Troubling Times

Posted: November 16th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Troubling Times

The Eagles lost a bad game on Sunday to fall to 3-5-1. Amazingly, they are still atop the NFC East, but that means very little when you look at the big picture. These are troubling times.

INJURIES

Doug Pederson has talked all year about how injuries have hurt the team. That is both an excuse and also reality. Injuries have been devastating for the Eagles. Coming off the bye, the team was rested and as healthy as they’ve been all year. The Eagles were playing the 2-7 Giants. Despite getting back a handful of key players, the Eagles played poorly and looked just as lost as when they have fielded lineups cobbled together with practice squad players and guys off the street.

Not a good sign for Pederson and his staff.

DEFICITS

The Eagles have trailed by 10 or more points in 6 of 9 games this year. That’s a sign of a bad team. The Eagles fall way behind, come fighting back and then come up short. You aren’t going to win many games when falling behind that much over and over.

Those deficits tell you the problems involve offense, defense and special teams. They aren’t trading scores in a shootout. They aren’t playing in tough defensive battles. There are team-wide failures. They are losing on the scoreboard and in the battle of field position.

The 2017 Eagles showed you how good a team can be when all three phases work together. We’re seeing the opposite this season.

UGLY WINS

The Eagles have beaten Nick Mullens (backup QB), Ben DiNucci (backup QB) and Daniel Jones. The team needed a miracle comeback to beat Jones.

People love to talk about a win is a win is a win. That’s just not reality. Yes, they count the same in the standings, but when we’re trying to evaluate the quality of the team, who you beat, when you beat them and how you beat them matters.

The Eagles don’t have an impressive win this year. They haven’t played a good game all year.

The 2015 Eagles were highly inconsistent, but they beat Tom Brady and the Pats. The 2012 Eagles were a disaster, but they beat the Ravens, who went on to win the Super Bowl. The 2007 Eagles, the very definition of mediocrity, beat Drew Brees and also scored 56 points against the Lions.

This team can’t put it together for an entire game. This is such a flawed team.

DUMB

The Eagles were 31st in the league in turnovers coming into Sunday’s game. Miraculously, they didn’t have a turnover and still lost by 10 points.

The Eagles committed 11 penalties for 74 yards, with some of them being very costly. Penalties have been an issue all year long.

When you are missing key players, you need to play clean football. The Eagles haven’t done that. This is a poor reflection on the coaching staff. Either they aren’t emphasizing this enough or they aren’t doing a good enough job of teaching. Neither is a good option.

US AND THEM

Jabril Peppers, a 215-pound SS, was the punt returner for the Giants. He had punt returns of 16 and 20 yards. The Eagles used receivers Greg Ward and Jalen Reagor as the PRs. Reagor failed to catch a punt and it ended up going for a total of 71 yards, flipping the field. Ward failed to catch a punt that went an extra 6 to 8 yards and pinned the Eagles inside the 10. That is a lot of hidden yardage that strongly favored the Giants.

It’s frustrating to see a DB outperforming WRs at punt returns.

EYE TEST

Watching the Eagles every week is painful. This isn’t a fun team. They lack talent, discipline and there’s nothing compelling about them.

The Giants are just 3-7, but you come away impressed with how hard they play and the way they compete. They have major roster holes, but that group feels well-coached and they seem to be a team on the rise. You can argue that some of that is due to having the new coaching staff. That brings a different energy to the team.

Look at the Patriots. They have plenty of holes and they are 4-5. But they still battle each week and have some impressive games this year. They just upset the Ravens on Sunday night. Their problem is purely talent. They lost too many good players in the offseason and then had the most guys in the league opt out due to Covid.

JIMMYS AND JOES

I’ve talked a lot about coaching issues and the staff deserves plenty of blame. Howie Roseman and his staff are also very much to blame.

The drafts from 2016-2019 have not produced the foundation for this team moving forward. The best players from that era:

QB Carson Wentz
RB Miles Sanders
OG Isaac Seumalo
DE Derek Barnett
DE Josh Sweat
TE Dallas Goedert

I think the 2020 class has promise, but no one is playing like a star to this point.

There wasn’t much help in free agency. Javon Hargrave might be fine long term, but he’s off to a painfully slow start. Will Parks hasn’t done much. Nickell Robey-Coleman has ranged from average to awful.

Go back to last year. DeSean Jackson has been a disaster. Cutting L.J. Fort doesn’t make a lot of sense as you look back at that.

There doesn’t seem to be a cohesive plan. Is this Roseman’s vision of the Eagles? Pederson’s?

Coaching and scouting must work together. It sure feels like there is a real disconnect with those groups right now. Something isn’t working.

MOVING FORWARD

Jeffrey Lurie has to start asking some tough questions and figuring out how to fix this mess.

“Fire everyone!” is a popular refrain, but that’s not reality. Lurie needs to figure out who can get the team pointed back in the right direction. That could mean a new GM. Or a new coach. Or just staff changes. The key is to study this carefully and figure out the solution.

Change for the sake of change is dumb.

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