Under first-year coach Nick Sirianni, the Eagles guaranteed themselves a winning season by defeating the Washington Football Team, 20-16, Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field to improve to 9-7.

With Philadelphia handling business at Washington — paired with a 49ers victory over the Texans — the Eagles need the Packers to defeat or tie the Vikings tonight in order for them to clinch a playoff berth.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Eagles have a 96% chance at clinching a playoff spot. They currently possess the No. 7 and final playoff seed in the NFC.

“I’m obviously pleased with the situation we’re in right now, controlling our own destiny,” Sirianni said. “The guys fought through hard times. What we felt on the sideline today was a calmness. There was a calmness throughout the entire game.

“There was a calmness from our leaders that reflected on the team.”

Defense’s defining moment

Washington scored on all four of its drives during the first half. But it didn’t manage any more points facing the Eagles’ defense in the second half.

In a bend-or-break situation with Washington needing to score a touchdown at the end of the game, safety Rodney McLeod came through in the clutch. Washington was driving with ease before McLeod picked off quarterback Taylor Heinicke in the end zone. Washington strung together 300-plus yards, but McLeod got the last laugh. He showed great hands on the diving pick, which effectively ended the game and secured the victory.

“I knew I caught it once I secured it,” McLeod said. “We wanted to make sure we closed this game out the right way. ... Everybody in this locker room believes. And we’ve gotten better. We’re seeing the results now. Everybody’s played a role and it’s allowed us to be here today.”

Sirianni added: “This game is so emotional. You have to fight back tears of joy when something like that happens when you win with a game-winning interception.”

QB breakdown

Jalen Hurts looked like his vintage self. He was much more mobile compared to his performances from the past two games. The second-year quarterback had been hobbled by a high ankle sprain that he suffered five weeks ago, but Hurts seems to be OK now. He juked a few Washington defenders on a couple of his scrambles and provided the offense extra opportunities with his legs. Hurts finished with seven carries for 44 yards.

Hurts also completed 17 of 26 passes for 214 yards. He had one of his best moments of the season during the team’s opening drive after halftime. Facing third-and-long, Hurts scrambled away from pressure, threw across his body, and zipped a 27-yard completion to Greg Ward. The throw from Hurts was impressive, as the ball placement to Ward was low and where only the receiver could haul in the reception.

Hurts detailed the sequence: “What actually happened on the play was I didn’t get the play. I thought I heard what [offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and Sirianni] said, but I had to pull one out of my hat. G. Ward made one hell of a play on a scramble ball, adjusting to the ball and moving the chains.”

There was an earlier moment where Hurts missed DeVonta Smith in the end zone, but the 23-year-old Hurts has clearly made strides in maturing with his decision-making and accuracy.

Scott rolls over Washington

Some questions arose when lead tailback Miles Sanders broke his hand during last week’s victory over the Giants. Sanders needed surgery, but he wasn’t placed on injured reserve, which means he could still return at some point.

With Sanders out, Boston Scott didn’t miss a beat. He paced the offense with a team-best 47 rushing yards on 14 carries. More importantly, Scott had two critical rushing touchdowns.

On his second rushing score, Scott exuded great effort to cross the pylon. Hurts slipped immediately following the snap when he collided with center Jason Kelce, but Hurts was still able to pitch the ball to Scott, who took it and dove past a pair of defenders to reach the end zone. It was Scott’s seventh touchdown this season, a career high.

“He’s stayed diligent knowing his role has changed,” Hurts said. “The Boston Scott I know is the one that drives from his home in Louisiana to Houston to come throw with me [in the offseason], coming to get the work in because he’s so hungry. His desire, for him to step up in a big-time way, I have a lot of respect for him.”

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Another slow start

The Eagles continued their trend of slow, sloppy starts. Washington scored on its first four drives (one touchdown, three field goals), while the Eagles were held scoreless in the first frame. Over the past five games, the Eagles have been outscored, 38-7, in the first quarter.

Team captain Fletcher Cox held a meeting with his defensive teammates at halftime. His message was well received. Ultimately, the Eagles overcame their latest sluggish opening quarter. But this trend won’t work against better quality competition.

“We felt like we weren’t playing to our standard,” McLeod said. “It was a completely different half than the first one. We have to start better. We can’t wait until the second half to play like the way we did.”

Injury report

Right guard Nate Herbig got hit from behind during the second quarter. He was briefly replaced by Sua Opeta before returning to the game. Herbig has been filling in for backup lineman Jack Driscoll (ankle), who had already been filling in for starter Brandon Brooks, who has been out since Week 2 with a torn pectoral injury.