The Philadelphia Eagles ended their season on a positive note with a 36-24 win against the New York Giants in MetLife Stadium. With this win, the Eagles swept the G-Men and posted their second consecutive season with a 10-6 record. Unlike last season, it wasn’t enough for them to make the playoffs.
There are many reasons why the Eagles failed to win more games and most importantly, the games against other playoff contenders. The Birds allowed many big plays, led the league in turnovers and were ranked close to the bottom in turnover differential (27th with -8). Additionally, they were undisciplined and lost almost 1,000 yards in penalties during the 2014 regular season – that’s an average of 62 yards per game.
There is more than one man to blame for the Eagles’ elimination from postseason. The secondary, the offensive line and the running game, the coaches. Much of the team’s struggles, however, have to do with the two quarterbacks who started for the midnight green this season. Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez were both underwhelming.
Foles and Sanchez played eight games each. Foles passed for 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, completing less than 60% of his passes. Sanchez was better on paper with 14 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 64.1% completion percentage, but was bad as a decision maker.
At the same time, Robert Griffin III had another tough season in Washington. The arrival of Jay Gruden as the team’s new head coach meant RGIII would have to learn a new offense, much different from the one he used to run in Baylor and in his first season as the Redskins’ quarterback.
His problems proved to be more than that. Following a new injury and some bad performances, Griffin III reportedly lost the trust of his teammates and was publicly criticized by his head coach. The end result was only eight starts for RGIII (four touchdowns, two interceptions, 68.7% completion percentage) and a another ugly season for the Redskins, who not only finished with a 4-12 record, but were also presented as a dysfunctional team by the media.
If Jay Gruden survives Black Monday and he stays in Washington as the head coach, RGIII could very well be on his way out. After a number of injuries, two mediocre – at best – seasons and much criticism, the once electrifying playmaker could end up getting traded for a draft pick, less than three years from the blockbuster trade the Redskins made to draft him.
Most likely this is not the first time you read about it and as weird as it might sound, the Eagles could be the team to help RGIII revive his career.
It’s not a secret that Chip Kelly’s offense would work much better with a dual-threat quarterback – someone who can think fast, make the right decision and execute correctly. RGIII has done that in the simple offense Kyle Shanahan had designed for him in 2012. Kelly’s offense is not a complex one. It is based on simple concepts and is designed to help any quarterback make plays.
Despite the fact he was not good enough, Sanchez played his best football ever in that offense – and he is not as talented as RGIII.
The only real concerns about such a move would be the fact RGIII has not been much of a dual-threat guy lately and that Kelly doesn’t like players that are “me first”. This became apparent last offseason, with the release of DeSean Jackson. Griffin III carries (more or less) the same label as Jackson.
If the Birds were able to acquire Griffin III for a fifth round pick, I believe they would get great value. He might be done in Washington, but I believe he is far from done as an NFL player. With the right guidance and given the right opportunity, Griffin III could be one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league.
I’d like to see the Eagles take that risk. In the end, they’d only lose a mid-to-late draft pick. The reward, however, could be much higher.
Thanks to Johnny Rupar (@JRu131), this is how RGIII would look in an Eagles jersey. What do you say?
RGIII in a Philadelphia Eagles jersey. Could it happen this year? Credit: John Rupar (@JRu131)