Are the Eagles’ Super Bowl hopes dwindling after back-to-back losses to NFC rivals?

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Dallas Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore (21) reacts after making a tackle on Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) on a fourth-down play during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

The Eagles have officially suffered back-to-back losses with Jalen Hurts as their QB for the first time since 2021. Turns out that he may be human after all. I mean that is what this Eagles team has taught us this season, right? From never making excuses for winning close games after going behind in the first half to now being buried in the first half in back-to-back games. 

It’s tough to feel any sense of hope as an Eagles fan after seeing your offense put up zero points against Dallas. While Jalen Carter looked faster than everyone on offense with this score off of the forced fumble and even Michael Clay drew up a better play than the Eagles offense on Sunday. I think it’s time to take an honest look at what’s wrong with the 2023 Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter, left, runs with the ball while scoring on a fumble recovery as teammate Haason Reddick (7) gestures and Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Terence Steele (78) chases him during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Adjustments. Adjustments. Adjustments.

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts reacts after an incomplete pass on a third-down play against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Since week one of this season, we have seen very little adjustments from the Eagles’ offense. As for the Eagles’ defense, Sean Desai was a budding star at one point then fell flat once his unit got healthy. Offensively the Eagles have no identity and I cannot find myself blaming Brian Johnson any longer. 

This is a Nick Sirianni issue. From the lack of targets that Dallas Goedert gets to the head-scratching usage of D’Andre Swift. None of it makes sense. As talented as the wide receivers are, you cannot expect teams to leave them open. Everyone knows that Brown and Smith will get all but four targets in a game. 

Sirianni’s offense is just a mess right now. The RPO isn’t as lethal as it once was due to Jalen’s knee injury but that doesn’t mean that this offense needs to falter because of it. The fact that Sirianni refuses to use the run game to establish the offense is beyond me. What’s worse is that we still have seen barely any signs of life from Rashaad Penny.

Defensively, it’s just a mess. Maybe it’s the personnel? Or maybe it’s the defensive coordinator? Something isn’t making sense with Desai and the defense. They’ve regressed from being a stout run defense to just a terrible overall defense. The secondary can’t avoid penalties and Darius Slay is the only one out there that can block passes.

Maybe it’s the Super Bowl hangover? Because even if the defensive line isn’t who they used to be in the early season. Reddick and Cox seem to be the only ones getting to the quarterback while Josh Sweat continues to miss by a millisecond. The interior pressure hasn’t been there as of late from Davis and Carter which is only making things worse at this point.

They’re tired from the gauntlet

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Philadelphia Eagles safety Sydney Brown (21) reacts after tackling San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Listen, even the 49ers lost three in a row this season before becoming America’s sweetheart. They lost to the  Vikings, Browns, and Bengals while the Eagles actually lost to two good teams in the Cowboys and 49ers but blew one ago as the horrific Jets. The difference is in the way the Niners have bounced back to dismantle teams, they look like a cohesive unit.

The Eagles? Not so much.

To be honest, this is the most deflated I’ve seen this team while under Nick Sirianni. Even in his first season, the team rallied around the new coach to make some noise but right now, there’s no sense of urgency. Maybe that’s on Sirianni, who has been on a natural high after making it to the Super Bowl and starting 10-2 in the season after

Has he taken his foot off the gas? I’d be lying to myself if I said that it didn’t feel like he did. The accountability doesn’t seem to be there anymore. The hard coaching, and the engagement from the players, it all feels like this team is just extremely gassed. 

Pile a tough gauntlet on top of that and yeah, teams are going to look defeated. But don’t forget, they only lost two games in a stretch of games that featured the Cowboys (twice), 49ers, Bills, and the Chiefs. That tells you that this team is more than capable but at the moment they’re just gassed. Which falls on Sirianni. Could he have done better with the preparation of this team?

That’s the biggest question right now. Behind closed doors, what is the coaching staff doing to prepare this team? The offense has yet to find its rhythm or identity while the defense continues to look lost against opposing offenses. The lack of adjustments bit the Eagles in the rear during this gauntlet and as far as I’m concerned, everyone on the Novacare complex needs to be on high alert if this team is to make another Super Bowl trip.

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth