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Through nine weeks of the 2022-23 NFL season, the only question surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles seemed to be whether they could run the table and polish off the first 17-0 regular season in league history. The No. 1 seed was almost a foregone conclusion. And the NFC East title? Forget about it.

But now, there’s a realistic scenario in which the Eagles waste their 8-0 start and plummet to a wild-card team.

Because of its shocking upset loss to the Washington Commanders in Week 10, Philly is now tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the best record in the NFC. The Eagles still own the head-to-head tiebreaker, but their path to the No. 1 seed isn’t as clear as it was just a few days ago. Philadelphia is also one game ahead of the New York Giants in the NFC East with two matchups against their division rival remaining on the schedule.

The Commanders created the ultimate blueprint on how to beat this Eagles team, and the next five teams on their schedule are built to exploit their fatal flaw. If they aren’t careful, the Eagles could watch their season go up in flames before we reach Christmas.

The Eagles’ undefeated dreams have flipped to wild-card nightmares

Jalen Hurts looks on against the Commanders.
Jalen Hurts, Javon Hargrave, and James Bradberry of the Philadelphia Eagles look on against the Washington Commanders | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The NFL season is always a rollercoaster of expectations for every team. One minute the Eagles look like an unbeatable force destined to cruise to the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and the next they’re clinging to a one-game lead in the division.

After dropping their first game of the season to the Commanders, the Eagles are now tied at the top of the NFC standings at 8-1 and just one game ahead of the 7-2 Giants in the NFC East. The undefeated dreams of a few nights ago have quickly shifted to wild-card nightmares.

Philadelphia still has three division games remaining against the Dallas Cowboys and the Giants twice, so this is no longer the cakewalk NFC East title we once thought it was.

The Eagles season is in danger of going up in flames


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There was a time when we thought this Eagles team didn’t have a weakness, but a glaring one that could derail their season has quickly materialized. Over the last five games, Philadelphia has allowed 124, 134, 144, 168, and 152 rushing yards to its opponents. The Eagles haven’t been able to slow down running backs without Jordan Davis clogging up the line of scrimmage, and that’s bad news for the road ahead.

Over the next five weeks, the Eagles will face Jonathan Taylor, Aaron Jones, Derrick Henry, Justin Fields, and Saquon Barkley. They’re unquestionably more talented than all five teams, but the same was true in Monday night’s loss to the Commanders.

Washington ranks in the bottom half of the league in most rushing categories, yet it was still able to ride the running game to an upset victory. Now that the blueprint is out, the next five teams on Philly’s schedule are going to replicate it with much more talented runners.

Pound the rock up the middle, keep Jalen Hurts off the field as long as possible, and limit turnovers. That’s how you beat this Eagles team, and that’s exactly what the next five teams on their schedule can do. Oh, and Dallas Goedert might miss all five games with a shoulder injury, so Hurts will be working with only two reliable targets in the passing game in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

We’re not in full panic mode just yet, but if the Eagles can’t find a way to fix their fatal flaw over the next few weeks, they could find themselves staring down a wild-card spot in the NFC. That didn’t even seem possible just a few short days ago.

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