During the Andy Reid era in Philadelphia, the Eagles were well known to go on a small losing streak towards the middle of the year before turning their season around and showing why they are contenders.
The same could be said for Doug Pederson’s run as the team’s head coach too.
Neither Doug nor Andy have had the two-year run that Nick Sirianni and the 2023 Eagles have enjoyed so far.
So why are people panicking after the Eagles blowout loss to the 49ers?
The answer, of course, is a simple one. Coming into a rematch of the NFC Title game, people were questioning how good Jalen Hurts and the Eagles were after four straight games of needing a second-half comeback to win. Sunday’s loss, to those people, was a clear sign that all was not right for the now 10-2 Birds and that things were only going to get worse. National pundits have already begun to question the viability of the Eagles’ championship window under Sirianni and if they are more pretender than a contender.
It’s hard not to laugh at the Stephen A. Smith’s or Joe Giglio’s of the world though when the panic has begun outside of the confines of the Novacare Complex. Contrary to what many people believe, the Eagles still have the best record in football despite their struggles against a healthy Niners squad. At 10-2, Philadelphia controls their destiny to not only win the NFC East again but to clinch the #1 seed in the NFC.
If it’s a wake-up call the organization needed on Sunday to get back to their overall identity, then maybe Sunday’s outcome was a needed bonus.
“We know we got to get better on the offensive and defensive side of the football,” Sirianni explained. “Clean up some of the mistakes we made. Yesterday wasn’t good enough on either side of the ball and obviously, that’s where we were on the lopsided end of a loss.”
Logic is sometimes thrown out the door after a blowout loss like the one the Eagles sustained on Sunday. Context is usually ignored as well. Both need to be used when looking at the team’s recent stretch of play and why this team is perfectly fine where they are.
In 2022, Philadelphia had one of the easiest schedules in football and it allowed them to coast to a 14-3 mark. 2023 was always going to be different. The Eagles had arguably the toughest schedule in football with the toughest stretch of games in the mid-late part of the season. Coming off a Super Bowl loss also was going to make things much tougher for the organization to maintain their level of dominance from the previous year.
All of that is pre-context that is added to this type of argument. If fans and analysts knew that the Birds weren’t going to be as dominant due to their tough schedule as last year, then no one should be surprised that they don’t look as good this year. They have also played the Miami Dolphins, Washington Commanders, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and 49ers in a row.
Their record in those games?
If you asked any fan of the team if they would sign up for a 5-1 stretch to this point and a 10-2 record with the standings that they are, I think it’s safe to assume that everyone would sign up for that. So why is everyone so caught up in how the team is winning and not simply based on the actual record?
The same goes for the statistical analysis of the team during this stretch. Many people point to the Eagles’ 24th-ranked total defense and 20th-pass defense as a reason why they aren’t considered a potential Super Bowl team.
What people fail to realize is those numbers are extremely misleading compared to other top-10 defensive units.
Most defensive units have not had to play Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Brock Purdy, and Dak Prescott again in consecutive weeks. The point totals are what they are because modern offenses don’t usually get stopped by talented units. Consider that championship teams over the last half-decade have certainly struggled during the regular seasons against inferior competition and you’d be hard-pressed to find historical defenses with this type of schedule.
Context matters when we have to ask if it’s time to be concerned about the 2023 Eagles. Who they play and if they win are the only things that matter. How they win is irrelevant.
So with all that included and added to the argument, the only logical solution is this:
Why are people worrying about Nick Sirianni’s Eagles? This team is going to be fine and to think otherwise glosses over the type of adversity they have already shown to blow through this season.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum