The Philadelphia Eagles are a team that has shown a level of completeness through five games to start the 2022-23 NFL season. The offense and defense both rank in the top-10 in several key categories, and the coaching staff has shown a sense of level-headedness and fire to help the team out to an early 5-0 start.
But the Eagles are not invincible. The 5-0 start to the season may be their best since the 2004 conference champion team, but some cracks are beginning to show early in their plan for NFL domination. It’s a weakness that started two seasons ago.
The Eagels have taken some huge steps forward…
When Nick Sirianni and his coaching staff were all hired in 2021, the staff was one of the youngest in the NFL. A lot of inexperience in play-calling and roster building had been rampant. In 2021, the Eagles were able to move past their inexperience by building lasting relationships that helped Philly go from 2-5 to 9-8 and a playoff berth.
In 2022, to their credit, the coaching staff appears to have grown as play-callers and leaders. The Eagles are a more balanced offense and difficult to defend, and the defense has won games against top quarterbacks (something they failed to do the year prior). Yet these improvements have also shown some issues.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows
An inability to make adjustments in the second half has plagued the Eagles on both offense and defense to start the season. While the team has overwhelmed their opponents with a plethora of top talent, second halves have become a slight issue with Philadelphia.
That alone is on the coaching staff, and it hits home at the head coach and his coordinators.
The Eagles can argue that they don’t take their foot off the gas in the second half, but the eye test tells a different story. They rank at the bottom of the league in second-half points and yards. Mental mistakes and turnovers have run rampant in the second half of games which reflects a lack of focus on the coaching staff.
It also doesn’t help that in Sunday’s 20-17 win over Arizona, the Eagles inexplicably moved their defense to more of a soft zone that allowed the Cardinal offense to move at will.
Accountability is the best kind of ability
“They made some good plays. A couple of calls I would like to have back. I thought one thing, and we didn’t really — why those calls, I called them. Didn’t get that particular play type or a route or whatever the case may be.” Jonathan Gannon told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
“So that’s always going to be a blend of me calling it and setting it up the right way and then some execution. Give them credit too. They made some plays, but I think ultimately just a little bit better feel by me and a little bit better execution.”
The Eagles can relax knowing they’ve won in a myriad of ways to start the 2022 season. But a 5-0 start can disappear in an instant. The coaching staff and the players need to show a level of advancement in the second halves and show they can adjust correctly to opposing teams.
If they can’t, the Eagles will have much bigger issues on their team outside of debating between if rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks mean less than when they throw it.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh