Doug’s Case

Posted: November 3rd, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 8 Comments »

Doug Pederson is the coach of a first place team. His Eagles won the NFC East last year. They won the Super Bowl two years before that. Since coming to Philly, Doug’s teams have won in the regular season and postseason.

It drives Doug crazy that all anyone wants to talk about is the losing record and the lack of style points. Fans and media saw Sunday night’s performance as more flawed than gritty. Doug saw a team of rookies and backups coming together to win a key game and keep them atop the division.

I totally get where he’s coming from. I also think you have to talk about the fact you were facing Ben DiNucci and a bad Dallas team. The Cowboys did show more heart than in recent weeks, but they still were very clearly a mess. The fact the Eagles trailed 9-7 at almost the end of the third quarter should be a real problem for anyone making an honest evaluation of the team.

Let’s set that aside for a minute and look at things from Doug’s point of view.

His team is 3-4-1 and in first place. They are in the middle of the bye week, getting much needed rest. The next game is still more than 10 days away and his team will be as healthy as they’ve been all season.Think about the difference that Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson might have made on Sunday night.

We have yet to see this group play together:

Carson Wentz
Miles Sanders
Zach Ertz – Dallas Goedert
Travis Fulgham – Jalen Reagor
An OL with Jason Peters and Lane Johnson starting and backup OTs Jordan Mailata and Jack Driscoll ready to go if needed.

That isn’t counting role players like Boston Scott, Greg Ward, John Hightower and Jalen Hurts. The offense could actually have some real firepower. I left off Isaac Seumalo because I don’t know when or if to expect him back.

What about Alshon Jeffery? Doug and the team keep talking him up. I know some think that was purely an attempt to work out a trade, which didn’t happen. We’re in wait and see mode. Will he play at all? Is he still any good? I will remind you that he was 9-137-1 in his last full game (vs Miami). Of course, that seems like a lifetime ago.

You can see where Doug is thinking “Just get me this group of players and let’s see what we can do.”

Obviously it doesn’t matter who is on the field if Wentz continues to struggle and turn the ball over. Doug is hoping that the OL can stabilize and having better skill players will make a huge difference. Wentz would no longer feel the pressure to carry the offense. He could just distribute the ball and make plays when the chance is there. Wentz did that brilliantly back in 2017.

What about the defense?

The D-line has been excellent this year. Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox continue to give offenses fits. Josh Sweat and Malik Jackson are having breakout seasons. Javon Hargrave showed signs of coming alive last week.

The linebackers showed real signs of life. Alex Singleton and T.J. Edwards each played 62 snaps vs Dallas. They combined for 19 tackles, a sack and a FF. Maybe the Eagles have found something in them. Duke Riley is highly inconsistent. Shaun Bradley and Davion Taylor remain athletic projects.

The secondary has been a turnstile all year, with guys coming and going from the injured list. The Eagles have a chance to have their top seven defensive backs healthy for the Giants game. Doug sees that and thinks that maybe they can come together down the stretch.

Doug sees the potential of this team. A handful of plays could have turned a tight SNF game into the expected blowout. His team is still finding a way to win despite the injuries and sloppy play. If they can get healthy and in sync, the Eagles could put together another strong finish.

2017 – 6-2
2018 – 5-3
2019 – 5-3

I don’t blame Doug for seeing the glass as half full. I just hope he knows the opposite could also be true. Optimistic is fine. Delusional is not.

Even if this team does finish well, there are serious problems that need to be addressed in the offseason.

For now, let Doug enjoy his ice cream and the team’s potential. We’ll discuss the problems in another post.


8 Comments on “Doug’s Case”

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