The New Normal

Posted: September 28th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on The New Normal

We all remember Doug Pederson talking after the Super Bowl about how playing into Februrary was going to be the “new normal” for the Eagles. He was fresh off winning a Super Bowl and had huge expectations for the future of his team.

Since that iconic victory, things have not gone as Pederson hoped. The Eagles are 19-18-1 since hoisting the Lombardi. That record is boosted by playing in the worst division in the league. In non-division games, the Eagles are just 10-14-1 over that span.


The Eagles did get to the postseason in 2018 and 2019. They have had to deal with an incredible amount of injuries. Let’s make sure to give Pederson and his players credit for what they did accomplish. In 2018, they weren’t that far from making it back to the NFC Championship.

Pederson envisioned a team that would play at a high level and contend for titles each year. Instead, the Eagles have started seasons 4-6, 5-7 and now 0-2-1. They had to claw their way into the playoffs in 2018 and 2019, but that sure seems unlikely this year. The NFC East is awful once again, but the Eagles are winless after going through arguably the easiest part of their schedule.

The 2017 Eagles won seven regular season games by double digits. The Eagles have won seven games by double digits since then.

The 2017 team won five games by 23 or more points. The Eagles have won three games by 23 or more points since then.

They aren’t winning as much. They aren’t winning as big. 2017 was the anomaly.

Jeffrey Lurie must have incredibly conflicted feelings right now. Pederson and Howie Roseman delivered him a Super Bowl and that’s not to be taken lightly. At the same time, the last two plus years have to be a bit troubling. The franchise QB has regressed. The talent level of the team isn’t where it needs to be. There really isn’t a sense of a plan right now.

What do you do?

The best case scenario for this year is that the Eagles go 8-7-1 (or something like that) and win the division, which is possible. Still, that would be a third straight underwhelming season. Lurie will be comparing the Pederson era to his time with Andy Reid.

Reid never could win the Super Bowl in Philly, but his teams were consistently strong in the first few years.

1999  5-11
2000  11-5
2001  11-5
2002  12-4
2003  12-4
2004  13-3

They won 10 or more games in 2006, 2009 and 2010. The 2008 team went 9-6-1, but almost got to the Super Bowl.

When Reid was hired, he talked about building a program. There was a plan. There was a process. Things didn’t always go as hoped, but you could see progress and success.

Pederson took over a team that was much further along. The Eagles were able to compete in his first year and then win it all in his second. Things have been downhill since then. Whatever plan Pederson had, it hasn’t worked.

One big difference here is that Reid had total control. Pederson relies on Roseman to bring in the talent and that’s been an issue the past few years. How many blue chip players have the Eagles acquired since the Super Bowl? One – Darius Slay. And the Eagles got him at age 29. There have been far too many misses in the past few years.

Lurie needs to decide what the bigger problem is…coaching or personnel. The really bad possibility is that both have an equal hand in this mess.

I’m not calling for anyone to be fired right now, but I think Lurie has to start doing some tough evaluations on his organization. I want to stress that this is not about playing the blame game. You don’t panic when things go wrong. But you also don’t ignore a troubling trend. If you rank the recent teams in order…


That is not chronological. That’s the quality of play of the teams. You’ll notice that isn’t going in the right direction.

I would talk to both Roseman and Pederson to get their side of the story. Lurie is close with both Pederson and Roseman so this won’t be pleasant. I would ask them some uncomfortable questions. Maybe they explain things in a way that makes sense and Lurie comes away thinking 2021 will be different.

It may seem crazy to some to be talking like this since the Eagles won the division last year. This isn’t the Jets or Jaguars. The point is that the Eagles feel like they are headed in the wrong direction. Each year they are getting further away from being a title contender. That’s not good.

Was last year’s team a resilient bunch that won the division or was that fool’s gold? Someone had to win the NFC East and it happened to be the Eagles. Lurie was patient with Reid when the 2011 team won the final four games of the season to go 8-8. Lurie gave his coach another year and that led to the disastrous 4-12 season of 2012.

I don’t know what is going to happen with the rest of this season. I don’t know what will happen in the offseason.

I do know Lurie should be asking the men who run his team some tough questions.

There is one key question for Lurie. Are they the right men to fix this mess?


Comments are closed.