September 4 I was so impressed with the Eagles’ preseason play that I wrote a post to say that I saw a 13-3 record this year, noting that other luminaries brighter than I also saw a Super Bowl appearance in February.
By October 26, I was so disappointed that I called the season. That didn’t take long. After the loss to the Panthers (a team that I saw as ripe for the picking), I jumped off the Chip Kelly bandwagon. After that, he would have to prove something to me before I bought back in.
The Eagles went on to beat the Dallas Cowboys. In fairness, the Cowboys were playing with a backup quarterback, but even with a healthy Tony Romo the Cowboys are a very bad team. I should delight in every win against Dallas, but this one was so shaky, so inept, that I came away thinking no better of the team than after the Panthers loss.
And then it got worse.
Watching the Eagles play the Miami Dolphins, I knew I was seeing a team that had flat-out quit. No, not the Eagles, the Dolphins. The Miami players were just going through the motions, putting in time and ready to roll over and lose. But the Eagles gave them the idea that they could actually win a game here in Philly, so they took it. In the end, it was the Eagles that gave the game away. And I was disgusted.
And today, last year’s worst team in the NFL came to Philly and completely exposed and embarrassed this Eagles team. Tampa Bay had the first pick in the draft because they earned it – by being horrible. How a team goes from worst in the league to beating a “Super Bowl contender” is beyond me. The Eagles gave the Legend of Jameis Winston a jumpstart, allowing him to throw five touchdown passes in the game.
The Eagles have made many a mediocre player look like a Hall of Fame prospect. I’m not saying that Winston is mediocre – he was, after all, the first pick in the draft. I’m just saying that a rookie quarterback should never be able to throw five touchdowns againt any team in his first year.
The Eagles lay down in all three phases of the game. No fire, no spirit, no will to win. The team has quit, just like Andy Reid’s last team quit on him.
Looking ahead (at the schedule in which I used to see 13 wins), it’s hard to say that this Eagles team could win two more games, only to reach 8-8 (the definition of mediocre). Without question, this is a serious step backward from the 2014 campaign, which, itself, was actually a step backward from Kelly’s first season in 2013.
We’re going in the wrong direction.
I don’t expect any changes in coaching or management before the end of the season, but I do have to wonder whether Mr. Lurie will want to “go in a different direction.”