The Eagles are now nine games deep into their 2020 season and it feels like a never-ending run of days filled with confusion rather than a football season. The Eagles have gone from Super Bowl winners to a team on the verge of imploding in the space of a few short years. They’ve avoided the hangover, but at the cost of much deeper problems.
For the third time in four years, the Philadelphia Eagles made the playoffs last year. Doug Pederson has led this team to two division titles and one Super Bowl, and there is a strong chance that he somehow adds a third NFC East Crown to his Trophy Cabinet…but at what cost?
Ever since Pederson’s arrival in 2016, the team has faced nothing but ridiculous adversity and a lot of it has been self-induced. Whether it’s the ‘Alshonymous’ saga, or Nigel Bradham’s umbrella incident, players holding out for a new deal, or a ridiculous amount of injuries, I’m stunned Doug Pederson has hair left on his head. But for the fifth year in a row, he’s going to need to tap into the one trait that Jeffrey Lurie hired him for – emotional intelligence.
Reports came out today citing that there simply ‘too many chefs in the Kitchen’. Without a full recital, this always seemed kind of obvious. Just one day after Pederson guaranteed Mike Groh and Carson Walch would be back, the Eagles fired them and proceeded to hire an Avengers-like cast of offensive coaches including Marty Mornhinweg and Rich Scangarello.
You could point to anywhere on this Eagles offense and find a fault, but it starts up top with Pederson’s regressive play-calling. Jalen Hurts is being used in the most boring ways that only sting the offense, the aggressive decisions, while supported by analytics, just don’t make that much logical sense given his teams’ success-rate, and his offense was 0-9 on third down due to the fact he continues to deviate from the run. We’ve been here before.
In fact, we’ve been here every single year in the Pederson era, jut not to this extent or with a franchise QB looking like a shadow of his former self. Wentz put up the best game of the season yesterday, succeeding in not turning the ball over for the first time all year, but he was average. Average was an improvement for Wentz, who had previously been reckless and careless with the ball.
For what feels like the fifth year in a row, there’s a lack of accountability. Carson Wentz took 9 weeks to show any kind of moderate change, the team picked up 11 penalties against the Giants, and with frustrations now settling, you’re beginning to see questionable play from players who are perhaps not fully bought into the culture (Cc: Nickell Robey-Coleman a few weeks ago).
The Eagles, for better or worse, are still in control of the NFC East. A snappy, tentative, stressed out Doug Pederson is the man guiding the ship, but that’s not the man they hired. The Eagles need Pederson to rally his troops and galvanize the locker room. If he doesn’t, every bad decision, every failed 4th down attempt, every interception from Wentz, will only rip into the seams a little further.
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