Last night was ugly. Last week was ugly. This team is ugly. There’s no more hiding it, the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles are a shadow of their former selves and it’s terrifying. But the last seven days, in particular, have given us a huge cause for concern.
Here’s a brief timeline:
Sunday: Embarrassing loss to Vikings
Sunday: Malcolm Jenkins takes shots at Sidney Jones after Vikings loss
Monday: Zach Brown cut after poor play and comments on Cousins.
Tuesday: Pederson guarantees a win in Dallas…
Wednesday: Eagles lose Ramsey sweepstakes
Thursday: Annonymous source criticizes Carson Wentz
Friday: Everyone needs an off day…
Saturday: Or two…
Sunday: Embarrassing loss to Cowboys
Sunday: Lane Johnson lets slip that players are late to meetings/practice and there’s a lack of accountability.
For a team that’s previously been extremely buttoned-up, this period has been an absolute trainwreck. If a blowout loss to the Vikings didn’t light a fire under the bellies of this Eagles team, what will?
“After a game like this, we all have to kind of step back, look in the mirror – especially myself. It starts with me. This is one of those games I take personal from that standpoint. We didn’t play well, and that’s personal on me, so I gotta get that fixed.”Doug Pederson
Lane Johnson hinting at a total lack of accountability causing frustration from within the locker room only adds fuel to the fire. If Pederson has to get it fixed, just how drastic do these changes need to be?!
The loss to Dallas was more than embarrassing. There was so much meat left on the bone that it wasn’t even worth starting the meal. Fumbles, turnovers, penalties, missed tackles, a lack of effort from some of the team’s biggest players, miscommunication, you name it, the Birds’ suffered from it.
It’s really hard to put a finger on why this is happening, too. Is it the loss of players like Chris Long, who bought a sense of leadership as a veteran? Is it the coaching staff not instilling a sense of urgency? Whatever it is, this team is devoid of character, devoid of heart, devoid of passion. This is ironic considering Nelson Agholor told his teammates to ‘play with some passion’ before the game, only to seemingly give up on catching a certain touchdown pass because it was an inch out of reach.
This is beyond talent. It’s beyond scheme. It’s being coaching. This is a culture problem. The Eagles are beginning to fracture from within and the worrying part is that stopping the implosion is much harder once the reaction has started. Pederson cited using this game as motivation, but if they couldn’t use the Minnesota game as motivation, I’m not holding out hope that will work.
It’s not as if things get any easier, either. The Bills are 5-1 and have an elite defense. The Bears are 3-3 but have an elite defense. The Patriots ate 6-0. The Seahawks are 5-2. Even if the Eagles win all remaining divisional games, what’s the realistic expectation here?
If Doug Pederson cannot find a way to smother the flames and stomp out whatever is going on inside that locker room, then all hope is gone. What’s truly terrifying is that this isn’t even new. Remember last year when the Eagles ‘had targets on their backs’? That went well.
The Eagles are well and truly on the ropes. I don’t know what the solution is or what needs to happen. Cutting Zach Brown didn’t set a tone, it just sparked an impaling. It’s now on Doug Pederson to stop the bleeding before it’s too late.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports