EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Eagles left tackle Jason Peters, drenched in sweat and dressed in all black, summed up nicely the Eagles 34-17 win over the New York Giants that clinched the NFC East title on Sunday.
“This is the NFL,” said Peters, in the postgame locker room. “There’s no wasted spots. You use everybody.”
Yep, the Eagles did that. Even 53 rostered players weren’t enough. They had to dip into their practice squad as the season wore on.
It’s where they found Boston Scott, and you wonder where this team would have been without him on Sunday.
He led the Eagles in rushing with 54 yards on 19 carries. He led them in receiving yards with 84 on six receptions. And he led them in touchdowns, with a career-high three on the ground.
“The offensive line did a great job of blocking, receivers blocked down field, (quarterback) Carson (Wentz) put me in situations to succeed,” said Scott. “The biggest thing is focusing on my job and being present each play.
“It was just a result of the machine, basically, and that’s the offense. (head coach) Doug Pederson put us in situations to be successful and it’s up to us to capitalize on those situations. That’s basically all it was.”
Scott was the go-to player on offense after rookie running back Miles Sanders went out with an ankle injury in the first half. The Eagles were also hesitant to use Jordan Howard, who was active for the first time in six weeks but did not get a single offensive touch.
“Boston balled out,” said tight end Dallas Goedert, who received plenty of attention from the New York defense with Zach Ertz out and responded with four catches for 65 yards. “It was fun to watch him. He’s been great for us down the stretch.”
Scott was a elusive all game long, saving his best move for late in the contest when he took a little screen pass on third-and-13 near midfield and raced to the two-yard line. On his way, he made a complete spin move that looked like something you would see in a video game.
“That was a little slow,” said Scott of the move that made a Giants defender look foolish. “Whenever you play on the (Madden) game, you hold (button) R2 and circle (on a computer game’s controller), you spin really slow, so that’s what happened there.”
Scott isn’t the only former practice squad player the Eagles needed to win this one and capture their second division title in three years.
They relied on Greg Ward, who was called up on Nov. 23 and had six receptions for 43 yards ,and Deontay Burnett who was promoted earlier in the week and made two catches for 48 yards, including a 41-yarder on the first play of the fourth quarter that led to a 50-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. The three points gave the Eagles a 20-17 and a lead they would not relinquish.
Tight end Josh Perkins, elevated in latge November, had a 24-yard touchdown catch and for catches for 50 yards.
It was Scott, though, who showed the Eagles the way in this one.
“It means a lot,” Scott said. “This league is all about being able to produce and after the last Giants game they talked about continuing to learn, continuing to grow, continuing to adjust to the game and just making the best of my opportunities.
“The fact that I’ve had my opportunities, Doug Pederson has had confidence in me, the coaching staff has had confidence in me, I’m really grateful to be out there because I have definitely made mistakes, but it’s been real cool.”