The Eagles are doing nothing well and headed nowhere fast. (Photo by The Athletic)
If the Eagles were even remotely good, there would be reason for optimism over the second half of the season. As I mentioned last week, the Eagles remaining schedule is very, very favorable. Of their remaining ten games, I’d say they have virtually no shot in only two of them; the Chargers (Week 9) and Cowboys. HOWEVER, the Dallas game is in Week 18. Given the state of the NFC East, there’s a very good chance the Cowboys have little-to-nothing to gain by playing their stars that week. So the Eagles could luck into a victory just by showing up. The Eagles other eight games are as follows…
Week 8 @Lions
Week 10 @Broncos
Week 11 Saints
Week 12 @Giants
Week 13 @Jets
Week 15 Football Team
Week 16 Giants
Week 17 @Football Team
The Eagles are bad. I wouldn’t look at any one of those eight games and think, “Yeh, the Eagles will definitely win that one.” But I think every team on that list outside of New Orleans would say the same about playing the Eagles. There’s no dominant force on that slate plowing through opponents. It’s a cesspool crawling its way to inevitable failure.
There are already five virtual locks for the NFC Playoffs. The Cardinals, Rams, Buccaneers, Cowboys and Packers are in, barring catastrophic circumstances. I also think the Vikings will make it. New Orleans needs a quarterback. They could lose six straight and no one would think twice about it. They stink. There’s opportunity for the Eagles if they decide to show any life, ability or interest. Unfortunately, we’ve seen little of that since Week 1.
A promising schedule is only a blessing if there are signs of growth from the team or glimmers of hope that your 2nd year quarterback is starting to piece things together. Somehow, Hurts continues to get worse and looks more lost each week.
The defense is more greeting party than bouncer. They’re not even hiding how much they hate the new defensive scheme, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume they’ve totally tuned out new Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
Rookie Head Coach Nick Sirianni likes to talk a big game and share cute analogies about the team growing, but the only proof we have points to the opposite. Sirianni needs to be an actual leader get his hands into this defensive upheaval and get it right. Instead, he admits he hardly watches film on the defense and has little to do with the unit at all.
So instead of a marshmallow schedule catapulting the Eagles into a playoff chase, it’ll probably only weaken their draft position. That means the remainder of the season is focused on player development. Well, how do you develop players if… 1. Your quarterback can’t read a defense enough to throw to young receivers, and 2. Your defensive scheme is so vanilla it essentially requires the back seven to just wait for receivers to catch the football and then tackle.
Seriously, WHAT ARE WE DOING? This is beyond stupid.
We all understood the season was going to be about growing pains, but there’s no growing. It’s just pain. Andy Reid’s team almost always improved as the season progressed. Doug Pederson’s first season was all about learning to win and not blowing games. In both scenarios there was a budding excitement from within the team because they knew these struggles were building toward something.
The 2021 Eagles are just getting pummeled. The coaching staff has produced no fixes. The players are thisclose to staging a defensive coup. There’s young talent on the offense getting three hours of cardio on Sundays and that’s it.
One may ask, where’s the head coach? Oh, he’s over to the side spouting uplifting metaphors about the team growing under the soil with fertilizer, sun and who knows what else. Sorry, Nick, this is football, not gardening. In a sport where losses can even produce small victories, the Eagles are winless week after week. Right now it’s all fertilizer, baking in the hot sun and we’re here to suffer the stench.
Jeffrey Lurie hired the wrong farmer.