Eagles Steal Familiar Sixers’ Line After Clinching Playoffs

Rodney McLeod

Getty Eagles safety Rodney McLeod gets mobbed by fans after securing the game-sealing interception in Week 17 versus Washington.

Nick Sirianni is one of only three head coaches in Philadelphia Eagles’ history to make the postseason in his first year at the helm. The others? (Don’t get too excited). Ray Rhodes and Chip Kelly.

And Sirianni is only the second rookie head coach in NFL history to clinch a playoff spot following a 2-5 start. The other? Frank Reich, his old boss in Indianapolis. Yes, those calls for Coach of the Year are going to continue to roll in but accolades and awards can wait.

After the Packers helped the Eagles get into the postseason dance on Sunday night, the players were celebrating their improbable clinch. You never know what can happen once you get on the dance floor.

“It means a lot but, more importantly, it shows you that everybody in this locker room believed,” safety Rodney McLeod told reporters after the Eagles’ 20-16 win. “When everybody else wrote us off when we were 2-5, we continued to believe in ourselves. We trusted the process. We continued to prepare the same way and have that same level of focus, and we got better. And we’re seeing the results of that now.”

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Jalen Hurts: ‘We Trusted in the Grind’

Jalen Hurts just smiled and laughed when someone brought up the 2-5 start. The Eagles quarterback sits up at the podium week in and week out and answers the same boring questions about overcoming adversity and turning what looked like a disastrous season around. Trust the process, to borrow a line from McLeod (and another professional sports team in Philadelphia).

“I think y’all know the answer to this question. I come up here and I say the same things to every question you guys ask,” Hurts told reporters. “I say the same things. I talk about our process and the importance of that. I talk about the core values that Coach [Sirianni] brought in here, and how he’s kind of kept consistent with preaching those things.”

Hurts continued: “And we’ve connected, we’ve communicated, we’ve grown. We put the work in and we’ve just grown one-percent better every day. And that’s been our goal. That’s been our true identity. That’s been who we are and with all the youth, with all the inexperience, from coaching to players – we just bought into what we are, we bought into what we could be, trusted in the grind and approaching every day the way we do.”

Eagles-Cowboys Flexed to Saturday Night

The NFL announced that the Week 18 game between the Dallas Cowboys (11-5) and Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) would be moving to Saturday night (January 8) at 8:15 p.m. It was originally scheduled for Sunday, January 9 at 1 p.m. Neither team may be playing their starters since changes to playoff seeding seems minimal.

The Eagles could potentially move up from No. 7 to No. 6 with a few breaks. Ditto for the Cowboys who could slide from No. 4 to No. 3. Dallas maintains homefield in the wild-card round either way; Philadelphia will have to go on the road. The desire to get an extra week of recovery for players during the first 17-week season in NFL history may prove too good to pass up.

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