After a disappointing 3-4 start, Eagles fans are wondering what is causing this Super Bowl hangover? As Philadelphians, we love to blame people for things, so JTP is going to fit the stereotype right now and place the burden on three entities.
First, the coaching staff. Although Dougie P continues to show off his impressive testicular fortitude by continuously going for it on fourth down, it’s the first through third down that is concerning. As a viewer, you can see the predictability of the offensive schemes and although I understand that our running back depth chart is lacking, it’s still no excuse for the lack of production on the offensive side of the ball. However, it’s really Jim Schwartz that seems to be problem so far this season. One of the most glaring issues is his conservative play-calling towards the ends of game, which was evident in the Carolina loss. You simply can’t play prevent defense basically the entire second half against an explosive offense like the Panthers. In addition, the discipline as a team has been shaky as the Eagles are fifth in the league in total penalties. This is shocking considering the strong bond and unity projected by the team last season.
Second, the running back position. With the injury of Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles, the running back core has taken a big hit over the past three weeks. Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood are great utility backs but the Eagles need a bellcow running back that can get 20-30 carries a game. They should be able to address this issue before the trade deadline, but if not, the Eagles are in big trouble.
Third and finally, the secondary. Again, injuries have plagued this unit as free safety Rodney McLeod tore his ACL earlier this year. Also, put bluntly, Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby are just not that good. I know Mills made one play against Julio in the divisional payoff game last year, but he is a below average cornerback. Hopefully, the Eagles can trade for Patrick Peterson to bolster this secondary, but that is just one of the many pieces the Eagles need.