The Eagles need to get back to basics if they’re going to beat the Giants on Sunday

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) celebrates with running back Miles Sanders (26) after scoring a touchdown against the New York Giants during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

The Eagles are in a very tricky predicament heading into their matchup against the Giants this Sunday. As we’ve learned this season, the NFL is a week-to-week league where anything can happen. Philadelphia has fallen victim to that over the last two weeks but they can still control their destiny with a win over the Giants on Sunday afternoon.

Comparisons to a team of Eagles past

People have often compared this Eagles team to the 2017 team that secured the first Super Bowl in franchise history. The comparisons are fair because of their similar paths. Both offenses took off following an explosive offseason. The defensive line and offensive line were the strongest parts of the roster but there’s one thing that separates both rosters and possibly gives 2017 the upper hand.

While everyone remembers the highs of that season, very few remember the lows, such as the point of panic were Nick Foles struggled to find his footing against the Oakland Raiders. This came after a big win over the New York Giants. Foles didn’t truly find his way in that offense until the Vikings came into town. Had it not been for the coaching staff’s adjustments in between the divisional round and the NFC Championship then there wouldn’t be a Lombardi at the Linc.

That group was fiercer though. They were deep at nearly every position and were led by veterans who knew what it would take. They developed a next-man-up mentality that truly carried them to the end of the road. 

If we compare that to the 2022 group, the differences become clear. We’ve witnessed starters point the finger at the backups who are trying to make a name for themselves. We’ve seen a coaching staff that has been too stubborn in their ways to adjust.

The Eagles need to find their way back

The Eagles’ defense has its strengths but Gannon has continuously put them in positions to fail. The offensive staff allowed Gardner Minshew to run the RPO offense knowing that he isn’t the run threat that Jalen Hurts is. It all came to light against the Saints on Sunday afternoon.

After the game, you saw a team that was at a loss for words in what was unfolding before their eyes. I saw a quarterback, who is on the brink of greatness, distraught because he couldn’t be out there with his team. If Jalen Hurts himself is torn by what’s occurring then you’re witnessing the heart and soul of this team breaking before your very eyes.

So what happens now?

If Jalen does come back against the Giants, does that mean that all is forgotten and we’re back to sunshine and rainbows? Unfortunately no, because the last time you saw Jalen play was against a Bears team that had no business coming close to beating the first-place Eagles. You also saw a coaching staff allow their franchise QB to rush 17 times. 

There are plenty of issues that need to be fixed before the Eagles reestablish themselves as the top team in the NFC. Adjustments need to be made, egos need to be shattered, and trust needs to be restored.

If the Eagles do win on Sunday then they’ll have plenty of time to heal and do some soul-searching.  But if they lose then things may take a turn for the worst. One thing is for sure, with veterans like Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and so forth, the Eagles need to find their heart and bring back the standard. 

Bring back the never say die attitudes that lead to a historical start. Bring back the hunger that once blew teams out of the game in the first half alone. Find that source of pride and play Eagles football the way that everyone knows that they can.

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AP Photo/Bryan Woolston