Close isn't good enough for the Eagles

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Eagles are 5-9, have glaring weaknesses and several holes to fill during the offseason.

Still, they may not be too far away based on six losses in one-score games.

Every NFL team can play the ''what if'' game and come up with more wins, but the Eagles could point to one play that would've changed the outcome in five different losses.

''It seems like it comes down to one or two plays every game,'' Carson Wentz said. ''We just need to keep building on our success.''

The play that will stand out most occurred Sunday in a 27-26 loss at Baltimore. If Wentz connected with Jordan Matthews across the middle on a win-or-lose 2-point conversion attempt with 4 seconds left, the Eagles win 28-27 instead.

Same story last week in a 27-22 loss to Washington. If Wentz throws a touchdown pass from the Redskins 14 instead of losing a fumble on the final drive, the Eagles would've won.

In Week 9, Wentz threw four straight incomplete passes from the Giants 17 with under two minutes left in a 28-23 loss. He just missed Matthews in the end zone on his last pass in that one. One completion equals a win.

A week earlier, the Eagles blew a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 29-23 overtime loss at Dallas. If coach Doug Pederson allowed Caleb Sturgis to try a 51-yard field goal with 6:34 left and he connected - Sturgis made one from 55 earlier in the game - instead of punting away, perhaps Philadelphia wins that game.

In Week 5, Ryan Mathews fumbled after running for a first down with the Eagles leading the Lions and 2:34 left. If Mathews secures the ball, the Eagles could've run out the clock and won that one.

But none of those plays went Philadelphia's way so they are what their record says they are, as Bill Parcells once said.

''It was a couple of plays here and there,'' linebacker Nigel Bradham said. ''It seems like it's been like that the last few weeks for us. We've got to win these close games. It's something we haven't done this season. We've been in all the games, pretty much. We've just got to win these close ones. That's all it is.''

The Eagles have no time to dwell on what-ifs or a five-game losing streak. They have to get back to work and prepare for a home game against the Giants (10-4) on Thursday night.

''We got a quick turnaround,'' Wentz said. ''We just have to move on from this one as quickly as we can and get ourselves ready to go.''

NOTES: Pederson said he plans to start RT Lane Johnson vs. the Giants. Johnson was reinstated Monday after serving a 10-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs. ... RB Kenjon Barner won't play because of a hamstring strain.


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