We’re on to New York…
That needs to be the mantra with just 3 days rest/preparation before the Eagles head up the Jersey Turnpike to face the Giants for their first division matchup of the season on Thursday Night Football. Yesterday’s loss to the Vikings gave fans plenty to digest. Frankly, I’m still not sure I’ve wrapped my head around all of it yet, but I’ll give it a go.
The offensive line woes continue
Replacing Stefen Wisniewski at guard with Isaac Seumalo didn’t solve anything. What’s even more concerning is that the last two people you’d think you need to worry about, tackles Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, appear to be struggling mightily.
The running back situation isn’t much better
Darren Sproles can’t seem to get healthy and despite being active yesterday, Cory Clement didn’t take a snap. Jay Ajayi is playing with a fracture in his back (and is starting to squawk about a lack of touches, but we’ll save that for another day) and he also had a costly fumble inside the red zone. Wendell Smallwood has been running hard as he’s been called upon due to injuries, but realistically he’s probably a number 3 RB at best in this league.
Say what you want to about that group, but it’s no excuse for the fact that for the second week in a row, Doug Pederson abandoned the run game. That’s not a good look when you’re offensive line is already struggling. The Eagles only ran the ball 12 times yesterday. One of those runs was with Josh Adams on an important 3rd and short where he got stuffed for a one yard loss (his lone carry of the day) and I still can’t figure out why he was in the backfield for that specific situation in the first place.
I’m sure there’s plenty of talk going on about the lackluster offense as a whole and Pederson’s play calling. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t mustered up the courage to hit sports radio yet this morning. But let’s not forget to give the defense their fair share of blame as well.
I’m not sure what Jim Schwartz’s line of thinking is at this point, but I just don’t see how you can put him on the field anymore. Flecther Cox having to settle Mills down after running his mouth to Adam Thielen (who ate him alive numerous times) was downright embarrassing. What do you have to lose by benching Mills and moving Sidney Jones to the outside? Granted he didn’t have the strongest day either, but if Jones is the kind of talent the Eagles think he is, then there’s no better time than the present to put him out there and see what he’s made of. At the very least, getting the experience under his belt should be beneficial.
ALL IS WELL!
What might be most frightening about all this is that the Eagles just don’t seem to have that swagger that helped them persevere in tough games last season. This was a team that was visibly frustrated and many of the players expressed that in their post-game interviews. 2-3 is not an ideal position to be in and we’re getting pretty close to panic time. A disturbing stat is that only 7 previous Super Bowl Champions started their following season 2-3, and of those 7, only one managed to make the playoffs.
This Thursday’s game against the G-Men can probably be considered a “must win”. This stretch of schedule before the bye week is brutal, including the Panthers coming to Philadelphia, and then flying across the pond to face the Jaguars at Wembley. The worst case scenario is dropping all those games and heading into the bye 2-6. At that point, you can probably consider this season derailed and there will be plenty of questions to be asked. But for now, it’s got to be one game at a time, and we’re on to New York.