What Is and What Might Have Been

Posted: September 30th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on What Is and What Might Have Been

Carson Wentz vs Marcus Mariota.

The Eagles QB vs the guy they desperately wanted in 2015.

Chip Kelly recruited Mariota to Oregon and then developed him into a major star. So naturally the Eagles coveted Mariota in the 2015 draft. The problem is that Mariota was going first or second and the Eagles were down at pick 20. There were trade discussions with the Titans, but Tennessee wasn’t really interested in a deal. They needed a QB so even getting a king’s ransom for their pick didn’t make sense.

It was disappointing at the time. Kelly’s offense had shown real promise, but everyone wanted to see it run by a dynamic QB. Mariota would have been an ideal fit for Kelly and would have given the Eagles a QB to build around. Instead, Tennessee drafted him, Kelly fizzled out and the Eagles fired him.

Mariota was good as a rookie and then had a big year in 2016. Not only did he play well, but Tennessee went 9-7 and seemed to be a team on the rise. The Titans went 9-7 again in 2017, but Mariota struggled. His TD passes fell from 26 to 13 and he threw a career high 15 picks.

Tennessee has built around Mariota, giving him a pair of talented OTs and some young WRs to work with. They haven’t given him an offensive guru that can really elevate his game and that makes a huge difference. Just look at Sean McVay coaching Jared Goff or Andy Reid coaching Patrick Mahomes or Mike Shanahan coaching Jimmy Garropolo.

Or Doug Pederson coaching Wentz.

Failing to move up for Mariota in 2015 turned out to be a lucky break for the Eagles. Even with the right QB, Kelly wasn’t going to last in the NFL. Maybe Mariota’s presence would have bought Kelly another season, but it wasn’t sustainable. His people skills weren’t going to improve even if the offense did.

Timing is everything, in life and football. The Eagles mediocre 2015 season put them in position to move up in 2016 and get the QB they wanted. Just as important, they had the right coach in place to help turn him into a star in the NFL. The combination of Wentz and Pederson, along with a big dash of Nick Foles, helped the Eagles win their first Super Bowl.

Who knows where this organization would be if they had somehow moved up for Mariota in the spring of 2015. I seriously doubt they would have a Super Bowl win. There is a real chance the team would still be searching for the right combination of players to get them to the elite level.

For now, the Titans are that team, looking to break through and get to the next level. They are asking if Mariota is the answer at QB. Is Mike Vrabel the right coach?

The Eagles have their QB, their coach and their Super Bowl.


Sunday will be an interesting game. Both teams come in at 2-1 , but neither team has looked great so far.

It does feel like the Eagles are closer to breaking out. The return of Wentz made a big difference. Getting Alshon Jeffery and Jay Ajayi back this week would be another big boost for the offense.

While this is a road game, there will be a big contingent of Eagles fans.

Hopefully that atmosphere will help bring out the best in the team. There were plenty of Eagles fans down in Tampa, but that wasn’t enough to slow down the Bucs. Thankfully the Titans are struggling on offense and shouldn’t present the same level of difficulty.


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