What if the Eagles just aren’t good enough?
That’s a real possibility.
Oh, the Eagles are still good. There are 28 or 29 fanbases out there that would gladly trade places with Philly — and not just because of the soft pretzels and cheese steaks.
After three demoralizing games in a row, it is looking more and more like a return to the Super Bowl, much less a win, is not in the cards this year.
The agonizing thing about this sudden development is that fans can easily see how the Eagles season is going to end. It will end without stops on third down. It will end with passes forced into impossible spaces. It will end with a lack of imagination.
These Eagles fell in love with the 2022 Eagles. And, why not? That team was lovable. It ran roughshod through opposing defenses. It terrorized opposing quarterbacks. It dominated.
The Eagles chose to run it all back, not taking into account that the National Football League is always evolving.
As well as quarterback Jalen Hurts played through the beginning of the year, teams have caught up. Meanwhile, the Eagles have gotten stale. They dip into the same well over and over, with ever-murkier results.
If fans at home can tell when a wide receiver screen is coming, it’s a safe bet that an NFL defense can, too. As great as AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert are, Hurts can’t just sling the ball as far as he can and hope that they’ll make a play for him.
The defense is built around a very talented line filled with high draft picks. But what happens when that line can’t find its way to the quarterback?
San Francisco happens. Dallas happens. Seattle happens.
The calculated gamble that the Eagles could replace five linebackers and defensive backs on the cheap through the magic of its scouting department has made the once-dominant Eagles defense into a playground for offensives around the league.
Yeah, Dak Prescott and Brock Purdy are going to have good days here or there, but Zach Wilson and Drew Lock? Who’s kidding who?
The Eagles’ two new coordinators, Brian Johnson and Sean Desai, were going to have a tough time replicating last year. Desai has already been replaced by senor defensive assistant Matt Patricia, though Desai is still around.
It’s been a shaky transition. And after a decent start, things are going the opposite direction. The responsibility falls in one place, head coach Nick Sirianni.
He’s the guy on the sideline, puffing out his chest and riling up Eagles fans in the stands when things are going well. Now he has to be the guy who turns this sinking ship around.
And it all starts on Christmas afternoon with a visit from the Giants and cult hero quarterback Tommy DeVito. The Cardinals on New Year’s Eve and a trip up the New Jersey Turnpike the week after close out the season.
That’s three full weeks to set things right. Let’s hope for a Merry Christmas.