The Philadelphia Eagles are not who we thought they were. We’re seven games into the 2021 NFL season and the wheels are already beginning to wobble. It’s time to look back on what was promised and hit reset on some expectations set before week one.
I guess we’ll never know
Jalen Hurts might one day become a franchise quarterback, or he could slowly develop into the same mold of Geno Smith, RGIII, and other mobile quarterbacks who are unable to get it all together as a starter in the NFL. The uncomfortable truth is admitting that we may never find out during his time as an Eagle.
The Oklahoma product is walking a tightrope right now and it’s ultimately going to lead to his benching or a turbulent end. There has been little to no progress in his game over the opening seven games of the season and there don’t seem to be any signs of that changing.
We know that the Eagles have three first-round picks and if Jalen Hurts is unable to improve on his accuracy, deep-ball, or ability to read the field, then the experiment could be over before it even started. This may not be the worst thing in the world as this year was always going to be one of transition, but when looking back, it’s a painful thing to admit.
You don’t know what you have until it’s gone
The Eagles had a great quarterback in Carson Wentz and a Super Bowl winning coaching staff. They had a franchise tight end in Zach Ertz. Somewhere along the line, everything changed and relationships soured. The Eagles team we once knew self-destructed and left fans with a memory of what once was. Now, Wentz is playing solidly for the Colts and it took Zach Ertz approximately 37 minutes to score his first touchdown as a Cardinal.
Sure, nothing will ever be as bad as the 2020 Eagles, but in that same breath, nothing may be as special as the team that won the Super Bowl, or the players who made up a roster that somehow continued to find a way to contend for a playoff spot. This is a very different team now with a very different set of problems, and its glaring weaknesses do nothing but remind you of how they were the last thing on your mind during the Doug Pederson era for the most part.
Even in the teams’ darkest days, they were competitive. That chapter has officially ended now. The Eagles are rebuilding from ground zero and they may be hovering around that level for quite some time.
Patience is a virtue as long as there’s reason to believe
I don’t think any Eagles fan expected a 10-win season. I don’t think many had dreams of a playoff run. In fact, watching a very young team grow sparked a newfound excitement in the City, especially after such a horrible end to the previous regime. ‘Grow’ is the key word there, because it’s something the Eagles aren’t doing.
Jonathan Gannon’s vanilla defense is even angering its own players, while the coaches and players continue to say all the right things before changing absolutely nothing when push comes to shove. There is no growth. The bubble of optimism that once surrounded an exciting young group of players has been burst because the Eagles continue to be their own worst enemy.
With each passing blowout that somehow ends up looking like a close game thanks to a fourth-quarter rally that does just enough to keep you coming back, comes another press conference of sweet nothings and false hope.
If we compare Sirianni’s pressers to those of Dan Campbell’s, the difference is staggering. The Lions are 0-7 and it’s becoming hard not to root for them to buck the trend because of how much effort the team are clearly putting in across the board. The same cannot be said here.
Just the beginning
Last offseason was an absolute rollercoaster. A whirlwind of chaos swept through the City of Brotherly Love and ripped the heart out of this Eagles franchise, in the hopes that the foundations for something brighter could be found in the aftermath. Unfortunately, it looks like that was only the first of the winds to rip through Philadelphia.
The Eagles are armed with draft capital, loaded with bad contracts from ageing vets who could be coming towards the end of their tenure with the team, and a young coaching staff who are already testing the limits of the front office. Not to mention another QB controversy in the making.
Buckle up, Eagles fans. It’s going to get darker before it gets brighter. You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain…I just wish Jalen’s rainbows were delivered on time.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire