Eagles Insider

Can Pederson survive nightmare 2020 season?

Eagles Insider

Jeff Lurie has always been clear about what kind of offensive football team he wants.

Smart. Disciplined. Innovative. Unpredictable. Explosive. Cutting edge. 

I can only imagine what he thinks when he watches this plodding, incoherent, stumbling, confused mess.

The Eagles have become everything Lurie dreads. They’ve become the laughingstock of the NFL. They’ve become an embarrassment.

And Doug Pederson over these last 12 weeks has shown no ability to get it fixed.

Lurie sees what we see.

The same tired play calls. The same out-of-whack run-pass ratio. The same slow starts. The same struggling quarterback. The same lack of firepower. The same bizarre usage of Jalen Hurts. The same absence of deep shots. 

And we ask Pederson why the same mistakes keep happening and he just kind of shrugs and babbles about injuries and working harder and getting it fixed.

And it doesn't get fixed. It never gets fixed.

Lurie's first head coaching hire 25 years ago was a defensive coach and Lurie will never hire another one. He believes that in the modern NFL you build your franchise around an innovative offensive visionary.

So here we are with five games left, and the Eagles are 26th in the NFL in yards per game, 28th in yards per play, 27th in passing yards, 28th in offensive points per game and 28th on third down.

The one thing they're good at — running the ball — they do less than almost anybody else.

 

The thing they're terrible at — throwing the ball — they do more than almost anybody else.

If it drives us crazy, how do you think Lurie feels?

The very things he hired Pederson for — his offensive vision, his strength as a motivator, his ability to get the most out of quarterbacks — are disastrous right now.

I don’t know why Pederson has changed so much since 2017 and why he’s struggling so much to do things that used to come so easily and so naturally. We know the Eagles miss Frank Reich, but this was a playoff team and a decent offense the last two years without Reich, and now it’s a train wreck.

The Eagles are 3-7-1 and maybe they’ll win another game or two somewhere, but they’re half a game out of last place in the worst division in NFL history with a three-game losing streak and the Packers and Saints up next, and there’s no reason to believe things are going to get any better.

And when Lurie is honest with himself and takes stock of his football team in January and asks himself whether Pederson still gives the Eagles the best chance to win a Super Bowl, how do you think he’s going to answer?

How would you answer? How would anybody answer?

That’s why I just don’t think Pederson can survive this nightmare of a football season.

I get that he delivered a Lombardi Trophy to the NovaCare Complex in 2017, and that was an unforgettable run. But that was three years ago, and things move fast in the NFL, and this is a .500 team since the Super Bowl and rapidly headed in the wrong direction.

This isn’t to say it’s all Pederson's fault. Years of poor drafts have diluted the talent level. Injuries have decimated the offensive line. Carson Wentz has mysteriously lost his ability to play at a high level.

But you can’t watch this football team and not believe something has to change. Something big. 

Because the only thing more discouraging than where the Eagles are right now is where they appear to be headed.

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