PHILADELPHIA ( Associated Press) – The top spot in the NFC standings remains for the Eagles.
Likewise the situation with injured quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Hurts missed Philadelphia’s loss to Dallas with a sprained right shoulder—a loss that prevented the Eagles from becoming NFC East champions and confirmed first place in the conference. If they had won, they would not have required Hearts to return for the regular season.
“He’s going to do everything he can to stay healthy and if he’s healthy, he’ll play,” coach Nick Siriani said Monday.
But even at 13-2, the Eagles need their starting QB to win their last two games and finish the bye week on top of the conference and with home advantage after the season.
Gardner Minshew played well against the Cowboys, but because the Saints (6-9) are still expected to advance, the Eagles will use Hurts if he is healthy.
The Eagles steamrolled to the best record in the NFL before losing to Dallas on Saturday. For now, the road to first place is a bit complicated: If Dallas wins its last two duels and if Philadelphia loses to the Saints and Giants, the Cowboys will become champions of the East. If that scenario plays out and Minnesota and San Francisco somehow lose their final two games, the Cowboys will take the conference lead.
Those are a lot of wishes for Dallas.
It’s less complicated for Philadelphia; A win (or more if Dallas loses) and they celebrate the lead.
Does it work
Even if Minshue starts for the second time, he shouldn’t worry. According to fivethirtyeight.com, the Eagles have a 97% chance of winning their division, a 96% chance of having a bye week, and a 22% chance of winning the Super Bowl. Minshew was not actually the reason the Eagles lost (although his last shot was nowhere near any of the receivers). He passed for 355 yards while completing 24 of 40 passes for two touchdowns in his first game as a starter.
The Eagles need to make more plays — and stop giving up so many balls. Philadelphia committed two of its four turnovers in the final five minutes against Dallas and a team that set a franchise record with ball safety, as it suddenly has trouble keeping the ball.