Eagles fans were left with a sour taste in their mouth once again as the Lions pounded the birds 45-14. There was so much wrong with the performance that it’s almost hard to pinpoint one factor and we will get to all of those in another article, but what we saw today was a performance from a team who were playing like their season was already over.
The Detroit Lions had less to play for coming into thanksgiving, in fact if the Bears overthrow the Packers, they’re still a win shy of third in their division! But they came out swinging, played with heart, took advantage of the injuries mid game that the Eagles suffered and dominated.
The Eagles however did the complete opposite. They needed a win today and are somehow still in the hunt to be crowned NFC East Champion. Coming off of a big loss against Tampa, the Eagles were expected to come into Ford Field and fight. Pissed off, and motivated.
What we saw was a group of players who simply did not compete. The looks on their faces throughout the game lacked any kind of emotion or passion and showed only frustration and upset. In fact, you know it’s a bad sign when you get excited about a rookie wide receiver taking his helmet off and squaring up to a defender..because it’s the only show of fire that the entire team showed.
This isn’t a team that’s feared anymore. Giving up 90 points in two games, scoring only 34 points in 11 quarters, they’re rapidly becoming a punchbag. This was the biggest loss in the Chip Kelly era preceded by a similarly damaging defeat. The players know the same cycle of plays aren’t working and in turn are just losing that passion and fire we all know and love.
Once the first nail is placed in the coffin it’s almost as if the players sit there and let the lid be hammered down..regardless of the poor play-calling or neglect to adjustment, it’s down to the players to make something happen when they’re on the field…and they didn’t.
There has to come a point where the issues are more than just those Chip Kelly inflicted. The majority of players who took snaps today could go home and look into a mirror fully knowing that they could have given something more. From the constant indecision of Kiko Alonso to yet more confusing play from Murray, everyone’s at fault with a few minor exceptions.
The point is, Chip Kelly isn’t a leader and in the past few weeks the team has fallen apart right in front of him. From players bickering on the field to anonymous comments regarding effort and Lane Johnson going as far as saying that the fans don’t care anymore before clearing up what he meant later. Yet despite all of this, when asked in a press conference what he said to motivate the players he replied “there’s not much you can say.”
WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE DOES THAT SEND TO THE PLAYERS?!
That’s two tough losses in a row where players will naturally demand answers and become infuriated. If you do not give them a reason to believe in a failing system then why should they believe at all? And that’s exactly what we’re seeing at the moment. A lack of belief in this team, in themselves, in their coach.
This is a demotivated and very frustrated Eagles team with no real direction other than to keep running the same swing passes, running the same coverage packages and the same gameplan as they did in week one. The lack of belief is starting to shine through. Last week we noted how Chip Kelly may have lost the locker room. Today, the players lost themselves and that is a very, very hard thing to overcome without a leader.
Philadelphia is a city that’s historically linked with overcoming the odds, being the underdog..the gritty, tough, passionate underdog that has a never say die attitude. Until that final whistle blows or that buzzer sounds, they will fight. Today, they gave up as soon as the Lions were ahead by a touchdown…because they didn’t see the point in fighting a losing battle.
This is no longer a Philadelphia team. Chip Kelly has removed that attitude and replaced it with his own vision…a failing vision..and the players are starting to wake up and smell the Turkey.