Jason Peters is a 38-year-old left tackle who obviously isn’t going to be a part of the Eagles’ future. He’s coming off what might have been the worst performance of his lengthy career, a performance that was mercifully cut short when he suffered some sort of minor injury that took him out of the game.
And the Eagles still won’t bench him.
Of course they won’t. As I wrote immediately after the Eagles’ 22-17 loss to the Browns, the Eagles have a loyalty problem.
“Yeah, he’s our left tackle moving forward,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said on Monday afternoon.
“Look, there were a lot of things that, several things that stood out after watching the film at a number of positions. Not just one specific spot or aspect of the game offensively. It’s something that, and you’ve heard me say this before, there’s enough to go around. O-line, running backs, tight ends, the quarterbacks, the receivers, a lot of work still needs to be done. But we can get it done.”
Pederson was specifically about Peters’ performance and he never specifically talked about it. Because, really, what could he say?
Peters was awful on Sunday. It’s actually hard to watch an all-time great struggle like this. There was a point in his career when Peters was playing left tackle at a higher level than anyone in the world but he doesn’t look anything like that guy. He doesn’t even look like the serviceable player from 2019 anymore.
Against the Browns, according to ProFootballFocus, Peters gave up 3 sacks, 3 QB hits and 7 pressures. PFF gave him an overall offensive grade of 41.0, which is the lowest grade he has ever received from them in his career.
In six games this season, Peters has already given up six sacks after giving up just three in each of the last two seasons. According to PFF, this is grading out as Peters’ worst season ever.
Meanwhile, the Eagles have 23-year-old Jordan Mailata as a backup. Lane Johnson left the Browns game with a shoulder injury so perhaps the Eagles will have a built-in excuse to put Mailata at right tackle against the Seahawks. But after watching Peters get roasted by Olivier Vernon on Sunday, I don’t know how the Eagles can continue to play him at left tackle.
If the original thought process was that you’d need to play Peters because he’s slightly better than Mailata and you have to do everything you can to protect a struggling quarterback who has already been hit too many times, sure, I kinda get it. But after watching Sunday, you can’t convince me Wentz is any safer with Peters protecting his blindside than Mailata. And the Eagles are 3-6-1, so let’s see the guy with some promise.
Even if Johnson can’t play next Monday night, I’d play Jack Driscoll at right tackle and Jordan Mailata at left. I’d put Peters on the bench or back at right guard, where he was during training camp.
In hindsight, the Eagles made a mistake by giving Peters a pay bump to slide to left tackle but they can’t keep compounding that mistake.
Peters is an all-time great Eagle and trading for him was one of the best moves in franchise history. This is a guy who should one day get enshrined in Canton. No doubt about it. But the guy who played at that level is long gone.
What’s left is a shell of a once-great player. And for whatever reason, Pederson just won’t pull the plug.
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