The NFL Playoffs are upon us. And for the first time in three years, the Eagles are not partaking. Each of the 14 playoff teams have something the Eagles don’t. So here’s a lesson each playoff team could give the Eagles if they want to get back to the postseason in 2021.
Green Bay Packers
Lesson: A #1 Wide Receiver changes an entire offense
What’s frustrating about this is that the Eagles kind of already learned this lesson in 2016. The team brought in Alshon Jeffery in the offseason, the offense took off and the franchise won its fourth NFL championship.
Then, they gave Alshon a huge contract that he just….hasn’t remotely lived up to. It’s time the Eagles re-learned their lesson on wideouts.
A number one wideout can change the entire complexion of an offense. Just ask Aaron Rodgers.
New Orleans Saints
Lesson: Investing in the defense can actually help your offense
Remember a few years ago when the Saints’ defense was one of the worst in NFL history, and the offense was always #1 in the league?
Every year the Saints went 7-9 because their defense was the equivalent of the U.S. Capitol Police on Wednesday. How did they change that? They invested heavily on the defensive side of the ball.
Marcus Davenport, Sheldon Rankins, Marshon Lattimore.
The defense has completely flipped into being one of the best in the NFL.
Ranked fifth in points and fourth in yards allowed, the Saints defense is THE reason New Orleans sits in the comfortable #2 seed gearing up for a playoff bout against Chicago. Oh and they even have Dennis Allen being looked at for Head Coach again!
Investing in the defense absolutely works and can help out an offense that is short on talent. It’s a lesson Howie Roseman should DEFINITELY learn this offseason.
Lesson: Culture Matters
Honestly, there aren’t many differences between the Eagles and Seahawks. Both QB’s are unbelievable talents, and while Russell Wilson is 100% a top-five QB, he tried to play hero ball WAYYYY too much this season.
Sounds like another QB I know.
In reality though, what separates the Eagles from the Seahawks is the culture. And no I’m not talking about the moronic take that the Eagles shouldn’t have tanked last Sunday.
Pete Carroll literally won a Super Bowl, got rid of his best players, and the culture has not changed. The way the team has been built has certainly changed.
But not the culture.
It’s arguably the toughest lesson Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman will have to learn because it is a difficult thing to learn. In the end though, the Super Bowl window has passed. How will the culture last when the older players are sent off to greener pastures?
Washington Football Team
Lesson: Winning Ugly is O.K.
This one is more for Eagles Owner, Jeffery Lurie than anyone else. It seems the Eagles have been built, since Lurie took over the team in 1994, around scoring as many points as possible.
Reports were out that Lurie was upset when the Eagles beat Dallas this year 23-9, because of how badly the offense looked (which after that game isn’t a shocker).
But in the end, Lurie and the team need to be accepting of the ugly wins. The team had plenty of ugly games in 2017 and they still went on to win the title. The team needs to go back to that mentality of Al Davis.
“Just win baby”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lesson: If you surround your QB with actual receiving threats, his numbers will be better
Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Gronk, Cameron Brate, OJ Howard, AB, Fournette, Jones.
These are the athletes playing with Tom Brady right now.
How could you not throw 40 TD’s with all that weaponry? The Bucs offense hasn’t always been in sync this season, but the numbers have always been there for this offense.
It’s almost as if surrounding your QB with legit All-Pro’s at every position will allow him to play better.
Los Angeles Rams
Lesson: Cater to your damn QB Doug!!
Remember back in week two, when the Rams and Jared Goff absolutely torched an Eagles defense that just looked so sad and we got lovely pictures like this of Nate Gerry?
In the end, that Rams offense looked really solid because Rams coach, Sean McVay utilized his QB’s skillset and orchestrated his game plan around him.
It’s not a proven science either. Bill Belichick usually coaches games based on matchups. Pinpoint a weakness on the opposing team and make them pay. The issue is when you don’t have the surrounding players, game-planning by matchup doesn’t make much sense.
Bring in the Eagles, who at their best, possess a great RB, injury prone but solid TE’s…..and that’s about it for proven offensive caliber players.
The best thing Doug can do is to cater his offense to the skillset of his QB.
Let’s see if he’ll take a page out of McVay’s playbook.
Lesson: Don’t give up on your starting QB after a bad rut
Remember when the Bears benched Mitch Trubisky because of a bad game (and bad 2019)? Nick Foles came in, led them to 5-1, then proceeded to lose six in a row. Foles gets hurt. Trubisky goes back in, and the Bears win three of four and are in the playoffs at 8-8. Let this be a reminder for the Eagles.
To do so, literally 365 days from him winning a division with spare part canisters, would be the biggest mistake this franchise has ever made.
Jalen Hurts showed SOME promise in his four starts. But he still went 1-3 and could barely complete 50% of his passes. The offense, despite refreshed, still looked poor.
The Eagles should not be prepared to give the keys to the franchise to Jalen Hurts just because of the last four games. If the Bears didn’t give up on Trubisky for two years of mediocrity, the Eagles shouldn’t give up on Wentz for 12 weeks of it.
The Eagles are not that far away from being one of the seven teams in the NFC Playoff picture.
The question will be how well will the team learn from their mistakes of past years, and learn a couple of lessons from other teams that are actually today and tomorrow.
Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
Nick Faria is currently a Marketing Coordinator for ESPN in Bristol, CT. A graduate from Hofstra University in New York, he is a two-time Associated Press Award winning reporter with experience in all four major sports in America. On top of his experience as a reporter and writer. Nick was born in Rhode Island but has a strong background around the Philadelphia Eagles, and other teams in the city of brotherly love. Nick is excited to take the next step in his professional career with Philly Sports Network!