The Big Picture

Posted: November 25th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on The Big Picture

Doug Pederson is a good coach. Carson Wentz is a good QB.

Both were bad on Sunday.

Those statements can both be true. The Eagles have been incredibly frustrating to watch the past two weeks. The defense has mostly played well, but the offense has been a mess. Some of that is on Pederson. A lot of it is on Wentz.

Good QBs are going to have bad games. That’s reality. Aaron Rodgers was 20-33-104 last night. That’s shockingly bad. His team scored 8 points. Dak Prescott struggled vs the Pats. We saw Russell Wilson struggle against the Eagles yesterday. Patrick Mahomes struggled last week against the Chargers. Drew Brees had a stinker of a game a couple of weeks ago.

I would strongly disagree with anyone who thinks Wentz is somehow now a bad player. He is a good, young QB going through a rough stretch. He’s not the first guy to deal with this and he sure won’t be the last.

We have seen Wentz do spectacular things. He can make special plays. The problem right now is that he’s not doing that and even worse, he’s not making basic plays. We can speculate all day long about why that is. The bottom line is that Doug Pederson is the one who needs to come up with the answer so he can get his QB back on track.

As a QB, you can be explosive, efficient or just safe. Wentz is none of them. He isn’t making smart reads, good decisions or accurate throws. Worst of all, he’s turning the ball over.

Pederson put together a great gameplan against the Bears. It featured some creative screens and negated their pass rush. Pederson did not do a good job on Sunday, partially because he used some of those plays.

The screens and creative plays were not fooling anyone. I don’t know why Pederson kept calling them.

Pederson’s desire to jump start his offense has led him to abandon the run and go pass heavy the past couple of weeks. The results are not pretty. That isn’t to say the run game was going great, but the passing game has been a mess. Seattle didn’t have a two-score lead until the fourth quarter, but the pass-run ratio was more than 2 to 1. Ugh. Not smart.


Like players, coaches can have bad games. Just two weeks ago, Pederson had a great gameplan. Last week’s struggles were more on execution than the playcalling. Sunday was a different story. Pederson made things worse. He didn’t seem to have any feel for what was working or how to get the offense going.

Injuries have been a huge factor in the team’s struggles this year. The Eagles were missing their top three receivers, top RB, RG and RT on Sunday. Anyone who expected them to score 28 points was in fantasy land. The problem is that the guys who did play underachieved. Wentz threw bad picks. He missed open receivers. Dallas Goedert fumbled. Miles Sanders couldn’t secure the ball on the 2-point try. Big V missed some basic blocks. Jason Peters struggled at times.

When times are tough, you need guys to step their game up. Did anyone do that? Greg Ward. Jay Ajayi. JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Zach Ertz. Not only is Pederson failing to call the right plays, he’s not pushing the right buttons with his players emotionally.

This season is not over. The NFC East is wide open thanks to the fact Dallas can’t beat good teams. The Eagles are one game back and have a cupcake schedule the next few weeks.

If the Eagles can get some players back, they can get back to winning.

You might argue that winning the NFC East would be a waste of time. Play mediocre, get the higher draft pick and focus on the future.

That’s a fair argument.

I want this team to get to the postseason. I want Wentz to get his first taste of the playoffs. Even if the Eagles are one and done, that can be a valuable learning experience. Nick Foles got his taste of the playoffs in 2013 and that had to help him in 2017.

We can talk about things like this, but the focus inside the NovaCare is all on Sunday in Miami. Get healthy and go win that game. One day at a time, one game at a time.

We’ll have some long talks in the offseason about what needs to change. We need to see how things play out in the month of December. You can bet Jeffrey Lurie will be paying close attention. The final month matters, on and off the field.

I still believe in Pederson and Wentz, even if both were bad on Sunday.


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