Still in First Place

Posted: November 20th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 3 Comments »

A lot has gone wrong for the Eagles in 2020. Some of it is beyond control. Dealing with Covid and an incredible amount of injuries made this a tougher than normal season.

Plenty that the Eagles do control has gone wrong as well. Poor coaching. Bad offseason personnel decisions. Questionable roster management.

The team sits at 3-5-1. They are coming off a disappointing loss and now head into the most challenging five weeks of the season. The Eagles face five teams with winning records. Things could go from bad to worse in a hurry.

What does Doug Pederson have to say?

He talks about being in first place with a big grin on his face. Pederson adds “We want to be able to control our destiny.”

This just isn’t ideal to me.

It would be unrealistic for him to be all gloom and doom. That’s not Doug’s personality and it wouldn’t accomplish much. But I do think the coach has an obligation to read the room, so to speak. He’s the face of the team right now. His words matter. He is the most important representative of the Eagles at this point.

Fans do not want to hear “We’re in first place.” This team just lost to the Giants by 10 points. They’ve trailed by 10 or more points in 6 of their 9 games. First place or not, the Eagles are a bad team. Doug is supposed to put some positive spin on things, but he needs to be grounded in reality.

First place? The Eagles are in first place in the worst division in the history of the NFL. That just isn’t something you celebrate.

You accept it. Someone has to win the division. You don’t apologize for being in first place, but you sure don’t sit there with a smile on your face. That’s just not a good message, to fans or players.

We don’t know what Doug says behind closed doors, but players see these media bits. These clips are on web sites, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Players stumble across that. Doug should have a cohesive message to send to everyone. “We’re 3-5-1 and that is unacceptable. We’re in first place now, but that doesn’t mean a thing if we don’t start playing good football.”

What’s the point in being excited about making the playoffs if you’re going to be one and done. I know the 2010 Seahawks went 7-9 and won their division. They hosted a playoff game and beat the Saints. Seattle was 5-4 at one point and fell apart down the stretch. They were 5-3 at home. The overall record was bad, but you could see some good things about the team.

The Eagles have been bad from the beginning. They started 0-2. The Eagles only interesting nugget is that they’re 3-0 at night. Of course, it helps that they played backup QBs in two of those games.

I want Doug to be an optimist. I want him to sell his players on the idea that the season isn’t lost. I also want him to be realistic. This season has been disappointing and embarrassing. That can change to a certain extent, but you can’t undo what we’ve seen so far.

This would actually be an ideal time for Jeffrey Lurie to talk to the media and share his thoughts. His words matter the most. It would be good to hear him talk about his disappointment. Everyone wants to know that the man in charge feels incredibly frustrated by this mess of a season that Doug and Howie Roseman have delivered.

We don’t need Lurie to make threats about jobs or anything like that, but it would mean a lot to hear the frustration in his voice and to see it on his face. You know watching this dumpster fire has to be eating at him.

Dallas made poor coaching hires in the offseason. The Giants have made questionable decisions for a few years. Washington is one of the worst run franchises in all of sports. And yet, the Eagles are barely any better than them. That’s just nuts.

If the Eagles do lose three or four of the upcoming games, they’ll be in the running for a Top 10 pick. That seemed like an impossible idea back on Labor Day. But here we are. Ugh.

Doug had better do some amazing coaching or work on his interviews. He’s going to really drive fans crazy if he keeps up the “We control our destiny” angle while the team plays worse and worse.

Maybe Doug knows something I don’t and the Eagles are about to win three of five games. I’d be beyond shocked. I’ll gladly write about how I was totally wrong and he had the right message. That just isn’t going to happen based on what we’ve seen.

A worse danger than fans turning on Doug is fans not caring. It does feel like a bit more apathy creeps in each week. That should scare Lurie more than anything.

*****

Howard was terrific for the first half of 2019. He got hurt and didn’t do anything else. He was terrible this year for the Dolphins, rushing for 33 yards on 28 carries. Yikes. Just over one yard a carry.

I would like the Eagles to have more of a power runner in the lineup, but it would have been preferable for this to be an ascending player instead of a retread. This kind of thinking by Howie and the coaches has gotten the team into the 3-5-1 mess.

Ugh.

*****

With Curry out, will that mean a chance for Joe Ostman to see the field? I’d love to see what he could do. Genard Avery is still on IR.

The Eagles are never boring off the field.

Just on it.

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