Eagles

Eagles

When Doug Pederson told his team, "It's on me," after the Eagles' latest loss Sunday night, he was dead right.
 
Just about every issue the Eagles are facing right now is a direct reflection of the head coach. You're a genius one year and you're clueless the next year, and that's the nature of the NFL.
 
Everything Pederson did last year worked. Every move, every call, every decision.
 
It was a magical season, and whatever happens this year shouldn't take away from that. It wasn't a fluke and it wasn't happenstance and it wasn't luck. The Eagles earned that championship, and Doug was the biggest reason there was a parade up Broad Street.
 
So far this year, no sign of that magic, and it's fair to say as brilliant as Doug was last year, his coaching has been largely questionable this year. And is a big reason the Eagles are in the mess they're in.
 
• The Eagles have scored just three first-half touchdowns in five games and have been outscored by 20 points in the first half, which is a direct reflection of a team that's unprepared when games begin. That's on Doug.
 
• The offense has lacked balance, especially the last couple weeks, which has left Carson Wentz a sitting duck in the pocket. In the Eagles' three losses, Doug has called 149 pass plays and 52 runs. Most of the time, those games were close. That's on Doug.
 
• The Eagles are the third-most penalized team in the NFL with 43 — more than 8½ per game. They're allowing 79 penalty yards per game. Some have been bad calls. Some have been unavoidable. Most have simply been mental errors and a lack of discipline. You're not going to win games giving the other team 79 free yards per game. That's on Doug.
 
• The Eagles, best in the league in the red zone last year, are 18th this year, scoring touchdowns on just 53 percent of their red-zone drives. They're 23rd on third down after finishing eighth last year. That's play-calling and gameplan, and that was Doug's strength last year. That's on Doug.
 
• The Eagles have allowed 17 sacks, seventh-most in the league. They've allowed 12 the last four games, their worst four-game stretch since 2012. Part of that is on Wentz, who's been holding onto the ball too long, and a big part is on the linemen and backs. But pass pressure has been a problem for a month now, and we haven't seen Pederson adjust in terms of play-calling, having Carson get rid of the ball faster, mixing in the running game more to keep defenses off-balance or just finding ways to get the offense into a rhythm where he's not getting sacked. That's on Doug.
 
• Some of Doug's decision-making at key moments has just been terrible. Like that Jay Ajayi run deep in the red zone with one timeout left just before halftime against the Titans, which essentially guaranteed that the Eagles wouldn't score a touchdown. Or that inexplicable challenge of an obvious Stefon Diggs sideline catch Sunday. Or benching a mediocre Stefen Wisniewski for an overmatched Isaac Seumalo. That's all on Doug.
 
Pederson isn't the one dropping passes and giving up sacks and missing tackles and lining up in the wrong place. This isn't to absolve the 53 guys on the roster, who have yet to play a complete game on both sides of the football.
 
But when a football team is undisciplined, mistake-prone and unprepared, that's a direct reflection of the head coach and his staff.
 
Doug deserved every bit of credit he got for the 2017 Super Bowl run, and he deserves a huge chunk of the blame now for a team that's lost three of its last four games, all in frustrating, agonizing fashion.

Doug got the Eagles into this. It's up to him to get them out.

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