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Wentz ready to take his first NFL postseason snaps

The Philadelphia Eagles earned a playoff spot for the third straight season, but despite him owning a Super Bowl ring, Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks will mark the first postseason snaps for quarterback Carson Wentz.

Wentz missed the previous two playoff runs due to injury, watching Nick Foles lead Philly to its first Lombardi Trophy two years ago.

"Grateful for my health, grateful to be out here with the guys in these big meaningful games. Grateful to be playing into January," Wentz said, via the team's official website. "The last few weeks have been backs-against-the-wall (games) for us. Guys have responded and stepped up and kept making play after play after play. Just kept believing. And here we are playing into January. Hopefully, we can do something special."

It's a twist of fate that Wentz is finally healthy while the rest of the Eagles have been blasted into proverbial dust by injuries. The QB has been without his top two wide receivers for weeks. Has watched his running backs shuffle in and out. Has been without several offensive lineman game-in and game-out. And could be without favorite target Zach Ertz for the postseason while the tight end deals with injury.

Despite all that, Wentz has his Eagles soaring into the playoffs. Philly won four straight games -- all against NFC East opponents -- to swipe the division title and host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. The Eagles have basically been playing playoff games since the beginning of December.

"It's a great time to be hitting our stride. There's been a lot of ups and downs all season long, but guys have hung together and finding what we're really good at and what we do well and putting guys in the right situations," Wentz said. "Guys just keep believing, keep fighting. It's been good to see us hit our stride now and hopefully we can carry it over into the playoffs."

While the injuries have mounted, Wentz has been the Eagles' life raft, keeping them afloat. Since December started, Wentz has thrown 10 passing TDs to just one INT (only interception came on a Hail Mary in the loss to Miami). In December, he averaged 301.8 passing yards and a 99.3 passer rating, despite mostly throwing to former practice squad players.

Coach Doug Pederson has done a masterful job the past couple of weeks scheming up an offense that lacks weapons who can win one-on-one. The Eagles have punctured their opponents' weaknesses, whether through the screen-game, going up-tempo, or generating quick strikes to open targets.

Yes, the win streak came against lowly NFC East opponents, but it doesn't take away from the fact that Wentz has put this injury-ravaged team on his shoulders and guided them to January football.

"I think he's grown up as a leader of this team," Pederson said of Wentz. "You've seen it here now the last couple of games, how he's really just put the team on his back and said, 'Hey, follow me,' and I think that's a sign of growth and a sign of maturity. I spent eight years in Green Bay with Brett Favre and that's what Brett did. Brett just put the team on his back when the chips were against us and he said, 'Hey, follow me,' and that's what Carson can do. The guys really, and I have so much faith and trust in him that I can call almost any play and he's either going to make that one work or he's going to get us into a better play and so he's really grown up that way and really matured that way in this league and just really turned into a pro."

Now Philly needs Wentz to do it again against a Seahawks team he lost to in Week 12, before the hot streak began.

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