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PHILADELPHIA – Police said a Pennsylvania man who was ejected from Saturday’s Philadelphia Eagles game assaulted a police horse after leaving the stadium. Taylor Hendricks, 22, was removed from Lincoln Financial Field before the start of the Eagles’ NFL playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons by stadium personnel who said he arrived intoxicated and was unable to produce a ticket.

“After the male was ejected he walked over to a mounted officer and began punching the horse in the face, neck and shoulder area,” the Philadelphia Police Department said in a statement to CBS News. The department said the officer who was riding the horse was also struck in the legs during the incident.

Another officer saw the alleged attack and arrested Hendricks, police said.

Neither the horse nor the officer that was riding it were injured in the incident, according to police.

Hendricks was charged with assault of law enforcement officer, cruelty to animals and aggravated assault, police said.

Court records indicate Hendricks was released after posting 10 percent of a $5,000 bail. A plea has not been entered in the case and he is next scheduled to appear on Jan. 30.

The Eagles defeated the Falcons during Saturday’s game 15-10, and advanced to the NFC Championship game, Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field.

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Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers

Be careful what you wish for.

General manager Ted Thompson’s last offseason as general manager of the Green Bay Packers included a disastrous foray into free agency.

He was more aggressive than usual, likely as a result of losing several of his own free agents to other teams and possibly due to some prodding from others inside the organization. The result after one year was several underwhelming additions and several productive departures.

Let’s run through the players the Packers added:

TE Martellus Bennett: The jewel of Green Bay’s free agency class quickly turned into fool’s gold. Caught 24 passes, dropped a half dozen others, failed to score a touchdown and was released after a messy and bitter final two weeks. One of the worst signings of the entire free agency period in the NFL.

TE Lance Kendricks: Played in all six games but caught a career-low 18 passes and provided next to nothing as a blocker.

CB Davon House: Handled his business more often than not, but battled injury and managed only one interception and six passes defended over 12 games. A starter for one of the league’s worst passing defenses.

DL Ricky Jean-Francois: Played in six games for the Packers but tallied only two tackles. Was cut twice and eventually ended up in New England.

G Justin McCray: A surprising bright spot. Made the 53-man roster coming out of camp and played all over the offensive line as a supersub.

G Jahri Evans: Solidified right guard for 14 games. Cheap, effective solution after losing T.J. Lang.

OLB Ahmad Brooks: Signed to be the top backup at outside linebacker but managed only 1.5 sacks. Dealt with a back injury for most of the season.

DL Quinton Dial: Played 13 games but provided very little impact.

The Packers signed three of their own unrestricted free agents: Nick Perry, Don Barclay and Christine Michael. Perry fought through four different injuries and finished with 7.0 sacks, Barclay was released after suffering an ankle injury during the preseason and Michael was cut after the Packers took three running backs in the draft.

Two unrestricted free agents were re-signed: Jayrone Elliott and Jordan Tripp. Elliott was traded to Dallas, while Tripp was released during final cuts.

The Packers let seven unrestricted free agents sign elsewhere.

Let’s run through those players:

S Micah Hyde: Intercepted five passes as a safety in Buffalo and earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors.

DE Julius Peppers: Went back to Carolina on a cheap deal and produced 11 sacks for the Panthers.

OL J.C. Tretter: Started all 16 games at center for the Browns.

G T.J. Lang: Played in 13 games despite several injuries and was once again one of the NFL’s better guards.

RB Eddie Lacy: The Packers tried to get him back but he left for Seattle, where he delivered only 176 rushing yards and 2.6 yards per carry for the Seahawks.

OLB Datone Jones: Quickly flamed out of Minnesota before the start of the regular season and then bounced around with several different teams. Landed in Dallas and played four games and made two starts for the Cowboys.

TE Jared Cook: Passed over in Green Bay and eventually signed with the Raiders, catching 54 passes for 688 yards and two touchdowns – more than Bennett and Kendricks combined.

Any way you slice it, decisions made during free agency hurt the quality of the Packers’ 53-man roster in 2017. New general manager Brian Gutekunst is expected to be more aggressive in free agency and other player acquisition avenues, but there are no guarantees. Hopefully, Gutekunst and the Packers learned from Thompson’s failures during his final offseason.

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For the second time in five years, Dion Jordan could be described as being a very intriguing NFL prospect.

Back in 2013, the University of Oregon standout was a physical specimen who would eventually become the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft. Five years later, Jordan has gone from wearing the label of first-round bust to being suspended for an entire season to battling multiple injuries to once against being viewed, as he was half a decade ago, as a pass rusher with a lot of upside.

After making his return to the NFL with the Seahawks midway through the 2017 season, Jordan recorded 4.0 sacks in five games, one more than he had in his career prior to this season. And given his long layoff from playing football—due to both suspensions and injuries, Jordan missed all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons and the first eight games in 2017—both he and the Seahawks feel like he is just scratching the surface of what he can become.

“He can be a legitimate factor,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “How good? I don’t know, I don’t know that, but I do know he should be a legitimate factor in the (pass) rush and in the run game. He’s a good pursuit guy, too. He is strong and big and all that. He just has a really unproven background and there is not much to go on there, so we’re having to piece it together with the few plays that we’ve got. But he made some real positive overtures and he’s an exciting prospect for us. Really exciting prospect.”

There’s plenty the Seahawks and their fans would like to change about the 2017 season, most notably the many factors that went into their missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011. But there were also a number of bright spots, coming both from obvious sources—star players like linebacker Bobby Wagner, safety Earl Thomas, quarterback Russell Wilson and receiver Doug Baldwin all had outstanding seasons—and from places people might not have been expecting heading into the year. Whether it was safety Bradley McDougald thriving in a starting role, or Justin Coleman grabbing ahold of the nickel corner spot and playing very well there all season, or perhaps most unexpectedly, Jordan becoming one of the team’s more productive pass rushers down the stretch, the Seahawks got significant contributions from a lot of newcomers this season, particularly on defense.

At 27, it’s a little bit odd to hear Jordan referred to as a “really exciting prospect” in the NFL—that’s usually an age at which a player is in his prime—but because he came into this season having missed so much time, it’s understandable that he and the Seahawks are both excited about what he can do going forward.

“Over the last few weeks, I just started to feel like myself again,” Jordan said. “I just started to understand what they needed from me here, and it just started to expand more and more.”

Added Carroll: “He was highly, highly regarded coming out of college for the right reasons. He just had three years of torment trying to get back to the game. The time he has been with us, he was just a remarkable example of diligence and grit and willpower and all of that, and when he made it back, it took him a little while to kind of knock the rust off. It took him a little while. And he is still coming, he is just getting started. He’s a brand new player coming up, and the opportunity now to be in this off season healthy—he’s healthy coming out of the season, so he can work hard to develop and get better—is really positive. We don’t know what the limit is, but we are really excited about it.”

Jordan’s teammates are equally interested to see in what kind of player Jordan can be with a healthy offseason under his belt.

“He was, what the third pick in the draft?” defensive end Frank Clark said. “I think he can be a Pro Bowl-caliber player in this league. He showed what he can do coming off of serious injuries, and that was just a little bit. He just showed a little bit. So imagine what he can give you in the full 16 (games), healthy with a full offseason to train—football training, not rehab. I’m just curious to see what he’s going to do next year.”

Jordan’s struggles, from how he failed to properly handle everything that came with being the No. 3 pick to substance abuse to injuries have been well documented, but as bleak as things looked for him at times, he never gave up on the idea that he could still enjoy a productive NFL career.

“I definitely could still picture it,” Jordan said a day after the season came to an end. “It all depended on what I wanted, how hard I worked. The opportunity to play for the Seahawks and be in this locker room just added that much more to it.”

Jordan credits the culture Carroll has helped build in Seattle as an important part of his comeback—as a recent Sports Illustrated profile noted, Seahawks assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable as well as former Seahawk Marshawn Lynch influenced Jordan’s decision to sign with Seattle—and that fit he has found with the Seahawks is a big reason why he hopes to return next season. And to hear Carroll talk about Jordan, who will be a restricted free agent, it certainly sounds like the defensive end is in their plans.

While looking ahead to the future during his year-end press conference, Carroll talked about “a bunch of guys in the defensive line that I’m excited about,” and the first player he mentioned was Jordan.

“We’ve got issues to try to return guys, but Dion Jordan had a marvelous turnaround and showed an impact that could be really instrumental,” Carroll said.

Five years after being the No. 3 pick in the draft, Jordan is once again a “really exciting prospect,” but this time around, he’s much better prepared to handle those expectations.

“It was huge for me,” Jordan said of his comeback season with the Seahawks. “Just proving that all my hard work paid off. It was great to be able to do it with the players who I had the opportunity to play with this season. I’m excited about what’s next.”

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Blake Bortles

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Blake Bortles wasn’t having a whole lot of success with his arm, so the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback decided to try to make a few plays with his legs.

That’s not exactly the formula the Jaguars want to use, but it worked Sunday in their 10-3 AFC wild-card victory over the Buffalo Bills at EverBank Field. Bortles rushed for more yards (88) than he had passing (87) to become the first quarterback to win a playoff game with fewer than 100 passing yards on 20-plus attempts since Steve McNair in the 1999 AFC wild-card game against the Bills.

All that matters for the Jaguars, though, is Bortles found a way to win a playoff game, which hasn’t been done around here in a long time. The last time that happened was in the 2007 season. The last time it happened at home was after the 1999 season. Whether Bortles is still the franchise’s long-term answer at quarterback is a debate that can be put off for another week because the Jaguars still have at least one more game to play.

“Going into a game, there’s no secret recipe on how to win,” said Bortles, who completed 12 of 23 passes. “There’s no number that says you’ve got to score this many points to beat them. You’ve got to score one more than they score, regardless of it’s 50 or if it’s three, you’ve got to find a way to outscore them.”

That seemed unreachable with the way Bortles played in the first half. It appeared that the significant strides he made in 2017 were going to be wasted and the offseason was going to again be filled with questions such as, “What do the Jaguars do at quarterback?” Yet Bortles was able to rebound and proved to his teammates and coaches that he can be relied upon to win games.

It doesn’t matter that Bortles did a large part of it with his feet.

“He found a way,” cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “That’s what we talk about. It’s the main reason I played today [despite being ill]. You’ve got to find a way. Whatever it takes. We’ve got to get to these goals that we’ve talked about.

“All this work we’ve put in the offseason is for moments like these, and for him to find a way and do it with his legs, man, I have the utmost respect for him.”

Bortles was having by far his worst game of the season until he started scrambling and getting free. Per ESPN Stats & Information, Bortles gained 71 of his 88 rushing yards via scrambles. In the past 10 postseasons, only Colin Kaepernick has scrambled for more yards in a game (85 in the 2013 wild-card round).

“I kind of reference it to a pitcher,” Bortles said. “You go out and something’s not on. You don’t have a fastball or you don’t have a curveball, and you’ve got to find another pitch to be able to win and be successful and get guys out. That’s kind of the same thing playing quarterback.

“I’m kind of fortunate to be able to run around and be able to do that stuff and have kind of an Option B to kind of help this offense move the ball and put up points. Trying to do really whatever I can to help this team win [and] help this team score points.”

Bortles’ rushing performance doesn’t overshadow that the Jaguars won’t be around in the playoffs much longer if the offense doesn’t start producing. Outside of Bortles, the run game was terrible: Leonard Fournette managed 57 yards on 21 carries. Dede Westbrook was the only receiver to catch a pass against the Bills.

That certainly won’t be good enough when the Jaguars play at Pittsburgh next Sunday with a berth in the AFC Championship Game on the line.

“We never really got into a rhythm and weren’t able to get anything on third down,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said. “I’d be a fool to sit here and say I’m not concerned, but I’m going to take a step back and go ahead and look at it again. Obviously, if you want to continue to keep playing, you’re going to have to do a better job.”

That includes Bortles’ arm and legs.

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Arizona Cardinals

By the time Bruce Arians was officially hired in 2013 – Jan. 17 – seven other head coaching vacancies had been filled.

There were questions at the time about what kind of coach Arians would be for the Cardinals, but team president Michael Bidwill and General Manager Steve Keim were convinced he was the right choice. They were proven correct, not only with Arians’ successes over five seasons but also in the fact he outlasted six of the other coaching hires before retiring this week.

So when Bidwill said he didn’t want to turn the team’s current coaching search into a race, it is with that most recent search in mind.

The Cardinals have gotten the interview process underway. Current defensive coordinator James Bettcher was the first to interview. Anticipated interviews with Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong and Steelers offensive
line coach Mike Munchak have been announced by each of those teams’ head coaches.

Other names reportedly on the Cardinals’ list of consideration: Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores.

Wednesday, Bidwill declined to get into the specifics of the team’s candidate list.

All of those coaches are in the postseason and all are governed by NFL rules when they can – and cannot – talk. Those rules will help dictate the Cardinals’ pace.

But so will Bidwill, who feels it is important for candidates who aren’t in Arizona for their initial interview to visit the team’s facilities.

“That’s an important part,” Bidwill said. “Especially for those who don’t know the organization well, haven’t seen our training facility, haven’t seen our stadium except maybe for a game, haven’t gotten a chance to get to know the staff here. … Get a feel for the vibe.”

Bidwill reiterated what both he and Keim said Monday, that the roster, facilities and organization makes the Cardinals a desirable coaching job. He understands the question of the quarterback vacancy now that Carson Palmer has retired, but noted the Cards didn’t have a quarterback when Arians was first hired either – and that turned out OK.

There is cap space gained with Palmer gone, Bidwill noted, and a trade/free agency along with the draft will solve the QB issue – with the new coach’s help.

“We’ve got options,” Bidwill said. “To me, if you are a coach, do you want to have a quarterback in place, or have the option of being a part in deciding who that quarterback is?”

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Sean McVay

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Rams scored only one touchdown in Sunday’s 34-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but it really didn’t matter. They finished the regular season as the NFL’s highest-scoring team, one year after finishing as the NFL’s lowest-scoring team.

“Man,” Rams left guard Rodger Saffold said, “that’s amazing.”

Really, though, it’s historic.

The Rams are now the only team in the Super Bowl era, which began in 1966, to go from last to first in scoring from one season to the next. The only other team throughout history to accomplish that feat was the 1965 49ers, according to research from the Elias Sports Bureau. The Rams went from averaging 14.0 points per game in 2016 under Jeff Fisher to 29.9 points per game in 2017 under Sean McVay, the youngest head coach in modern NFL history.

“It’s amazing,” Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson said. “It’s a blessing.”

The Rams finished with an 11-5 record and remained the No. 3 seed in the NFC despite resting their starters and dropping the finale. They’ll now host the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday (kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on NBC) and can advance to face the Minnesota Vikings on the road in the second round with a win.

The Rams ended a 12-year playoff drought largely because their offense finally caught up to their defense.

It started with McVay, the 31-year-old who is already considered one of the game’s sharpest offensive minds. He brought with him a slew of talented coaches, including offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, who previously worked with Matt Ryan; quarterbacks coach Greg Olson, a longtime offensive coordinator; and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who helped the Buffalo Bills become the NFL’s best rushing team over the past two years.

Then sixth-year general manager Les Snead added all the right pieces, including left tackle Andrew Whitworth, center John Sullivan and three standout receivers — Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Through all that, Jared Goff made significant strides as a second-year quarterback, enough to be named a first alternate for the Pro Bowl. And Todd Gurley re-established himself as a premier running back, enough to be considered for the MVP award.

“The mentality that we have now has been pretty much a complete 180 from the year before,” said Saffold, in his eighth year with the organization. “I expected success, but going from worst to first, that’s amazing to me.”

“Sean, like any player would say, came in, and he set the expectations and the bar for how this team should be producing,” Rams left guard Jamon Brown added. “It’s not a shocker that we stand first in the NFL in scoring.”

Many would disagree. The Rams weren’t just bad on offense last year, they were deplorable. And their offensive struggles date back much further than that. They finished each of their previous 10 seasons outside of the top 20 in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average and through that went eight years without producing a 1,000-yard receiver.

Then McVay came along.

True to form, McVay — the likely coach of the year — deflected credit. He noted that a lot of the Rams’ points have come from a Wade Phillips-led defense that forced 28 turnovers and a John Fassel-led special teams unit that featured the game’s most productive kicker, Greg Zuerlein.

“I thought our players did a nice job of being able to consistently play pretty well throughout the course of the year; coaches put guys in good positions,” McVay said. “We talk about points as being one of the most important factors, but for us it’s about winning football games and doing those things the right way. Next week is a great challenge, and I know we’re excited about that.”

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Buffalo Bills

Injuries suffered by Andre Holmes and Travaris Cadet landed them on injured reserve. Buffalo promoted three players from the practice squad to help fill the void.

In the wake of some injuries suffered by players on the active roster, the Bills have promoted three players from their practice squad.

Buffalo elevated WR Malachi Dupre, RB Marcus Murphy and DT Rickey Hatley to the 53-man roster. To make room for them the Bills placed WR Andre Holmes and RB Travaris Cadet on injured reserve. Holmes missed last week’s game with a neck injury. Cadet suffered a fractured ankle in Sunday’s game against the Patriots.

The other roster spot was created with the release of DT DeAndre Coleman.

Dupre (6-2, 196) has been on Buffalo’s practice squad since mid-September. A seventh-round pick of the Green Bay Packers this past spring, the LSU product did not make the team’s final roster.

Murphy (5-9, 195) is a third-year player who was last with the Indianapolis Colts practice squad before he was signed to Buffalo’s practice squad last month. A former seventh-round pick of the New Orleans Saints, Murphy was primarily used as a return specialist. With Cadet out for the season however, Murphy could serve as a backup to LeSean McCoy in Week 17.

Finally, DT Rickey Hatley (6-4, 320) had just been signed to the team’s practice squad over the weekend. The rookie went undrafted and was signed by Houston, but didn’t make their final roster. He was last serving on the Chiefs practice squad before signing with Buffalo a few days ago.

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Marshon Lattimore

NEW ORLEANS — Add another unforgettable moment to the New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons rivalry: the “butt pick.”

Saints rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore intercepted a pass late in the second quarter that actually came to rest on his butt as he lay face down — before he secured it against his backside with help from teammates Marcus Williams and Craig Robertson.

“Everybody else was trying to grab it. So I just had to keep it in my possession,” said Lattimore, who said he has made some athletic plays before, “but nothing like that.”

Social media immediately erupted with references to the #buttpick and #buttinterception, as well as comparisons to the New York Jets’ infamous “butt fumble” from five years ago.

“I must be living right, I don’t know,” said Lattimore. “Who doesn’t love the term ‘butt pick’ but saw that social media was already rolling with it.”

“I don’t know. They’re gonna have to call it what they want. Hopefully it’s No. 1 on the top-10 SportsCenter,” Lattimore said. “But it was a great play and we won, so that’s all I can think about.”

Saints RB Mark Ingram said it’s “gotta be an ESPY” and suggested hamstring curl.

Meanwhile, the Saints made it count by turning the momentum into a quick 54-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Ted Ginn Jr. three plays later for a 13-0 halftime lead en route to a 23-13 win.

This one might not wind up being immortalized with a statue outside the Superdome like Steve Gleason’s blocked punt against the Falcons when the Saints reopened the building after Hurricane Katrina in 2006, but it did have big playoff implications. The Saints (11-4) clinched a playoff spot with the win and would claim the NFC South with a victory next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The interception was Lattimore’s fifth of the season and second in three weeks against Atlanta as he looks to cement his place as the front-runner for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

“I haven’t seen anything like that before,” Lattimore said. “But it helped us win, so that’s the biggest thing.”

The 11th overall draft pick from Ohio State made the Pro Bowl earlier in the week at the age of 21. He tied Sammy Knight’s franchise record from 1997 with five interceptions as a rookie.

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Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND (AP) — Loose with the football, DeShone Kizer held onto his starting job.

Cleveland’s rookie quarterback, who upped his NFL-leading interception total to 19 with two more picks Sunday, will start this week when the winless Browns play in Chicago.

“It is still DeShone,” coach Hue Jackson said Monday.

Following Sunday’s 27-10 loss to Baltimore, Jackson raised the possibility of a change at quarterback after Kizer had three more turnovers and appeared to take the loss — Cleveland’s 14th straight — particularly hard.

However, Jackson said he feels Kizer is mentally and physically prepared to continue a season that has been brutally tough on the league’s youngest quarterback.

“If he wasn’t up to the challenge, then if I needed to make a change, then I would,” Jackson said. “I think he is up to the challenge. He has some improving to do. He has some work to do this week to continue to get better, but he is going to start at quarterback for us.”

The 21-year-old Kizer has been wildly inconsistent for the Browns (0-14), who haven’t surrounded him with enough talent and yet are trying to decide if he can be their long-term QB. From week to week, Kizer’s performances have ranged from solid to sorry,

“I hate to say it this way but it is true — we have seen a pendulum swing like this with DeShone,” Jackson said. “This week it did not go so well. The next week he plays well. This week he does not go as well. The next week he plays well. Hopefully, that cycle holds true and this week he comes back, gets himself ready and he goes out there and plays his tail off.

“That is the way I see it and I still think with him playing with his teammates that he gives us the best opportunity to get us a victory.”

The Browns have two weeks to avoid becoming the second team to go 0-16, and they believe Kizer gives them the best chance to get a win despite his turnover troubles.

Against the Ravens, Kizer forced one pass into triple coverage in Baltimore’s end zone and badly overthrew a receiver for another pick. He finished 20 of 37 for 146 yards and got sacked twice, fumbling on a strip that was recovered by the Ravens for a touchdown.

But despite the rough outing, Jackson feels the only way for Kizer to improve is to keep playing him. Jackson has tried to modify his game plan to suit Kizer, but it’s on his young QB to value the ball.

“He has to find the small wins for himself as he is in those situations and playing,” Jackson said. “He has to do a better job of taking care of the ball, and he has to do a better job of understanding the situation as it happens.”

Kizer’s body language wasn’t good after the game, prompting Jackson to entertain a switch. It’s understandable he would be dejected, but several of his teammates feel Kizer has grown despite the lumps he’s taken.

“DeShone, being a young guy, a rookie coming in, has handled this as well as he can,” center JC Tretter said. “It has obviously been a long year. I applaud him and his ability to come in each and every day looking to get better and looking to develop and understand more of the offense and understand more looks. In the building, we see the progress of him recognizing defenses, picking up blitzes and everything like that.

“He is doing everything you ask for him to. Obviously, the results haven’t been there as a team, but I think DeShone, his attitude and the way he prepares is exactly what you look for.”

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With or without Carson Wentz, the Eagles have sealed up a first-round bye.

Sunday’s 34-29 win over the Giants guaranteed that Philadelphia (12-2) will watch the wild-card round from home while keeping pace for the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC.

Minnesota’s 34-7 romp over the Bengals prevented Philadelphia from sealing up the top spot, but the Eagles control their destiny over the Vikings (11-3) with games remaining against the Raiders and Cowboys.

Here’s what we learned from Philly’s victory over the G-Men:

1. The Giants (2-12) had a chance to win the game on fourth-and-goal from Philly’s 11-yard line with 48 ticks on the clock. It was not to be, though, as Eli Manning’s pass sailed over the head of rookie tight end Evan Engram. Another ugly result for a Giants team that dialed up its finest performance on offense all year, piling up more points than in any game over the past two seasons under fired coach Ben McAdoo. Manning threw for a career-high 252 yards in the first half and finished with 434 yards on the day, his most in two years. Early scoring drives of 75, 75 and 80 yards were highlighted by a 67-yard catch-and-run to pay dirt by Sterling Shepard (11/139/1), who made a huge impact in the passing game along with wideout Tavarres King (2/70/1) and Engram (8/87). Eli tossed a bad pick before the half that led to an Eagles score, but would arguably have earned the win if kicker Aldrick Rosas didn’t have a field and an extra point blocked.

2. Nick Foles wasn’t the reason Philly’s defense doubled as an open barn door for much of the showdown. In his first start, the experienced Wentz understudy finished 24-of-38 passing for 237 yards, wiping away a 20-7 deficit and throwing for four scoring strikes, his most since a wild, seven-touchdown outing against the Raiders in 2013. Foles came out winging the ball, going four of four on Philly’s opening touchdown drive and showing chemistry with Alshon Jeffery (4/49/1) and Nelson Agholor (7/59/1). The Eagles were helped by a pair of killer Giants mistakes — Eli’s pick and a blocked punt — that triggered two quick touchdowns and a 21-20 lead before the break. The turnovers helped, but Foles played a clean game from start to finish.

3. What did we learn about Philly’s long-term chances in the playoffs, minus Wentz? I saw a coaching staff that refused to play around Foles, allowing him to throw the ball and gain comfort with his wideouts against a division opponent. You can’t duplicate what Wentz does pre-snap, his remarkable footwork, the eyes in the back of his head or his knack for dialing up big-time throws that rip the heart out of opponents. Foles, though, committed no turnovers and generated six scoring drives. What more can you ask from a No. 2? If the defense can hold up its side of the bargain, Philly remains a genuine Super Bowl threat in the NFC.

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