The Top 5 Reasons the Philadelphia Eagles are a Mess in 2020
1. Carson Wentz
I am potentially the biggest Carson Wentz apologist in the world. I still believe he’s a top-end quarterback and will eventually figure it out. Having said that, there’s no masking the fact that he’s been awful this season and the Eagles’ struggles start with #11
He holds the ball too long, he’s inaccurate in the pocket, he turns it over and he’s inconsistent in his reads. It starts with his 58.4% completion percentage this season, the worst of his career. He’s constantly forcing the ball into tight windows, which leads to incompletions or turnovers. He has 14 interceptions, the most of any starter in the NFL, and his 48.4 QBR is 27th in the league.
There are flaws all over this team, but that’s really no different than last year. In 2019, Wentz was leading a group of practice squad skill players to big wins down the stretch. Now, with more replacement-level players around him, his play is worse than anyone’s.
2. Doug Pederson
As much of a Carson Wentz fan as I am, that’s how much I dislike the way Doug Pederson has coached this season.
As a play caller, it seems he follows a predictably terrible script every time the offense takes the field. On first down, you call a pass play for your underperforming QB that leads to an inevitable incompletion. Then comes the statistically worst play in all of football, the second-and-long run, followed by a 3rd and long incompletion just a play later.
Two weeks ago, the Eagles didn’t convert a single third down in their loss to the Giants, something I didn’t even know was possible. This is a coach that was originally applauded for all the innovation he brought on Sundays. Now, he just goes for it on fourth down occasionally and calls it a day.
It’s quite obvious Carson Wentz struggles in the pocket and prefers to be on the run when delivering throws, but he’s refused to call any designed rollouts. Instead, he drops his franchise QB back 40 times a game and watches as his patchwork offensive line tries to get him killed.
As mentioned above, the offensive line has been torn apart by injuries this season. Brandon Brooks has missed the entire season, Lane Johnson is now out for the year and center Jason Kelce is on the injured list with an elbow injury.
That long list of injuries has contributed greatly to Wentz’s struggles. He looks uncomfortable dropping back to pass, and when he does have some time it’s almost like he doesn’t know what to do.
It seems like every week there is a different team trotting out on the field, which prevents any type of cohesion as a unit.
4. Roster Construction/Offseason Moves
Basically every move made in the offseasons following their Super Bowl win, whether it be through free agency or draft, has fallen flat.
Every time DK Metcalf scores a touchdown, JJ Arcega-Whiteside’s name is forced to the front of my mind. The offensive line is aging, guys like Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas and even Nelson Agholor, are leaving to become valuable starters elsewhere and we’d probably be better off without linebackers than the crew were working with.
Signings like Malik Jackson, Javon Hargrave and Desean Jackson have completely failed. Howie Roseman has drafted poorly basically his entire time in Philadelphia and because of that, the team is rapidly aging and not getting any better at positions of need.
5. They’re Not a Good Team
The four previous points all really come together to form the 5th: This isn’t a good football team. I, like most other fans, came into the season expecting another playoff run. 10-6? 12-4? But the reality is this team has been on a steady decline since the Super Bowl win.
Both the offensive and defensive lines are old, and the guys brought in to replace them aren’t any good. On defense, Derek Barnett still hasn’t solidified himself as a starter and is getting outplayed by guys like Josh Sweat. Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, the two best players on the entire team, won’t be in their primes for much longer, and we have no promising options to replace them.
Jason Peters is still somehow on this roster as guys like Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo constantly miss time for one reason or another. Year after year your franchise quarterback is forced to play with glorified practice-squad players at wideout, and we still cannot figure out how to develop a defensive back.
The roster is below average at every single position, with the exception of running back and defensive line, and who knows how much longer we’ll be able to say that about the latter. One good draft or signing won’t fix this now. The unfortunate reality is the problems go much deeper than that.