February 21, 2024

Because the Philadelphia Eagles method the playoffs, they’re nonetheless looking for themselves.

By Chris Murray

For the Philadelphia Sunday SUN

ABOVE PHOTO: The 2023 Christmas day sport between the Eagles and Giants.

Via the primary 11 weeks of the 2023 season, all of the struggles the Philadelphia Eagles have had in dropping 4 of their final 5 video games had been seen throughout their 10-1 begin.

The protection was shaky, and the offense was inconsistent, getting off to dangerous begins and turning over the soccer. But, the Eagles discovered methods to win, totally on the energy of quarterback Jalen Hurts, particularly in wins over the Washington Commanders, Miami Dolphins, the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, and the Buffalo Payments.

Throughout that streak, Eagles gamers and coaches stored saying that the crew hadn’t performed its finest sport, they usually had been working to get there. Even because the Eagles’ protection was giving up 472 yards to the Washington Commanders (Oct. 29); 406 yards to the Cowboys (Nov. 5); 336 to Kansas Metropolis (Nov. 13); and 505 yards to Buffalo (Nov. 19), the crew’s gamers and coaches reassured followers that the crew was getting its act collectively.      

However all their shortcomings and “we gonna get it togethers” have the Eagles stumbling into the playoffs.

The 35-31 loss to the Arizona Cardinals was the epitome of all of the Eagles’ troubles this season between an offense that’s struggling to search out any semblance of consistency and a protection that may’t cease anyone.

In beautiful style, the Eagles blew a 15-point lead at halftime and created extra fear and doubt about their probabilities of returning to the Tremendous Bowl. The 11-loss, last-place crew within the NFC West dominated the Eagles protection by dashing for 221 yards they usually had three 70-yard-plus landing drives, together with the game-winning drive. The Cardinals had an almost 2-1 benefit in time of possession.

Not solely did they lose the sport, however they’re additionally in peril of dropping the NFC East and the chance to have a house playoff sport. If the Cowboys defeat the Washington Commanders on Sunday, they may win the NFC East, no matter what the Eagles do towards the New York Giants.

And so, it’s what now for the Eagles? Sunday’s sport towards the Giants at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. turns into not solely a battle for playoff place however a battle for his or her collective psyche.  

That stated, head coach Nick Sirianni will not be providing any “magic” schemes or intricate options from the soccer gods for the Eagles to get out of their present funk.

“It’s simply being locked into the place we’re,” Sirianni stated throughout the crew’s Wednesday press convention at Nova Care. “There’s no magic to this. It’s about going to work each single day and being locked into the small print of the assembly and being locked into the walk-through and being full velocity to the snap-in walk-through and having a high-intensity apply and to be dedicated to our core values.”

In the meantime, A.J. Brown, who has been forged because the seen image of frustration for the Eagles’ present woes, met with the media on Wednesday and after not speaking to reporters for the final three weeks.

Brown stated he got here out to talk as a result of he didn’t need his teammates to talk for him. He stated his frustration wasn’t along with his teammates or his coaches however with the crew’s present run of dropping.

That stated, Brown believes that the Eagles are on the verge of righting their ship and being the crew, they had been hyped as much as be firstly of the season.

“I really feel like we’re near proceed to get higher and proceed to take that subsequent step,” Brown stated. “With all this freaking adversity, we’re proper there. That’s what occurs if you’re attempting to get to that subsequent step. Gravity pulls towards you; every thing pulls towards you. I believe that’s what this crew goes via proper now.”

If there’s a solace for Eagles followers at this level of the season is that there have been different groups who’ve video games down the stretch after which caught fireplace throughout the playoffs.

The 2012 Tremendous Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens not solely fired their offensive coordinator however misplaced 4 out of their final 5 video games and gave the impression to be going nowhere quick. However the crew obtained sizzling throughout the playoffs and knocked off Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos squad and Tom Brady’s New England Patriots.

In 1995, the hated Cowboys misplaced three out of their 5 regular-season final video games together with a blowout by the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, and ended up profitable their Tremendous Bowl title in three years. They got here into playoffs because the No. 2 seed.

It may be performed, however within the Eagles’ present state, it’s onerous to think about that it’s going to happen. However the way in which this NFL season has performed out, you by no means what’s going to occur.

However earlier than something occurs, the common season has to come back to an finish. That can occur on Sunday when the Eagles and Giants take the sphere at 4:30 p.m. You possibly can catch the sport on CBS 3.

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