Philadelphia Eagles are on par for 2016 season, believe it or not

Dec 18, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Matthews (24) tackled by Baltimore Ravens defensive end Lawrence Guy (93) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Matthews (24) tackled by Baltimore Ravens defensive end Lawrence Guy (93) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t enjoyed the 2016 season and from fans to players, the team is becoming a disappointment.

There was promise and hope in the City of Brotherly Love for the Eagles. North Dakota State star quarterback Carson Wentz joined the team with a heavily praised college performance. Head coach Doug Pederson seemed to bring a change after the chaos that was Chip Kelly’s brief era with the team. All of the signs were pointing to roses and that the new leadership would find a way to bring back success to the city.

However, things haven’t seemed to pan out the way that fans and even the organization had hoped.

Carson Wentz hit a brick wall of football

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Wentz was off to a great start for a rookie in the NFL. He has no interceptions until Week 5 in the regular season. Against the NFL’s JV squad in his first three games, Wentz got a reprieve with a Week 4 bye. Wentz had yet to make major mistakes. Wentz completed 66 of 102 attempts and as a result, threw for 769 yards for his start. However, that’s where the good times end. Since the bye, Wentz has thrown 13 interceptions and only eight touchdowns. High expectations or illusions of success might be plaguing Wentz as the season winds down.

Expectations come from the higher members of the Eagles organization. Wentz was praised as the next generation of great Eagles quarterback. Agility during pressure, vision on the field; it’s all there for him. In Wentz’s case, all that is buried from Week 5 through 16. The team and Wentz scratched out just three wins, including their first divisional win over the New York Giants Thursday at home. Frustration is easy to come by, especially when a team comes back from a bye and play like they’re struggling to find a groove. It was nasty and brutal with games that the team should have won. However, blame can’t just fall on the quarterback alone.

Finding the real Doug Pederson

All of the issues with Wentz, the struggling offense with running backs and receivers and wins stems from a head coach. Doug Pederson came in like a breath of fresh air. No more brash and demanding control like his predecessor. Eagles GM Howie Roseman has no one to fight with and the two worked seamlessly together. First three games, same thing. Pederson showed that he had command of his offense and with Wentz in the pocket, this was an Eagles team that had potential to go all the way.

Then the bye week happened and implosion was unavoidable.

And Pederson still believes that his team is headed in the right direction. According to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Pederson remarked on his belief saying “I think you might look at wins and losses. I got to look at the potential of the football team and the guys that we have…..” Everybody’s fighting to the end.” That’s a sign that things are heading in the right direction. That might be the optimism talking in times of despair. Things haven’t gone as predicted and there’s no doubt that Roseman and others in the Eagles hierarchy aren’t thrilled. They brought Pederson in for a reason and one of them can be clearly to not fight consistently. So then it comes down to how he coaches.

Reckless coaching is bad coaching

However, there are things that are certain when watching Pederson coach the Eagles. He’s reckless and unpredictable, not something that is comfortable when also dealing with a rookie quarterback. No game thus far has been coached flawlessly and games, like against the Ravens, were poor performances. Bad execution isn’t on Pederson but bad play-calling is 100 percent. Thursday night against the Giants, Pederson had Wentz block wide receiver Nelson Agholor. This is after Wentz was treated with concussion protocol earlier in the game. That type of play endangers your quarterback, especially one that Pederson went through hell and back to get.

But Pederson’s trust in Wentz and his players borderlines on too much. Yes, your players will like you because you give them 100% faith in their abilities. That will not make them better. All of his play-making decisions make him look like the Eagles will have some buyer’s remorse. What will keep him is the rapport with players. Yet he’ll need to acknowledge that Philadelphia is in the middle of the “r” word.

Philadelphia Eagles are rebuilding and that’s all right for them

Chip Kelly made some bad decisions during his time in Philadelphia. As a result, things with Pederson had to change. No one likes to hear the word “rebuild”. Especially in Philadelphia, where it ushers in whispers of bad seasons and terrible records. Yet this time, the Pederson-led team might just be bad. However, the Eagles playoff hopes are dashed. The best they can hope for is to end the season with a win against a red hot Dallas Cowboys squad. 2016 will be remembered as a rebuilding year under a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback.

There is nothing wrong with that.

Of course Eagles fans get angry when things don’t go their way. Teams that should have been easy wins garner a lot of backlash. Expectations were extremely high after drafting Wentz that talks of even making the Super Bowl swirled. No doubt that it contributed to feelings of anger and disappointment for the season. Even Doug Pederson has realized that there is a lot of work to do. Wentz has a lot of work to do. The offensive line is a disaster and anyone who say otherwise is honestly lying to themselves.

Finding solutions in a haystack

However, healing begins once a problem is recognized and a solution is found. The Eagles are bad this year. The team needs to acknowledge its faults so growth can happen. Wide receivers and running backs are not playing at the level that they are capable of doing. Nelson Agholor has dropped passes. Inexperience spreads long beyond the coach. On the other side of the ball, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has yet to make a tackle in the past few months. Getting rid of dead weight on the roster is going to be step one. That’ll be done over the off-season. Next is making sure that Doug Pederson reins in his play-making and add an element of conservative calls. Wentz needs to develop as a quarterback if he wants to be a success in Philadelphia.

These aren’t bad things but they need to be addressed. Denying that the Eagles are rebuilding is part of the problem. This season was to be expected with new pieces in place. Angry tweets and rampaging fans aren’t going to help the situation. Anger by players isn’t helpful either. It’s time to face facts and realize that the Eagles are going to need some work. That is 100 percent not a bad thing.