles who started in place of injured Carson Wentz.  While Foles has delivered before, and the Eagles defense has been sound the past few weeks, nothing has been certain for Doug Pederson’s troops this season. Eagles fans must now hold their breath as Foles left the game with a chest injury in the fourth quarter. He was replaced by Nick Sudfeld who led the team to a final score.

Their 9-7 record is far below what many predicted from a team that seemingly had so many things go right last season on their way to a Super Bowl title.

But the Eagles are now in and will play the Bears in the Wild Card round next weekend in Soldier Field.

Based on the cheering and Eagles’ regalia, the crowd appears predominantly to have been Philly fans at FedEx Field. They were treated to Foles once again leading the team in place of the injured Wentz to a huge victory. This time on the road.

It felt like a home game for the Eagles. Philadelphia fans filled the stadium, sang “Fly! Eagles! Fly!” and chanted “Let’s Go Bears!” There were several thousand empty seats and Redskins fans could only cheer for the Vikings to spite Eagles fans.

Foles, the Super Bowl MVP in Philadelphia’s win over New England last February, is 6-0 in must-win games filling in for Carson Wentz.

Foles played so well that he tied the NFL consecutive completion record midway through the game. Still, the biggest question remains is Foles health. He was hit in the chest last week by the Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney in the contest. Late in today’s game, he appeared to take a hit in the same spot and was escorted to the locker room for observation.

Several reports are that Foles has severely bruised ribs and his condition will be day to day as the team prepares to travel to Chicago next week.

The Eagles begin their playoffs this year as a real underdog, unlike the way they portrayed themselves last season. Only five teams have ever won the Super Bowl entering the playoffs from a Wild Card Spot. The last was the Green Bay Packers in 2010. The Eagles will play all playoff games on the road.

Fan reaction

The Eagles’ performance didn’t quite compare to last year’s 13-3 championship season. But fans were believing.

At Founding Fathers sports bar, near 16th and South streets, chants were loud, hugs were exchanged, and of course, plenty of beer was served as Eagles fans watched their team hand their division rivals a goose egg.

However, clenching the spot took more than a Gang Green victory. Eagles fans kept their heads on a swivel between two television screens as they rooted for the Bears to beat the Vikings — securing Philadelphia’s road to the playoffs.

While watching both games, Dan Kehr said he was nervous until the games were pretty much over, despite the fact each team kept control of the game. Seeing both teams come away with victories, his fears were alleviated.

“I feel on cloud nine right now,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Dan French of Northern Liberties says the Eagles will be a strong contender in the fight for the Lombardi trophy.

“I don’t think anybody in the league wants to go up against the Birds right now,” he said. “They got a little swag. Things are moving along. I like it.”

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