The Eagles have reached their bye week with a 4-4 record, which is disappointing, but they got there with a big win over the Jaguars in London.
This season hasn’t exactly gone to plan after winning the Super Bowl in February, but not everything goes the way we expect.
Here are the five Eagles who have been the biggest disappointments through the first eight games.
(You can find the five biggest pleasant surprises here.)
In a contract year, Graham isn’t having the same impact as he did a year ago. It’s fair to wonder how much that offseason ankle surgery is affecting his play. But through eight games, Graham has just 1 1/2 sacks and hasn’t been nearly as disruptive as he was last season, when he had a career year. This is a bad time for Graham to struggle. He’s a 30-year-old defensive end in a contract year.
This one might not be all on Gibson; the coaching staff might deserve some blame here. The Eagles have been in desperate need of a field-stretching deep threat and Gibson still can’t get on the field. He played 35 snaps in Week 2 and hasn’t played double digits since then. Even after he caught a 48-yard pass against the Vikings, he’s played just eight snaps in the three games since. The coaching staff is misusing him or he hasn’t earned playing time. Either way, it’s not good.
Before the season, if I would have told you Jay Ajayi was out for the season, Darren Sproles hasn’t played since Week 1 and Clement was healthy, you would have expected to see No. 30 on the field a whole lot. But it hasn’t happened. Smallwood has overtaken him on the depth chart and Clement’s snaps have suffered. Even when he’s out there, Clement hasn’t been great. He’s averaging just 3.3 yards per carry (50 carries for 167 yards). In the modern era, just two Eagles have had a lower yards-per-carry rate through eight games (minimum 30 carries): Ricky Watters in 1997 and Heath Sherman in 1991.
In the red zone, Mills has been really good. If NFL games were only in the red zone, Mills would be a Pro Bowler. I don’t want to take that away from him. But he’s been a liability in the rest of the field. Mills has given up way too many big plays this season. It’s been a problem for the defense as a whole and Mills is a big part of that.
Maybe we were all silly for assuming a 36-year-old left tackle coming off an ACL injury would be able to hold up. He hasn’t. While Peters hasn’t been as bad as you think when he’s on the field, he simply isn’t dependable this season. The future Hall of Famer has played every offensive snap just twice in eight games. He has suffered a quad injury and is now playing with a partially torn biceps, so it’s understandable why his play has dropped off. It just doesn’t make it any easier.
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