What does Eagles' lackluster end of regular season really mean?

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What does Eagles' lackluster end of season really mean? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Nick Foles was awful. Threw for just 163 yards. Completed 19 of 38 passes with a TD and an interception and a 59.4 passer rating.

The Eagles were lucky to beat a 6-10 Raiders team by nine points back on Christmas Day 2017 at the Linc.

Sure, the win gave them No. 1 seed in the NFC, but it was hardly a masterpiece over a Raiders team that lost 10 of its last 14 games.

MORE: Week 18 Eagles grades by position after clinching No. 1 seed

That’s when the questions started about the Eagles’ ability to make a deep postseason run. They were 13-2, but that was an ugly game. How could they win in the playoffs without Carson Wentz? With such an inconsistent offense? With an up-and-down defense?

A week later Foles was even worse in a cameo in a meaningless 6-0 loss to the Cowboys, going 4-for-11 for 39 yards with no TDs, another INT and a 9.3 passer rating. That remains the lowest passer rating by an Eagles QB throwing at least 10 passes since Ken O’Brien in 1993.

That’s when half of Philly wanted to bench Foles for Nate Sudfeld. Really. That happened, and I’ve got the Tweets to prove it.

What happened next? Something about a Super Bowl and a Super Bowl MVP and a parade.

The lesson then was the same as now.

It doesn’t matter.

Those Raiders and Cowboys games five years ago didn’t matter and that Giants game Sunday didn’t matter.

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Football is an odd little sport in that what you do one week often doesn’t remotely resemble what you do the next week.

That’s how Week 1 the Eagles could nearly blow a 17-point lead against a non-playoff team like the Lions and a week later win by two TDs over a Vikings team that wound up 13-4.

Or how you can blow out the Giants’ starters by 26 points on the road and a month later scramble to beat their backups by six points at home.

Every NFL game is a separate entity, and whoever makes more plays and turns the ball over less usually wins. Regardless of what happened a week or a month or a year ago.

The best teams make more plays and turn the ball over less more frequently. And that’s why the Eagles are 14-3.

All an ugly win over the Giants backups on Sunday means is a division title and a 1st-round bye.  It doesn’t mean the issues we saw Sunday carry over to the playoff opener in two weeks.

I get the skittish feeling around the city right now.

READ: The Eagles’ opponents for 2023 NFL season are set

The Eagles really haven’t played a complete game a month. Since the first Giants game, they’ve actually been outscored 96-91, gone 2-2, struggled to beat the Bears, lost to the Cowboys and Saints and hung on to beat the Giants’ scrubs.

Back in 2017, the Eagles outscored their last five opponents by two points – 106-104. They weren’t exactly rolling into the playoffs either.

The Eagles are trying to figure some things out right now, but it’s easy to forget that every other team is doing the same thing. We’re so close to the Eagles we can lose sight of the fact that every team has bad games, bad weeks, bad plays.

The Vikings are 12-4, but they lost to the Cowboys by 37, the Lions by 11 and the Packers by 27. The Cowboys are 12-4 but they went 2-2 to end the season, finishing with a 20-point loss to the Commanders. The 49ers are 13-4, but they just allowed Jarett Stidham to put up 365 yards and 37 points against them in his first career start.

You play the season and see who the best teams are and style points don’t matter and margin of victory doesn’t matter and all that matters is stacking up those W’s and nobody in football has more of them than the Eagles.

This is a team with an electrifying quarterback who’s 17-1 in his last 18 starts, two monster playmakers at wide receiver, one of the NFL’s best tight ends, a big-time offensive line, the No. 1 pass defense in football, one of the best group of pass rushers in NFL history and a head coach running the whole thing who’s 21-5 in his last 26 games.

They just got the NFL interception leader back, they should have their four-time Pro Bowl right tackle back and now they have a week more than anybody else to get ready for the postseason. While every other playoff team will be in action next weekend, the Eagles will be at home resting, watching and getting healthy.

Was the Giants game frustrating and difficult and agonizing? Sure.

But there are 15 teams in the NFC who’d give anything for an ugly win that locks up a 1st-round bye. There are 15 teams in the NFC who’d trade places with the Eagles in a second.

The Eagles are right where they want to be, right where they need to be. Even if the road that got them there was a little bit rocky.