One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Eagles’ Formula For Mediocrity


For those of you who now have Paula Abdul’s 1988 pop hit stuck in your heads – you’re welcome. Man, I loved that cartoon cat…and Paula Abdul. Semi-humorous, pop-culture references aside, the title that you just read at the top (go ahead, take a look) sums up the Philadelphia Eagles this past weekend, and honestly, their entire season.  Sunday was a microcosm of what it is like to be an Eagles fan.

Nov 15, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff (13) celebrates his two-yard touchdown catch against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like every time the Eagles start to get rolling, they do something to shoot themselves in the foot. Or vice-versa. There have been just as many times this season that the team has surprised folks when they were counted out. One week they had many of us (mostly me) believing they were turning their season around, and the next week they look as lost as you did that one time you got separated from your parents in a department store. You remember the time.

Sunday, they looked like both. As quickly as they shot up to 13 points, they blew it just as fast. The Eagles scored on their opening drive and made it look easy. They carved the Dolphins up on both the ground and in the air. Even Sam Bradford looked good for the second week in a row. The defense played out of their minds. For the first time that I can remember (keep in mind my memory is about as good as two goldfish taped together) an Eagles defense actually landed a safety. Walter Thurmond came streaming off the edge to sack Ryan Tannehill in his own end-zone and ignite the Philadelphia home crowd into a frenzy. At this point, Eagles fans could taste the victory on their tongues.

Nov 15, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Walter Thurmond (26) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) causing a fumble in the end zone for a safety during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It was only the first quarter.

Then…nothing. Offense – gone. Defense – disappeared. The Eagles let the Dolphins creep back into this game. And once again fans, writers, impartial observers all had the same puzzled looks on their faces when the game was over. Sure, Sam Bradford and Ryan Mathews both went out with injuries during this game, but injuries cannot be held accountable for the loss. And neither will Mark Sanchez.

The biggest contributing factor to the Eagles’ loss this week, and subsequently every loss prior, is inconsistency. The Eagles have not played four full quarters of football at all this year. That is not hyperbole. The defense has been the closest thing to being consistent, and even they have disappeared for quarters. The Eagles are right on pace to where I predicted them to be right around now, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. It does, however, make them predictable. That is the last thing people wanted to hear during the Chip Kelly era. Luckily, the NFC East is still completely obtainable, but the Redskins recent surge, Giants’ offense, and Tony Romo’s return all mean that the Eagles’ time to do so is running out.

Mark Sanchez stepping in might not be a bad thing at this point. The offense moved very well when he came in and he should be comfortable in Chip Kelly’s system. So in theory he could bring a level of consistency to an offense that is void of any. Thena again, everything works “in theory.”

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Before I go: All you Sanchez-naysayers that want to bring up “the butt-fumble” every time they hear his name or he walks onto the field; let it go. And, let me cut you off from bringing up his end-zone interception; if it weren’t for boneheaded penalties, he threw back-to-back touchdowns right before the INT. Look, Sanchez isn’t the answer, but trust me, he isn’t the problem…yet.