The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a 7-9 season and still searching for answers about how they’ll be able to make a deep playoff run in 2019.
A win over the Indianapolis Colts at home on Sunday could change that.
The Eagles are 3-1, tied for the fourth-most wins in the NFL and have been on a roll.
They’ve scored 28 points or more in three straight games and have allowed just seven points in that span.
But if Philadelphia is to make the playoffs for the second straight season, it will have to overcome the Colts’ offensive line and an inconsistent defense.
The Colts will have their hands full trying to stop quarterback Andrew Luck and the Eagles’ defense has allowed four touchdown passes and just two interceptions.
“It’s a big, big game,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said.
“You can’t lose to a good team like that.
You’ve got to beat a good defense.
And we’re going to do that.
We’ve got a lot of young guys who are going to play big minutes, big snaps, and we’re looking forward to that.”
The Eagles, who have not played since the opener of the regular season, are 1-3 in their past six games.
Kelly is not optimistic about his team’s chances of making the playoffs, saying they’ve been lucky with their losses and that the team needs to stay focused.
The team has lost five straight in Philadelphia and is 0-6 in the past six road games.
“We’re not winning games, we’re not getting points, and then we’re losing games,” Kelly said, adding that the Eagles need to get more involved on the offensive side of the ball and put the game away.
The Colts are the defending Super Bowl champions and have won eight straight.
The defense has been inconsistent against the run and has allowed just nine touchdowns and just one interception.
The secondary has allowed the fewest points and fewest yards to opposing offenses.
On Sunday, Kelly was asked about the Colts defensive line, which was the biggest surprise in this game.
He said the Colts will play some physical guys, but they’ve got some physical players who are not necessarily physical players, Kelly said before the game.
“I’m not going to say the defensive line is the biggest reason for this, but the way they’re coming, the way that they’re moving, the things that they do, you can tell there’s some guys who do things like that, I’m not saying that they are the best or the biggest or the best of players, but it’s the way we’re playing,” Kelly added.
Kelly’s defense was one of the factors in the Eagles being shutout in Week 1 of the season and was a key reason why the team lost the game in Indianapolis.
This year’s Eagles are in good shape, but Kelly knows they’ll have to be patient with their defense to get back to the playoffs.
They are 7-2 against teams with winning records and 6-1 against teams without winning records.
Andrew Luck threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts on Sunday.
In the win over Indy, Luck threw six touchdown passes, one touchdown pass in the first half and two TDs in the second half.
Luck threw four touchdowns against Indianapolis in the 2016 season finale.
Indianapolis is 4-1 with Luck as its starting quarterback.
The game was also a rematch of the Colts win over Philadelphia on Jan. 29, 2018.
Luck was 8-of-13 for 76 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the loss.
Philadelphia won the game 30-28.