Despite clinching No. 1 seed, Eagles still have a lot to prove

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC was big for the Philadelphia Eagles following their win against the Oakland Raiders, but this team still has a long way to go.

Since the Green Bay Packers failed to provide some unexpected help over the weekend by defeating the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles found themselves in need of a win on Monday against the Oakland Raiders in order to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture. It may not have been the best of performances, but the good news is the Eagles were able to come through when it mattered the most by defeating the Raiders 19-10 to earn that top seed while taking off the additional pressure of having to win next weekend against the Dallas Cowboys.

In a game that was sloppy on both sides of the football, Philadelphia was able to figure out a way to escape with the win when Ronald Darby picked off a pass thrown by Derek Carr in the final minute before Nick Foles led the offense down the field before Jake Elliott’s go-ahead field goal from 48 yards out to seal the deal. To top it off, Derek Barnett ended up returning a fumble during the final play of the game for the score to give the Eagles the 19-10 win, making fans feel a lot better heading into the regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys.

Facing a division rival that has already been eliminated from playoff contention with nothing to lose other than spoiler role would have been awful in Week 17 for Philadelphia since Dallas would have loved nothing more than to ruin the chances of their division rivals earning home-field advantage in the playoffs. But thanks to the Eagles somehow figuring out a way to squeak through with the win against the Raiders, that will no longer be an issue since Doug Pederson‘s squad’s final game of the regular season is absolutely meaningless since the top seed is already locked up.

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With that being said, just because Philadelphia is celebrating their recent win over Oakland to secure that top spot in the NFC playoff picture doesn’t mean everything is going to be smooth sailing come January. If anything, Monday’s game against the Raiders shows this team still needs to make plenty of adjustments if they’re going to have any chance of making a Super Bowl run, ranging from Foles playing at a higher level to the defense cutting down on the careless mistakes. But for now, Philadelphia deserves to enjoy the victory of earning the No. 1 seed when considering the difficult obstacle they had to overcome after losing Carson Wentz, although this team clearly still has a long way to go when it comes to being looked at as a serious threat in the NFC.