With yesterday putting the ‘dead’ in deadline, the Eagles stood pat with their current roster outside of the addition of Genard Avery. The main concern with the team not making any moves falls not with the defense however, but the health of the offense.
Physically, they’re a beat-up group. DeSean Jackson hasn’t played a single down since week 1, although Pederson said he’s looking ‘really good’ on Wednesday morning. Darren Sproles has fallen out of orbit with another injury, and Corey Clement is missing the season once again. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the team has a weapon that no other team has. His name is Doug Pederson.
Now, more than ever, the Eagles will rely on only their offensive-minded head coach to drive the team from the edge of contention, all the way to the postseason. He’s done it before, twice to be exact. His team started 3-4 last year too, and ended up riding an unexpected wave of luck to the playoffs. The year before, they lost their franchise QB and won the Super Bowl with their backup.
In Pederson’s three years with the team, he’s reached the playoffs twice with only one loss. He’s also done all of that with less firepower then he’s had this year.
This year is different, there are weapons at Pederson’s disposal that are either hurt or partially underused. In their wake, new stars are blossoming and ensuring that they become an integral part of the offense moving forward has to be the motive now.
Sure, DeSean Jackson’s health is key to an Eagles Super Bowl run, but Miles Sanders has filled in quite surprisingly. Sanders not only has the second-most rushing yards on the team, but he also has the fourth most receiving yards on the team. He also leads the team in yards per catch, registering 14.4.
Dallas Goedert has also blossomed as of late for the Eagles, he currently has 3 touchdowns and 182 uards from 17 receptions. Goedert’s game has been a product of opposing defenses focusing on Ertz, which is great for Pederson to take advantage of.
As for Jackson, the Eagles’ speed relies on his health. Although he’s been out since week 1, Jackson provided a potential glimpse for a very lethal offense. In Jackson’s first game back as an Eagle, the 32-year-old wideout put up 154 yards receiving with two touchdowns. Both scores came off of 50+ yard plays.
The last ingredient missing is Doug Pederson’s edge mixed with his intelligence. Pederson has always found a way to not only connect emotionally with his players, but also to certain situations throughout a game. If the Eagles are to be successful then they need their fearless leader to guide them.
A third-consecutive playoff berth is going to take an all ‘hands-on deck’ effort from Doug and his coaching staff. Pederson’s creativity has been an attribute that’s truly second to none in the NFL. Last week’s win over Buffalo finally showed some of that playcalling flair. Split backfields, lots of pre-snap motion, and some excellent execution, propelled the Eagles to a much-needed win.
Unfortunately for Pederson, he has no time to linger on what this offense is missing after not acquiring any weapons before the trade deadline. It’s time for Doug to take Eagles by the wings and lead the charge. Now more than ever.
Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports