Judgment Day

Posted: December 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 118 Comments »

Remember when Chip Kelly was revolutionizing the NFL? The 1st half of his first game was something straight out of a Hollywood movie. Remember when Todd Bowles looked like a great coach last year? Remember when Gus Bradley was coveted by teams? Remember when Jimmy Johnson went 1-15 and the entire NFL laughed at him as Joe College in way over his head?

You need time to evaluate a coach. A big part of being a good coach is being able to sustain success. Ray Rhodes motivated the heck out of his 1995 and 1996 teams, but that wasn’t sustainable. You can only go to that well so often. Good teams play smart and execute well. Trying to “get up” for every game is something that might work at the high school or college level. Not in the NFL.

A good coach installs offensive and defensive systems and then finds and develops players for them. If a coach is lucky enough to inherit the right players, he can win right away. Other coaches have to completely rebuild. Pederson was somewhere in the middle. With Sam Bradford, I thought the Eagles would go 9-7 or something like that. When they dealt him and went with Carson Wentz, I thought this would be more like a 6 or 7 win team. Rookie QBs are going to have some long days. Remember that Peyton Manning had a HOF runner (Marshall Faulk) and a HOF receiver (Marvin Harrison) and he still went 3-13 as a rookie. He lost 3 games by 23 or more points.

The popular talking point right now is to question if the Eagles have gotten better. They started 3-0 and have gone 2-7 since. Based on that, no the team isn’t better. But I think that is being short-sighted. The 3-0 start was a time when the Eagles were healthy and things were going well.

  • Lane Johnson was the RT and playing at a high level. Allen Barbre was the LG and playing well. The OL had good chemistry.
  • Ron Brooks was the nickelback. That let Malcolm Jenkins sit back and play S.
  • Josh Huff was the KOR and part of the receiving corps.
  • Nelson Agholor’s confidence hadn’t fallen apart. Remember he had that great TD in the opener that got us all excited.
  • Bennie Logan was healthy and playing really well. He was dominant at times vs PIT.

What you saw in the 3-0 start is how well this team could play when they were healthy and things were going well. What you’re seeing now is how this team looks when it is struggling. Andy Reid was 3-11 in his first 14 games. There were some close losses, but a few stinkers as well. That team won the final 2 games and offered promise for the future.

This team could get hot any week now. The Packers lost 4 in a row and have won their last 2. The Bengals were a 3-win team that played great on Sunday. You never know when a team is going to snap out of its funk and play well. That could happen Sunday or the Eagles might not win another game. We’ll just have to wait and see how things play out.

Some individual players have improved. Several rookies have impressed. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has shown that he could be the RT of the future. Isaac Seumalo showed promise in his start and has been an effective role player. Wendell Smallwood looks like a good RB. Trey Burton is playing the best football of his career. Mychal Kendricks has turned things around this year and is playing better. Jason Kelce is playing his best football of the year in the last few weeks.

There is no question that the overall team is in a funk right now. I just think we have to be careful about falling into the trap of thinking this definitively means Pederson can’t coach and needs to be replaced. We give rookie players the chance to learn from their mistakes and develop, but we seem to think that rookie coaches should know exactly what they’re doing.

Being an NFL coach is hard. You need the right players. You need the right assistants. And a little luck doesn’t hurt. Doug Pederson hasn’t had a whole lot of luck this year. He’s had to deal with suspensions, arrests, injuries, a poorly timed bye week, facing teams coming off a bye, etc. This has not been anything close to a normal season. Pederson has had good moments and given us all hope that he can be a good coach. He’s also had some bad moments and made us all wonder if he’s in over his head.

The next month will give us some clues, but we’re not really going to have a strong feel for Pederson’s ability until at least the middle of 2017. At that point we’ll have seen enough to have an idea if he is the answer or not.

_

 


118 Comments on “Judgment Day”

  1. 1 Media Mike said at 5:13 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    I guess we’ll find out over the last 4 game what guys really want to be employed and what guys need to go.

    And hopefully we see 4 more Vikings losses.

  2. 2 bdbd20 said at 8:55 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    Pretty much. Some guys will check out. Happens to every bad team.

    The key will be to move forward with the ones who fight to the end. Unfortunate part of the process of rebuilding.

  3. 3 Julescat said at 7:54 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    this team has quit

    they have their cars packed and circling the field waiting for the last game to end. getting blown away by a bad team said it all.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 8:00 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    Why better in the 2nd half on Sunday? If the team truly quit and didn’t care, being down 29-0 should have really brought out the worst in them. Instead, being down that bad is when they finally woke up and got going.

  5. 5 DarthBanner said at 9:00 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    Well, that was more due to the Bengals backing off and allowing the eagles to dink and dunk down the field in time consuming drives.

  6. 6 Julescat said at 10:20 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    agreed

    Bengals called off the dogs

  7. 7 Dave said at 5:19 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    I’m not sure the Bengals trying a trick pass to their 2015 2nd round pick and left tackle of the future Jake Fisher, was calling off the dogs. I would actually think that play was the exact opposite.

  8. 8 BobSmith77 said at 11:25 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    That is certainly part of it. Lewis went hyper conservative with the repeated rushing attempts even though they weren’t generating much of anything. Ditto also went fairly vanilla without much blitzing.

    If the Bengals had kept passing, they likely could have hung 40-45 pts on this team with Dalton going over 400+ yards (maybe even pushing 450).

  9. 9 laeagle said at 3:05 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    I would agree with that except for the fact that we were stopping the Bengals on third down passes in the 3rd and 4th quarter. We were having more success forcing 3rd and long, and then stopping them on pass plays. It wasn’t like the Bengals turned everything over to their run game.

    And the Bengals calling off the dogs doesn’t account for the fact that the offense started getting something going.

    Look, I’m not happy with the way the team played. But the second half was marginally better than the first, and for brief moments they were threatening, causing excitement after some late forced turnovers. Of course they lost, but an improvement in effort from the 1st half to the second half, however marginal, does show something.

  10. 10 Mr. Magee said at 10:23 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Doug & co are great against prevent defenses, lol..

  11. 11 bill said at 8:15 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    Also, progress in real life is rarely linear. I argued this at the beginning of the season re: Wentz, but it bears repeating and application to the whole team. Sometimes, you need to step back and take the big picture view to notice the trend.

    Granted, everything is going bad right now. But this was always going to happen – as teams got film on Pederson’s scheme, and especially on Wentz, these cunning professional D coordinators were going to figure out how to throw a wrench in the machine. As a rookie, with an awful O line, mediocre (at best) RBs, and struggling (putting it kindly) WRs, this may be more than Wentz can overcome during the season. Ditto Pederson. Even Schwartz gets some slack, as his ability to install the scheme with these players will improve now that some of the basics are established. He’ll be able to install more wrinkles, etc., this offseason.

    And, of course, the team needs playmakers at almost every level. Edge rusher, WR, RB, OL, CB – a true playmaker at any of those spots will make a huge difference. Heck, a solid dependable veteran at any of them will make a big difference. This is a big offseason for Howie and Co. I know there are quite vocal dissenters, but I think they did a great job last offseason (even if I was against the Wentz trade-up). I’m confident (not certain) that they can start re-stocking the shelves.

  12. 12 P_P_K said at 9:03 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    The play of Big V is definitely a bright spot. After the debacle of his first game, the guy has settled down and the future at RT does look bright.

  13. 13 BobSmith77 said at 11:23 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    No way he should be anointed the starting RT next year based on what he showed. He was terrible but he would be a real downgrade from Johnson if they bring back Peters for another year.

  14. 14 P_P_K said at 12:15 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Sure, big downgrade from Johnson. If Peters doesn’t return, though, everything is up in the air and I’m impressed with V’s play.

  15. 15 D3FB said at 12:17 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Terrible is an overstatement.

    http://www.ourlads.com/nfldepthcharts/depthchartpos/OT

  16. 16 Insomniac said at 12:20 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    What exactly is this showing?

  17. 17 D3FB said at 12:30 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Every RT in the league

  18. 18 Mitchell said at 10:22 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    Remember when being 3-0 was almost a lock of makong the playoffs? I member.

  19. 19 Julescat said at 10:29 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    and then the league got enough film on Wentz and figured out his tendencies

  20. 20 Crus57 said at 10:49 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    and the OL started their shuffle

  21. 21 Mitchell said at 12:24 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Come to think of it, the last time the offense was any good was when the OL remained healtjy for much of the season.

  22. 22 anon said at 4:02 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Vikings having exactly same issues as us and they can’t win a game.

  23. 23 Mitchell said at 5:01 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Their loss our gain this year. I think we are picking 17th in the first right now.

  24. 24 anon said at 5:13 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    be much better if we had our own pick,hopefully vikings keep losing, even though i like bradford

  25. 25 BobSmith77 said at 12:14 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Injuries have played an issue too at the skill positions. This team had little to begin with, Matthews has been out/ineffective, Sproles is playing with broken ribs, etc.

  26. 26 P_P_K said at 12:55 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    I vaguely recall something like that. Such a long, long time ago…

  27. 27 bdbd20 said at 11:19 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    So, the coordinators are speaking today? Interesting.

  28. 28 D3FB said at 12:15 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    They whined and cried so now they made availability on the beats off day.

  29. 29 Dave said at 5:22 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    You mean the beats whined and cried.

  30. 30 BobSmith77 said at 11:20 AM on December 6th, 2016:

    Depends Tommy. One thing to be short-handed, play competitively, and lose Sunday. If this rolls over again while playing undisciplined/stupid football this week despite specifically being called out by Pederson, that is a real red flag for me.

    Certainly will the fault of the players too but it also shows you that what Pederson and the coaching staff said this week had no substantive impact.

  31. 31 ChoTime said at 12:05 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    “Asked Monday whether all of his players played hard in Cincinnati, Pederson replied:

    “Not everybody.””

    Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2016/12/06/philadelphia-eagles-carson-wentz-mechanics-issues-back-foot/#GrB4W1GcbJVpJxMU.99

  32. 32 Sean Stott said at 12:41 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    If you’re a player not 100% sure you gave max effort on Sunday, you hear that statement and feel it in your stomach.

  33. 33 ChoTime said at 12:06 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    ” But when the Birds brought Wentz in, they thought he would have more time to work on his footwork during the season while Sam Bradford started and he didn’t have to worry about playing. So instead of picking apart his game and building him back up behind closed doors, Wentz is now working through issues typical for a rookie under the brightest of lights.”

    Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2016/12/06/philadelphia-eagles-carson-wentz-mechanics-issues-back-foot/#GrB4W1GcbJVpJxMU.99

  34. 34 Blackfoot said at 1:31 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    makes sense

  35. 35 BlindChow said at 4:46 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Wentz insisted in his press conference that he had no mechanical issues. I wonder if he was just being defensive or if he actually believes that.

    Seeing him regularly air-mail wide open receivers (without being pressured) is depressing, considering how well he played at the beginning of the year.

  36. 36 ChoTime said at 11:18 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Maybe he’s classifying them as mental errors for some reason. Eh… shit, I don’t know.

  37. 37 BobSmith77 said at 12:22 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Kelly talked about the importance of culture and getting guys who brought into it only to see it blow up spectacularly in his face last season. 49ers have been really bad this year but there hasn’t been the same kind of heat directed at Kelly.

    Talked to my friend who is a 49ers season ticket holder and generally has a good read on the team. Says they have generally played hard in games and while offensive scheme seems stale it is hard to distinguish between his scheme & the caliber of talent they have.

    Pederson talked about it too including creating a ‘family culture’ here among the players. Certainly seemed to do at least a 120 from Kelly by trying to be more inclusive. Despite this change, this team still has rolled over late again with the effort of multiple players being called into question.

    At this point, you have to wonder if something isn’t a bit foul in terms of locker room chemistry. Roseman quickly cleared out several of Kelly’s FA acquisitions from last year but quickly resigned a bunch of their existing players too.

    While guys like Sproles don’t get the credit they deserve (over-utilized a bit this year but love his effort) for his on-field efforts, I do wonder if this issues stems from a lack of leadership and accountability among the veterans on this team or just the overall player composition right now. A case of not enough chiefs and too many indians.

  38. 38 ChoTime said at 12:45 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    great mysteries of pro sports: chemistry, momentum, home field advantage, on days/off days, referee bias, coaching, winners vs stat-padders, soft tissue injuries, and whether Taco Friday is a good or a bad thing.

  39. 39 BlindChow said at 4:43 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    https://i.imgflip.com/1fh265.jpg

  40. 40 Crus57 said at 12:50 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    It’s been hinted at a few times that some players including some nearing the end of their careers don’t want to be part of rebuilding, they want to win now before it’s too late for them. They had to be sold on Wentz not leading to a wasted season, but now it seems that is coming to pass (as, honestly, should be expected from a rookie QB) I think a few veterans and people on their 2nd contract are looking to the future and how to get onto a “win now” team as soon as possible.

    It’s sad, and a bit unprofessional, but also understandable given how comparatively short an NFL player’s best years can be.

  41. 41 Sean Stott said at 12:39 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Now that it’s being brought up again, why has the Eagles’ schedule been so shitty this year? I’m not using this as some sort of handicap, but this shouldn’t happen to any team. A week 4 bye is bad enough (actually it’s ridiculous), but playing several teams coming off their bye just to rub salt in the wound?

    I realize schedule making is hard but I do some combinatorial optimization at my job, and plugging in {Bye Week in (6,7,8,9,10,11)} and {Max Number of Teams Played Coming off Bye = 2} are two constraints that would not destroy their optimization.

  42. 42 D3FB said at 12:43 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Alot of other factors: Stadium Availibity, Other Major events in town (ala Pope), backloading division games, trying to avoid East-West-East-West travel

  43. 43 Julescat said at 1:29 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    the schedule makers screwed the Eagles this year. They had to play 3 straight teams coming off their bye. The Eagles had to travel after their bye week.

  44. 44 anon said at 3:59 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    someone gets screwed every year

  45. 45 Sean Stott said at 4:57 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    I’m not complaining that we got screwed over, just that someone has to get screwed over.

  46. 46 A_T_G said at 4:18 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    The bye week thing bothers me too. If I remember correctly, we played three teams coming off of byes in 2014 too and one last year. That is 7 times in the last three years. The league average over that time is 3 (by definition). That sucks.

  47. 47 Dave said at 12:45 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    I just watched Schwartz’s press conference during lunch. Schwartz is really impressive. For those that don’t have time to watch it, here is the TLDR version:

    1.) The cornerbacks are not playing well at all. They lack technique and confidence, something they had earlier in the season. The CBs failed when the team blitzed and when the team only rushed 4. The CBs failed Sunday in all defensive schemes; single high, man-to-man, zone, cover 2, etc.

    2.) The defense is playing with effort but admits when you are losing, it’s hard to play with energy. Defense is in a slump.

    3.) Rodney McLeod was caught flatfooted on TD run where he didn’t make the tackle. His responsibility was the outside and he was expecting the play there. He compared it to batter expecting a fastball and getting a curveball, even the best hitters will look silly in those situations.

    4.) Schwartz was asked why safeties were given big contracts and not CBs this past offseason. He said it’s based on availability and no top-tier CBs were available.

    I recommend finding the time to watch the press conference.

  48. 48 eagleyankfan said at 2:34 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    I’m a fan of the DC. However, aren’t the coaches responsible for all of your points above? I’m not saying Schwartz himself — but someone is responsible for not having the CB’s progress as the season went on. Someone is responsible for not motivating the defense to play better. (the excuse of “losing, it’s hard to play with energy” is bullshit IMHO).
    That’s not the first mistake by McLeod this year.
    ….
    The blame is just not on the players for piss poor efforts….

  49. 49 Dave said at 3:24 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Did you ever hear the phrase “you can’t squeeze blood from a stone”? That’s the situation at CB. No amount of coaching will change that.

    As for McLeod, reread my post, he did not make a mistake.

    Schwartz was not deflecting blame, just answering the media’s questions.

  50. 50 Aaron said at 4:31 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    actually a turnip

  51. 51 Dave said at 5:38 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Why would you try to squeeze a turnip out of a stone;-)

  52. 52 Ryan Rambo said at 10:21 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    HUNGER

  53. 53 Mr. Magee said at 10:31 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Dude, your head is firmly buried in the sand

  54. 54 Jernst said at 12:52 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    We had a talented CB. His name was Eric Rowe. He’s currently starting and playing very well for the Patriots. We traded him for a 4th round pick because we liked Jalen Mills competitiveness…even though he runs slower than most octogenarians.

  55. 55 Insomniac said at 1:34 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    Was he really talented? Sure he could tackle but his coverage was a mess. He was trailing behind guys most of the time, couldn’t turn + run for his life, and didn’t have the mental makeup to recover from getting beat by our bum WRs in practice/training camp. Schwartz deemed him unfit for his scheme and Howie got him out of here before he had absolutely zero value. He wasn’t going to succeed here.

    You are talking about Belichick’s defense that masks his players weaknesses and makes them look good. He’s so good that he can’t even play 40% of the snaps. Get that revisionist history out of here.

  56. 56 Jernst said at 1:22 PM on December 10th, 2016:

    Talented as in could run fast and jump high…yes! As far as playing well…he played very well as a rookie. http://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2015/12/10/all-22-how-billy-davis-confused-tom-brady/#more-3052451

    http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2016/7/21/12226922/eagles-film-room-eric-rowe-philadelphia-cornerback-all-22-tape

    He wasn’t an all-pro right out of the gate, and he had plenty of rookie moments as he transitioned to playing CB. But, overall he flashed a lot of talent.

    He was one of my favorite guys in the draft that year, I was ecstatic when we drafted him, I thought he played well and flashed real talent as a rookie for us, and I immediately said we’d regret trading him for a 4th round pick the day the trade to the Patriots was announced. So this isn’t revisionist history at all.

    He had to learn a new scheme, the very complex Patriots scheme at that, after being traded right before the beginning of the season. He then had to battle an ankle injury at the beginning of the season and thus wasn’t at that time playing 40% of the snaps. He is now starting for them and has given up only 4 receptions for 45 yards in the last 3 games.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/patriots/2016/10/16/eric-rowe-makes-impact-patriots-debut/qRfF5Fltb5rapJayG6nK3L/amp.html

    http://www.patspulpit.com/2016/10/17/13303130/the-utilization-of-eric-rowe-in-new-england-patriots-debut-vs-cincinnati-bengals

    http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/patriots/2016/10/eagles_castoff_eric_rowe_spreading_his_wings_with_patriots

    http://www.patspulpit.com/2016/11/29/13769144/patriots-might-have-to-send-higher-draft-pick-to-eagles-because-cb-eric-rowe-is-playing-well

    So it this revisionist history or just history?

  57. 57 Mr. Magee said at 10:30 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Yup!

  58. 58 Mr. Magee said at 10:30 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Thanks for the summary. The energy vs effort schtick? I’m not buying it. I know what I’ve been seeing, and this unit has literally imploded.

  59. 59 BobSmith77 said at 6:12 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Bill Davis gave good press conferences too. Just saying.

  60. 60 Dave said at 6:16 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Schwartz actually has a proven track record as one of the best D coordinators in the NFL, Billy Davis had a less than stellar resume.

  61. 61 Fufina said at 2:02 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Last 3 games have sucked because our defence has been laying eggs – and this offence cannot go and chase a game. Give them short fields and they will be able to move the ball and score some points. Asking a Rookie QB who is 14 points down to march 80 yards every drive with this supporting cast of OL and skill positions is a recipe for disaster.

    But as bad as the last 3 games have been – think thats casting too much on the rest of a very positive year imho. We have had what has turned out to be a brutally tough schedule, threw away 2 games due to late game RB fumbles (which i refuse to blame anyone but the RB’s for those losses), and played tough the rest of the games we were in even when we had adversity.

  62. 62 Media Mike said at 6:06 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Fan Speak
    15: R1P15 WR MIKE WILLIAMS CLEMSON
    42: R2P10 EDGE TACO CHARLTON MICHIGAN
    74: R3P10 RB D’ONTA FOREMAN TEXAS
    113: R4P10 LB KENDELL BECKWITH LSU
    137: R4P34 CB MARQUEZ WHITE FLORIDA STATE
    152: R5P10 RB DONNEL PUMPHREY SAN DIEGO STATE
    189: R6P10 S XAVIER WOODS LOUISIANA TECH
    228: R7P10 G ISAAC ASIATA UTAH

  63. 63 Media Mike said at 6:16 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    And a first pick
    Round 1 Pick 19 (WASH): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson (A+)
    Round 2 Pick 11: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington (A+)
    Round 2 Pick 19 (WASH): Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon (A)
    Round 3 Pick 11: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida (B)
    Round 4 Pick 11: Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M (A+)
    Round 5 Pick 1: Damien Mama, OG, Southern California (B)
    Round 5 Pick 11: Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State (B)
    Round 6 Pick 11: Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State (A-)
    Round 7 Pick 11: Levon Myers, OT, Northern Illinois (A-)

  64. 64 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 7:25 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    More CBs MOAR!

  65. 65 Dave said at 6:17 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Mike Williams could transform the offense all by himself.

  66. 66 Blackfoot said at 7:13 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    what’s he going to fire Doug?

  67. 67 P_P_K said at 8:35 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    Upvote for funny.

  68. 68 Mr. Magee said at 10:21 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Ah, now there’s the Tommy we know…. Having had time to think about it, he’s back to making excuses (Eagles apparently are the only team with injury issues), looking for more data points, and keeping his fingers crossed until the middle of next season. All is right with the world..

  69. 69 Mitchell said at 11:00 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    No they arent but other teams with injury issues like the Vikings suck too. They arent excuses theyre facts.

  70. 70 Mr. Magee said at 11:31 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Mitch, EVERY team deals with injuries over the course of a seaon

  71. 71 Mitchell said at 11:41 PM on December 6th, 2016:

    Does EVERY team have to go through this many injuries suspensions and switches to its OL though? The Cowboys OL has remained intact and they are looking pretty good. I get it though, the Eagles are hot garbage but tje degree of personel switch plays a role as well.

  72. 72 Mr. Magee said at 8:54 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    Did the OL problems also cause the defense to impload and practically surrender?

  73. 73 Mitchell said at 9:15 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    No.

  74. 74 laeagle said at 4:05 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    Yes, and most times, the record of the teams hit hardest suffers. Take a look at just one team, the Eagles. Look at our most successful years recently. It’s when we’ve been affected by injury the least. Particularly when our O-line has been healthy.

    Injuries aren’t an excuse. They’re a fact. That’s like saying that a 1-15 record is just an excuse for not making the playoffs. Direct cause and effect.

  75. 75 Jernst said at 12:48 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    Over the last few years this team has hemorrhaged talent without replacing it. Gone are Shady, Maclin, Jackson, Avant, Herremans and Mathis even on defense we’ve gotten rid of Cole, DeMeco, and even guys like Eric Rowe. True some of those players were well on the other end of 30 and no longer effective and needed to go. But, most of them were still never replaced. We’ve replaced LeSean McCoy with Ryan Mathews and Wendell Smallwood. Maclin, Jackson and Avant have been replaced with Agholar, Matthews and DGB. Mathis with Allen Barbre/Seumalo. Cole with Vinny Curry. Eric Rowe with Leodis McKelvin. Only DeMeco and Herremans who have been replaced by Hicks and Brooks have been adequately replaced. Otherwise we’ve downgraded at all those other positions and haven’t really upgraded anywhere else. And, let’s be honest, those teams with Shady, Maclin, Jackson, ect weren’t world beaters in their own right. We just went from an above average, but not great group of players to atrocious replacement level players. The problems on this team are purely talent related.

  76. 76 ChoTime said at 8:30 AM on December 8th, 2016:

    “Can’t polish a turd.”

  77. 77 bill said at 8:15 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    Watching some breakdowns of Wentz last night while eating dinner at a local sports bar, I started to get scared that they may have already ruined him. Almost every one of those bad throws against the Bengals came about because Wentz wasn’t confident enough to step into his throws. A couple of unforced hop backs, some happy feet, a lot of hearing footsteps. He wasn’t doing this at the beginning of the year, at least not often. He did *a lot* this game.

    Obviously hyperbole at this point, but it’s a real bad sign. Young QBs who lose their confidence in the pocket don’t always get it back. I want to see this weekend, but I’d think about sitting Wentz until the OL gets its act together. If this season is all about developing the future, the last thing you want to do is ruin your huge investment at QB during these final, meaningless games. Throwing 60/game behind a leaky OL is a perfect recipe for destroying a young QB.

  78. 78 P_P_K said at 8:33 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    This is similar to the concerns expressed by Jaws. There is danger in putting a young qb in the fire too early, asking too much of him. I am optimistic this is not the case with Carson. He seems like an extraordinarily mature and composed young athlete. He’s also tough as nails, taking hits and getting right back to action. I didn’t see him on the sidelines moping or trashing Gatorade barrels. Hopefully, he just had a stinker of a game.

  79. 79 eagleyankfan said at 9:52 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    Yeah — I call bullshit on all of that. Any scientific proof? No. 1 year of sitting the bench does not make anybody more prepared to take ass whipping at the QB spot. Veteran QB lose confidence ALL the time. Hey, how’s that veteran QB doing with the Jets? Is he ruined? Did he start right out of college? Every case you think you can come with a “ruined” rookie QB, I can come up with a “ruined” veteran who sat year 1.
    …..
    It’s nice that everybody likes to scream the sky is falling when teams are losing(nobody was screaming YOU”RE RUINING WENTZ WITH THAT 3 GAME WIN STREAK).
    …..
    Either your QB has “it” or he doesn’t. Sometimes you find out year 1, year 2 or maybe never. Wentz is Wentz is Wentz. My money is Wentz will be just fine.
    …..
    Care to guess how many sacks Luck took year 1? How many INT he threw? How’s Luck doing now? (He didn’t sit a year). Or Manning. He was thrown “into the fire” as well. Manning threw 28 INTs his rookie. I get that Wentz isn’t that level of football talent as Luck/Peyton but my money says he’s equally mentally tough as those two.
    …..
    Carson is on pace to take less sacks than Luck and throw less INT’s than Manning. Wentz is surrounded by well informed, well experienced people. People can stop losing sleep over it…

  80. 80 P_P_K said at 9:56 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    “My money is Wentz will be just fine.” I’ll drink to that.

  81. 81 A_T_G said at 10:29 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    As long as we are drinking with eagleyankfan’s money, I’m in too.

  82. 82 BobSmith77 said at 6:11 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Drinks all around!

  83. 83 bill said at 10:52 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    Most likely, Wentz will make it through this – like I said, hyperbole. But your argument is kinda like saying “just because Larry Ellison was successful shows that parents have no effect on how children turn out!”

    As you note, your two examples are generational talents. Tough to extrapolate from them. And I disagree with the “have it or doesn’t.” If that were true, NFL GMs should be scouring the streets for people who have never played QB. Because it doesn’t matter if they’ve trained correctly, they either have it or they don’t. Right?

    Maybe you’re okay with investing a crap-ton into an asset and then just being reckless with it. I’d rather do everything I can to increase the odds that the potential is reached. And yes, you can do things to help develop a player. That’s kinda the whole point of practice, right?

    There’s no scientific proof of your position, either. The NFL is pretty close to anti-science, given the huge amount of variables and small sample sizes. So demanding scientific evidence in this arena is usually a deflection from obvious weaknesses in logic. There can be evidence for or against certain arguments, but the scientific bona fides are questionable, at best.

  84. 84 ChoTime said at 10:40 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    Why the heck were people breaking down how he ate dinner?

    Just joking.

    But, compare him to Dak. Dak gets to survey the field and go through his progressions 20 times a game, almost like a harder version of practice. And it hasn’t hurt his development; he still manages to slip and slide and evade people who get through into the Star Chamber. How often does Carson have time to do things the right way? How often is he rewarded for doing it right, when the ball bounces off his receiver’s hands? Is he becoming another shellshocked shitball QB? Is he going to be more like Jake Delhomme than Joe Montana?

    By the way, saying that a QB has “it” or not is totally opinion. There’s no evidence to support that. The balance between Nature and Nurture is NOT 100% towards the former. It’s rather similar to saying it doesn’t matter if you come from a rich family or the ghetto, you’re going to succeed in life depending on your whether or not you have “it.” While I would agree that intrinsic qualities are extremely important, development is too.

  85. 85 bill said at 10:56 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    It’s like some people believe that PTSD is some sort of made-up BS that just displays the inherent mental weakness of its victims.

  86. 86 laeagle said at 11:44 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    I don’t think that’s remotely true (your comparison)

  87. 87 bill said at 12:02 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    I don’t get what you’re arguing. I’ll admit, my statement was somewhat tongue in cheek – I don’t know if people actually believe that. But if you say that getting hit by 300 pound men moving at 20 miles per hour can’t impact your ability to continue putting yourself at risk in that situation, you are essentially arguing that PTSD is a genetic deficiency.

  88. 88 Tumtum said at 12:23 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    The beauty of “it” is that “it” can’t be quantified.

  89. 89 RobNE said at 12:43 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    whether you come from a rich family or the ghetto is likely the most determinant factor of your success in life.

  90. 90 ChoTime said at 1:10 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    I would agree. But you can’t make a genius. And sometimes they can rise from awful conditions. But not always. Maybe not even usually.

  91. 91 Tdoteaglefan said at 11:03 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    interesting article regarding the state of Offensive linemen in Todays NFL

    http://www.nfl.com/labs/sidelines/oline/desktop/offensive-lines.html

  92. 92 anon said at 11:15 AM on December 7th, 2016:

    sounds like djax will be back – what’s the standard for tampering again?

  93. 93 Blackfoot said at 12:11 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    how is that?

  94. 94 anon said at 12:32 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    schefter leaks that eagles want him back in the offseason, djax says he’d be intrigued

  95. 95 Tumtum said at 1:58 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Tumtum says no thanks.

  96. 96 Julescat said at 4:45 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    story probably planted by djax’s agent

  97. 97 ChoTime said at 1:16 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Eagles dropped two places to #5 in DVOA. Interestingly, only #6 in weighted DVOA, which concentrates on recent games. It doesn’t make a great deal of intuitive sense, but SEA and ATL are top 5 teams, and GB is ranked 12th.

    You have to go down to #15, NO, to find another team in the top 15 that has a losing record.

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2016/week-13-dvoa-ratings

  98. 98 Tumtum said at 1:57 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    This means 1 of 2 things. Either the Eagles aren’t the complete shit bag team many here seem to think, or DVOA really isn’t all that good.

  99. 99 bill said at 2:00 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Or option 3, a good dose of both 1 & 2.

  100. 100 A_T_G said at 3:24 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    As a method of determining, I suggest the exercise of seeing how many teams about which you have no strong feelings appear to be misplaced by more than a few slots.

    If you can generally accept the rankings for the teams you can evaluate rationally, odds are the ranking is also fair for the one you cannot.

  101. 101 Tumtum said at 4:07 PM on December 8th, 2016:

    What I left as given; DVOA seems pretty accurate across the rest of the rankings. This leaves only option 1 as viable.

    What I didn’t mention because it doesn’t further my jedi-mind-trick insinuation that this team isn’t that far from good. Truth of the matter is that outliers happen quite often.

    It is a little too easy to just assume they are the outlier – poor team, ranked well. Presenting it means that any bone head is going to accept that option as fact.

  102. 102 A_T_G said at 5:49 PM on December 8th, 2016:

    (Waves hand dismissively)
    You do not need to verify his methodology.
    These are not the statistics you are looking for.
    Move along.

  103. 103 GermanEagle said at 2:23 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Out of our 4 big (in house) off season re-signing, who’s been the biggest disappointing so far:

    1. Cox
    2. Ertz
    3. Lane
    4. Curry

    Time’a yours!

  104. 104 anon said at 2:27 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Lane – Curry

    I don’t think the other two have been a disappointment. We hate on Cox but he’s getting double teamed which means that Curry/Barwin can’t beat 1 on 1 matchups.

    Ertz consistently catches balls. Can block in the run game. Howie’s contracts suck for Curry and Ertz b/c they paid them assuming they’d take a leap. Players should get paid for who they are.

  105. 105 Julescat said at 4:45 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Cox’s heavy wallet is slowing him down

  106. 106 Mitchell said at 2:45 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    I would say Curry, he just hasn’t done ANYTHING, I feel like…..

  107. 107 RobNE said at 3:39 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    I thought he would kick butt in the 4-3 attacking scheme.

  108. 108 daveH said at 9:31 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Reading the bleedingreen all 22 ill say Ags & Barwin

  109. 109 Sb2bowl said at 12:58 PM on December 8th, 2016:

    The way that Curry has been used is up there for me. Why Barwin gets the majority over Curry I don’t know.

    Ertz is what he is; that’s the going rate for mediocre TE talent these days. Why he never took the next step I’ll never know, but it seems like he doesn’t have the necessary grit to be elite.

    Lane is a stud, but he’s stupid. He risked a 10 game suspension and got caught. Love his ability and mental fortitude, but I’m not sure he can be trusted going forward.

    Cox is good, but I think he’s learning to play as “the guy”– there’s a lot of pressure on him to perform and I think that’s having a negative impact on his psyche.

    Just my 2 cents

  110. 110 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 2:49 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    ALL 22 from last game.

    http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2016/12/7/13866350/film-room-week-13-carson-wentz-worst-game-eagles-bengals-week-13-nfl

  111. 111 Sean Stott said at 3:06 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    no thanks

  112. 112 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 3:26 PM on December 7th, 2016:

  113. 113 Sean Stott said at 5:47 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    it’s not you it’s them

  114. 114 Nailed It! said at 3:45 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    Guys Ryan Mathews PARTICIPATED IN FULL

    SUPERBOWL BACK ON BABY

  115. 115 BobSmith77 said at 6:20 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    It is getting ugly this week with the Philly media just piling on and now the players reacting a bit to it.

    I hope the Eagles play well this week just to keep the media jackals at bay. This is the first year the Eagles have played really well vs on the road since the Linc opened. Curious if that will last given the state of the team right now.

  116. 116 Rellihcs said at 10:28 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    This is what drives me crazy, the media makes guys like Ertz and McCloud less likely to succeed. Awful.

  117. 117 unhinged said at 6:49 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    I am all in on Mr. L’s last point. I am concerned that DP may not be the coach we need, but the combination of factors including his initial experience as an HC, a rookie QB from a small program, extensive lack of depth throughout the roster, too few top-tier players, and a rising level of competition within our division…these things experienced for the first time, would test ANYone’s character and focus. I did not reference the glaring underachievement that is making me nervous because it really is THE question that the HC must address, and I believe he deserves more time. I have urged an approach that puts the win/loss pressure at a distance, to focus on the the fundamental execution of the whole team. Wins cannot happen when mistakes are repeatedly hampering us. I have not seen much progress on fundamental execution, but player performance was decent at the start of the season, and then the wheels seemed to start wobbling. Is it a momentum that the rookie coach did not anticipate? I am perfectly willing to allow this coach and this team to go through another off-season to gauge how well he and it can adjust.

  118. 118 anon said at 8:58 PM on December 7th, 2016:

    DP’s major bump is being able to develop a QB. Wentz has been pretty great from what we can tell. It’s not like every week we’re seeing him mis-diagnose defenses, not go through progressions, etc. He’s got some mechanical issues but mentally i think he’s beyond where you’d expect.