Eagles coaching staff under the microscope after two disappointing losses

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Eagles
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 27: Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni during the National Football League preseason game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles on August 27, 2021 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Following their Week 17 20-10 loss to New Orleans on Sunday, the Eagles have dropped two crucial games in a row and now have to win the season finale in order to get a home playoff game and the first overall seed.

Just two weeks ago it felt like an impossible idea that the Eagles would be in the spot they are now. Yet while blame can be passed to a plethora of different factors, there’s one main constant in the team’s recent struggles – the coaching staff

Playcalling

In the 40-36 loss to Dallas on Christmas Eve, Jonathan Gannon struggled mightily to stop Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense. On Sunday, an entire first half of punts saw the team dig themselves into a 13-0 hole. The Saints ripped through the offensive line and sacked Minshew every opportunity they had, and the run-game was beyond inefficient.

The offensive playcalling hasn’t been much better either. Careless decisions dating all the way back to Chicago have hampered the offense dearly. They neglected to run the football early against a Saints run-defense that was one of the worst in football on Sunday.

One of the original strengths of this coaching staff was that the group seemed to understand how to bend the offense to the strengths of the players. That has since flipped. A reluctance to bend the gameplan to a vulnerable Saints defense left Gardner Minshew in an offense tailored to Jalen Hurts and a whole world of problems.

Injuries

Injuries are a constant in a sport like Football. How teams respond to those injuries separates the great teams from the mediocre.

The Eagles have lost a starting safety, nickel corner, right tackle, quarterback, and now an edge rusher in the span of three weeks. How the coaching staff has responded to those injuries has been just as alarming.

From Jonathan Gannon putting Josiah Scott on CeeDee Lamb in a key matchup in Dallas, or Jack Driscoll on an island against a pass-rushing dynamo like Cam Jordan. In the end, the Eagles’ coaching staff is putting backup players in spots they can’t be expected to succeed and it’s taking too long to adjust.

Jalen Hurts

It’s easy to say that the Eagles would have beaten both Dallas and New Orleans if they had their franchise quarterback in.

That fact is overshadowed by the reality that it was the Eagles’ coaching staff that put themselves in this position. Hurts ran 17 times in the win over Chicago and suffered his shoulder injury. The absurd amount of carries was a timing time bomb with a player as important as Hurts.

Since then? The Eagles’ offense has been a turnover machine and they have struggled to be consistent as an overall group. It also doesn’t help that Hurts have pushed to play and the coaching staff has declined to play him recently.

There’s looking to protect the player and have a strong balance. If Hurts feels healthy to play, the Eagles need to trust their franchise quarterback and play him. Instead, the Eagles’ coaching staff has gotten too cute and it has them one loss from one of the worst December collapses in recent memory.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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