On February 4th, 2018, the Philadelphia Eagles beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to become Superbowl Champions!
Ever since that day, Eagles’ fans have been celebrating and with reason. Not only did the Eagles beat the Patriots to become Superbowl Champs, but they did so without their starting quarterback. Remember, Carson Wentz was injured last year, tearing both his ACL and LCL on December 10th against the LA Rams. Since that injury, the Eagles have been riding with Nick Foles as their quarterback.
After riding with Foles to a Superbowl victory, this 2018 season looked very promising to Eagles fans. For starters, if the Eagles were able to win the Superbowl with their backup quarterback, how would they fare when Wentz came back? Also, let’s not forget that the Eagles were able to keep their team together, not really losing any key pieces in the summer. Putting the two together, everything looked setup for the Eagles to be contenders again.
Well, 11 weeks into the 2018 season and it’s obvious that the Eagles will not be repeating as Superbowl Champions and in all likelihood, will not even be making the playoffs. Thus far, each week, we’d all believe that the Eagles were going to be turning the corner and putting it all together to go on a winning streak. Well, it’s Week 11 and the Eagles just received a beatdown at the hands of Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, losing 48 to 7. This puts the Eagles at 4-6 with only 6 more games to play. The season is done for the Philadelphia Eagles.
For those who want to argue that the Saints are just that good and it’s not the fault of the Eagles, well let’s argue. Yes, the New Orleans Saints are argumentatively the best team in the NFL right now. After all, they have the highest scoring offense in the league, averaging over 37 points a game. But, the amazing level of the Saints’ play right now is not an excuse for the Eagles’ horrible play. If the Eagles are expected to contend for the Superbowl or even make the playoffs, they cannot lose 48 to 7 after 11 weeks into the season. It’s clear by their play that the Eagles are out of contention. It’s not official, but it’s quite clear.
Now, for those who argue that the Division is still up for grabs especially after today’s events, let’s argue. Yes, the NFC East always seems to be up for grabs in recent times. After all, the Eagles are only 2 games out of 1st place. Currently, the Eagles stand at 4-6, 3rd in the Division behind the 6-4 Redskins and 5-5 Cowboys. Furthermore, the Redskins did lose Alex Smith today, their starting quarterback, for the rest of the season. This all sounds positive for Eagles’ fans, but it’s false hope. The Eagles are just too injured to compete.
The reason that the Eagles are struggling so much, especially for their horrible showing today, is because they’re depleted defensively. The Eagles have been hit with the injury bug across all positions, but worst of all, in their secondary. After today’s injuries, the only Week 1 starter still playing in the Eagles secondary is safety Malcolm Jenkins. Everyone else in the defensive back rotation has been injured throughout the season with some confirmed to be missing the rest of the season.
In Week 3, starting safety Rodney McLeod was put on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury. Since then, starting cornerback Ronald Darby tore his ACL and is out for the season, starting cornerback Jalen Mills has had foot injuries and is week to week, backup cornerback Sidney Jones is day to day with a hamstring injury, and starting safety (backup for McLeod) Avonte Maddox sustained a knee injury that could keep him sidelined for a few weeks.
Right now, the Eagles are being forced to start cornerbacks that aren’t intended to see the field. This includes CB Cre’Von LeBlanc, a player the Eagles cut before the season started. They’ve had to resign him and include him in their defense because of all the injuries. That’s how bad it is and it’s quite evident on the field.
Just last week, in a crucial game against the Cowboys, the Eagles gave up 270 yards to Dak Prescott and another 171 on the ground. This week, the Eagles gave up 363 passing yards and four touchdowns to the Drew Brees. This is just in the air, not including rushing yards! In total, the Eagles gave up 546 yards while managing only 196 of their own against the Saints. These numbers only tell us that the Eagles are done.
The defense cannot stop the pass and because of that, the Eagles are susceptible to the run too. Since they can’t stop the pass, more attention is being given to pass defense, which in return opens up the running game for their opponents. It’s a total disaster for the Eagles defense right now and to make matters worse, Carson Wentz and the offense aren’t providing any aid. If the defense is struggling, the offense needs to step it up and maintain possession of the ball and score more than usual. Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be true as the Eagles are just barely managing to get any yards or score.
With 6 games to go, the Eagles schedule includes the Giants, Cowboys, Rams, Texans, and Redskins twice. They should definitely lose against the Texans and Rams, making them 4-8. At best, if they are able to win all the other games, they’ll end up with an 8-8 record. Remember, the Eagles will in all likelihood lose more than 2 of these games because of their struggles, but if they do go 4-2 in their last 6, they’ll still only be 8-8.
Even the Redskins without Alex Smith should be able to beat that record and remain atop the Division. If anyone other than the Redskins is going to win the Division, it should be the Cowboys. They’re in prime position to win this Division, knowing that the Eagles are defensively hampered, and the Redskins lost their starting quarterback. Regardless of who wins the Division, one thing is for sure, it will not be the Eagles. And that only means the Eagles will not be making the playoffs, much less, contending for the Superbowl. It was fun while it lasted, but this is the end of the Philadelphia Eagles.