The 2019-2020 season has not gone the way the Philadelphia Eagles expected. Still riding high on their Super Bowl 52 victory, the Eagles entered the season confident in their chances of raising the Lombardi for the second time in three years. And despite the teams glaring flaws on both sides of the ball last season, fans bought into the hype.
But now halfway through their schedule, the Eagles have failed to meet expectations and find themselves sitting at a balanced 4-4 record. The Super Bowl grace period has ended, and fans are holding the team accountable for their mishaps. Let’s recap the good, the bad, and the ugly from the first eight games.
Good: Carson Wentz
Carson Wentz has been the most consistent player on the offensive side of the ball. Wentz’s unscripted ability to extend plays with his feet and make throws under pressure has singlehandedly kept the Eagles in games this season. He has also thrown a passing touchdown in every game despite not having a healthy wide receiving corps since Week 1. Wentz hasn’t been perfect, but he is at the bottom of the Eagles’ list of problems this year.
Bad: The Secondary
This issue dates all the way back to Super Bowl 52 when they allowed the most passing yards in the history of the championship game. Opposing teams have faced little resistance from the Eagles’ secondary, forcing Carson Wentz and the rest of the offense to out-score their defensive mistakes.
The reality of their mediocre secondary didn’t fully hit until the 38-20 blowout loss to the Vikings when they allowed Kirk Cousins to throw for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns. And unfortunately for the Eagles, the issue doesn’t look like it will be fixed anytime soon.
General Manager Howie Roseman added no external secondary help at the trade deadline, and their young corners are not developing into the quality pieces they were supposed to be. Fans highly anticipated the arrival of the 2017 draft picks Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas, but their high number of targets and consistently blown coverages show they are the weakest links of the secondary.
Going into the season, the Eagles thought their injury woes of the last two years were over. But it was not so, as players dropped like flies during the Week 2 matchup against Atlanta. There must have been a buffet in the medical tent because it seemed like a different player was paying a visit after every play.
Three of the Eagles top five receivers went out, including Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Dallas Goedert. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan also left the game with a foot injury, and four other Eagles were temporarily sidelined for concussion protocol. The Eagles even canceled practice one day the following week due to the overwhelming list of injuries.
Is The Season Over?
While disappointing, the season is not too far gone. The Eagles are getting healthy at the right time. Deep-threat wide receiver DeSean Jackson returned to the lineup Sunday along with running backs Miles Sanders and Darren Sproles. And with their bye week coming up, the team will have an extra week for their injured players to rest.
The Eagles also have the NFL’s third easiest remaining schedule in the league, including matchups with their weak Washington and New York divisional opponents as well as the obviously-tanking Miami Dolphins. And not the mention, the Patriots were 5-5 after ten weeks into their 2001-2002 championship season.
Not all the answers to the Eagles problems are quick fixes, but several injured players returning soon give the Eagles hope to turn a so-far lackluster season into a playoff birth.