After a scary end to Week 17, the 2022 NFL season is almost over.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition but is showing improvement.
While it’s hard to think about sports at a time like this, playoff-bound teams will continue to prepare for the playoffs.
One of these teams is the Philadelphia Eagles.
Philadelphia looked like a lock for the top seed just two weeks ago, but now needs a win in Week 18 to secure a first-round bye.
The Eagles are now in a much more precarious position after battling their way to a 13-1 start.
Eagles need healthy evil
Jalen Hurts’ health should be the Eagles’ top priority heading into the playoffs.
— Speak (@SpeakOnFS1) January 4, 2023
Hurts was playing at MVP level before being injured in Week 15 against the Chicago Bears.
The Eagles quarterback led the team to a 13-1 start, passing for 3,472 yards and 22 touchdowns with 67.3 percent accuracy with just 5 interceptions.
He also contributed on the ground, rushing for 747 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Hurts’ rushing ability isn’t new, but his improvements as a passer have been eye-opening.
Philadelphia is 0-2 since Hurts was injured.
They lost a shootout to Dallas 40-34 before laying an offensive egg at home against the Saints in a 20-10 loss.
Any hope of another Super Bowl run in Philadelphia rests squarely on Hurts’ shoulders.
The offense needs to get back on track
This one comes with an asterisk along with the starting quarterback, but the offense has spat a bit over the past three weeks.
Nick Sirianni and the Eagles have committed eight turnovers in the past three games after committing just 10 turnovers in the first 13 games.
Philadelphia still scored 25 points against Chicago and 34 points against the Cowboys.
But the attack didn’t seem to go as well as it had, and they turned the ball over seven times in total.
The Philadelphia Eagles trail the New Orleans Saints 13-0 at halftime.
It’s the first time this season that the Eagles have been shut out in the first half. Entering Week 17, the Eagles are averaging 19 points per game in the 1st half this season, most in the league. pic.twitter.com/jlbCYYJ8Jh
— ESPN Stats and Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 1, 2023
Philadelphia also struggled to get the ground game started.
They have a top-five rushing offense this season, averaging 148 rushing yards per game on 4.7 yards per attempt.
Against Chicago, they rushed for 112 yards on 3.39 yards per attempt.
Against Dallas, they ran for 87 yards on 3 yards per attempt.
And against New Orleans, they rushed for 67 yards on 4.47 yards per attempt.
Recovering Hurts will surely help things offensively.
But the offense needs to get back to top-five form come playoff time.