Why the Slow Start?
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
There were a lot of thoughts going into this season that the Eagles would be the best team in the NFC and were among the favorites to go to the Super Bowl. So what happened? We are now sitting at 1-2 with loses against two NFC teams that the Eagles should have beaten. Last week showed a lot of issues that this team is running into and I want to dive deeper into those.
It seems like the Eagles have injuries at almost every position right now. They are missing two key defensive lineman in Malik Jackson and Tim Jernigan. Ronald Darby is now out for a few weeks. Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson have both missed the past two games (I know they started against the Falcons, but I have had longer waits for the bathroom than they were on the field). Dallas Goddert has been hurt and only played very limited snaps against the Lions, and we know how that went. Looking at these key injuries, plus other injuries that the Birds have had, it is hard to see how they can get past them.
2. POOR PLAY BY KEY CONTRIBUTORS
Even when we have players that are healthy on the field, they haven’t made the impact that we have expected from them. Fletcher Cox has been one of the key issues for the Eagles with him getting to a slow start. He is the anchor of that defensive line and when he is at his best, so is the defensive line. He needs to step it up because we need him to pick up the slack of missing Jackson and Jernigan on the line. The secondary has been getting burned, but part of that has to go on Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz since he has been leaving them on an island to try and get a good pass rush going. Lastly, our receiving corps behind Alshon and DeSean have been beyond subpar. Between drops, penalties and just boneheaded mistakes (looking at you Agholor).
3. ODD CHOICES IN RB ROTATION
Why is Jordan Howard not getting 15 touches a game? When he touches the ball, he shows the skills that he has with the pure power he runs the ball with. He has been one of the most productive RBs in the league for the past couple years. Miles Sanders looks like he can be a solid RB in the next couple years, but he isn’t there yet. Doug needs to lean more on Howard to pound out those tough yards and then give Sanders the ball to try and break off a couple big plays. Sanders had some issues against the Lions with ball control, which he struggled with at Penn State, but with Staley as the RB coach this should be fixed. At least for Sanders first year, Howard should be getting majority of the carries for this offense.