The First Step

Posted: January 16th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on The First Step

Nick Sirianni talked about the 2021 season being a journey. Sunday was the end of that journey, with the Eagles losing to the Bucs 31-15. If you look big picture, though, 2021 was really the first step of the Nick Sirianni era.

Tampa was clearly the better team on Sunday. They coached better. They played better. They were ready for the moment. The Eagles looked like a young team that didn’t understand what playoff football was all about. It was an ugly ending to a good season.

Sirianni said he didn’t think the moment was too big for the players. That’s not the way I saw it. They looked confused at times and didn’t play confident, aggressive football. The defense woke up in the second quarter. The offense didn’t really come alive until the second half. Too little, too late

Put simply, the Eagles didn’t play well.

We don’t want to make any sweeping conclusions from one game, but this game should be examined carefully. The goal is to be able to beat QBs like Tom Brady, teams like the Bucs and to be able to win in the playoffs.

The Eagles weren’t good enough on offense, defense or STs.

Jalen Hurts finished 23-43-258 with a TD and 2 picks. A lot of that came after the game had been decided. Early on, Hurts was not seeing open guys or not seeing them quick enough.

You have to see those guys in the playoffs and get them the ball on time. The QB must be able to make big plays from the pocket. That just didn’t happen enough on Sunday.

The skill players didn’t always help. Dallas Goedert dropped a pass that would have put the Eagles inside the Red Zone. Receivers and runners routinely made poor reads when trying to make plays with the ball in their hands.

The defense was too soft early on and didn’t make a play until it was 17-0. They settled in at that point and started to get pressure on Brady. The Eagles finished with 4 sacks. Amazingly, Ryan Kerrigan played his best game of the year. He had 1.5 sacks and 2 TFLs.

STs didn’t do their part either. Arryn Sipposs struggled again and one of his shanks led to a Bucs score. Jalen Reagor muffed a punt. Tampa recovered and scored off that. He bobbled another punt, got it and then lost yards on the return. Ugh.

Bad day by the bay.

This was a frustrating way to see the season come to an end. There wasn’t much to be excited by or happy about.

At the same time, there was plenty to be happy about with the 2021 season. There is more right than wrong with this team. The sky isn’t falling. You don’t need to cut/trade most of the roster and fire all the coaches. Tampa is a good team. The Eagles needed to play well to have a chance to beat them. That just didn’t happen.

The Eagles do need to separate what happened in the 7-2 stretch from what happened today. They was able to beat bad teams. They weren’t good enough to beat good teams. The coaches and front office need to figure out where the team must be impoved.

I think Sirianni is a good coach. I expect changes to be made to the staff, but not many. There are always tweaks after the first season under a new coach.

Is Hurts the right QB? This is a much tougher question. Today’s performance didn’t help his case to be the QB going forward. At the same time, we need some context for his performance. Randall lost his first three playoff games. Donovan lost his first playoff game. Nick Foles lost his playoff debut.

Hurts didn’t get much help, from the coaches or his teammates.

Still, this was a huge opportunity for Hurts and he didn’t handle it well. That opens the door for all kinds of speculation on QB moves in the upcoming offseason.

Hurts certainly has the right mindset. Embrace it. Acknowledge it. Learn from it.

The Eagles had a strong rookie class and some other young players really step up. There is plenty to be excited about. It certainly helps to have a trio of first round picks. This should be a fun offseason.


The day wasn’t a complete waste. We got to see Dallas find a new, painful way to lose a playoff game.

The Boys were lucky to even be in that position. Instead of taking advantage of the gift, they didn’t get a final play off.


Even better, Mike McCarthy and Dak Prescott ripped the officials after the game. They were home favorites over a team that lost key players in the game, but think the officials are the reason they lost.





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