Eagles Starters to Play, But Likely Not the Entire Game Sunday Against Dallas

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Friday that Eagles starters will play Week 17 against the Cowboys, but “at the same time be smart with how much they play.” according to Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice.

“The idea is to just keep the starters going,” Pederson explained. “I don’t want to not play them, and then it’s three weeks later and you’re playing a game. I think that would be foolish on my part, so I want to make sure that they stay in the moment, but at the same time be smart with how much they play, how long they play, and go from there.” The Eagles have secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs and have little incentive to risk their best players. The most likely scenario is for Nick Foles and company is to play the first half and then cede their spots to backups for the remainder of the game.

Eagles QB Nick Foles Critical of His Play During the Eagles 19-10 Win Over Oakland

In Monday night’s last-minute win over the Raiders, Nick Foles showed why he’s a backup. The quarterback completed 19-of-38 passes for 163 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Foles often held the ball too long, missed receivers high or in the dirt, and rarely hit targets in stride. The veteran backup was particularly woeful on third downs, where the Eagles went 1-14, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

“I didn’t play good enough. I have to play cleaner and, obviously, play better,” Foles said after the win.

“Third down is a big thing with a quarterback; pin-point accuracy, making good decisions. I’ll look at the film, I’ll improve. These wins are tough; wins in the NFL are tough. This was a crazy, sloppy game. I thought our defense played wonderful — giving us an opportunity — I believe it was five turnovers. That’s huge, that was big.”

Wasn’t Pretty; But Eagles Find a Way to Wrap Up NFC #1 Seed with 19-10 Win Over Raiders

After squeaking out victories over two bad teams with Nick Foles under center, the Eagles head into the playoffs with a bright red question mark at football’s most important position.

Coach Doug Peterson decided to spin positive after Philadelphia clinched home-field advantage, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

“We found a way to win. That’s the bottom line,” he said. “We found a way to win. I’d love to win 40-3 or 34-28, but sometimes you’re going to be in these games. We got to be hard on ourselves as coaches and players looking at this film, moving forward, and get things fixed offensively. I thought the defense played really, really well. They kept us in the football game, special teams. [It was a] team effort, though. [We] found a way. [We are] sitting here today 13-2. Everybody’s got to come through here now. That’s the exciting part.”

Will Doug Pederson Play the Eagles Starters in the Regular Season Finale Despite Clinching Home Field?

With the No.1 seed in the NFC secured after the Eagles clawed their way to a win over the Raiders Christmas night, head coach Doug Pederson will decide by Wednesday whether to risk his starters in the team’s Week 17 game against the Dallas Cowboys according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

Week 17 is always a delicate balancing act for playoff coaches to negotiate, as teams want to keep their momentum and winning attitude going and put on a good show for their paying fans but do not want to risk injury in a meaningless game. Judging from his dismal performance against the Raiders, quarterback Nick Foles could definitely use the reps with his offensive skills players after holding a clipboard for most of the season. If Foles plays against the Dallas Cowboys next week and gets hurt, however, fans and ownership might never forgive Pederson for blowing the team’s best chance of playing in the Super Bowl in years.

Pederson point out that he may have no choice but to play Foles next week. “Right now with only two guys [at quarterback], I would assume he’d probably have to play some,” Pederson said. Beyond keeping his starters healthy, Pederson needs to worry about them being rested to the point of rusty. Having secured a first-round bye, the Eagles will go three weeks between meaningful games. And they’ll be facing a team that will have just won a potentially hard-fought wild-card win. And they’ll be carrying the weight of expectations that comes with being the No. 1 seed.

It’s a problem that every other team in the NFC would love to be dealing with right now.

Video: CBS Sports On How Far Nick Foles Can Take The Eagles

CBS Sports’ ‘NFL Monday QB’ analysts discuss whether Nick Foles can lead the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl now that Carson Wentz is out for the season. Do you agree with their assessment of the Eagles new QB?

TE Zach Ertz Has Cleared Concussion Protocol and to Practice

Eagles coach Doug Pederson said today that tight end Zach Ertz has cleared the concussion protocol and will practice Wednesday, ESPN reports.

“He’s good to go,” Pederson said.

The Eagles (11-2) will play the New York Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Ertz missed the Eagles’ 43-35 victory over the Los Angeles Rams with his concussion, an injury he sustained during a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13. Trey Burton had his best game of the season in Ertz’s absence, finishing with five receptions for 71 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams. Tight end Brent Celek also had a touchdown reception.

Ertz leads the Eagles with 57 receptions and is tied with wide receiver Nelson Agholor for second on the team with 663 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches.

Carson Wentz’s Season Is Officially Over After Tearing His ACL In Game Against Rams

When Carson Wentz left the field with a left knee injury toward the end of the third quarter of the Eagles/Rams game, Philly fans were hoping that it looked worse than it really was. Unfortunately, that hit he took was a season ender, with the Eagles placing him on injured reserve, revealing that Wentz had torn his ACL.

Amazingly, even after that gruesome hit, Wentz went on the run four more plays that ended up with a touchdown, before walking to the locker room on his own two feet.

While the Eagles looked like a sure bet for the Super Bowl under Wentz’s lead, with him out for the season now, it’s anyone’s guess how they’ll face with Foles in the QB spot. Thankfully, they’ve got a relatively easy schedule ahead of them, facing the Giants, Raiders and Cowboys in the weeks leading up to the playoffs.

Here’s hoping!

Former Lakers Great Kobe Bryant Drops Video Cheering on the Eagles

The Eagles have a new fan it appears – as former Lakers great Kobe Bryant donned an Eagles jersey and put out a Tweet showing him cheering on Gang Green as they continue their run towards the postseason.