After watching another awful performance from the Eagles in their 22-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns, there are an innumerable amount of questions in the heads of the fans.
As the losses have piled up, the overarching question is no longer, “What happened to the team that won the Super Bowl just three years ago?”
The question is now, “How did this team, with this coach, win the Super Bowl in the first place?”
Was Doug Pederson really such a good coach or did all of stars align for one magical season, never to return?
Is he maestro or mirage?
It has been apparent that Carson Wentz is having a terrible season. We are a long way from 2017 Wentz, and just as far away from the quarterback who put an injury-riddled team on his back to will it to the postseason just 11 months ago.
Everyone sees it. Everyone, it seems, but the head coach/offensive coordinator.
A Super Bowl-winning coach would work off that, install a run-heavy offense, and work the passing game off the run. It almost looked like Pederson had done so Sunday. On their first possession, the Eagles barreled down the field, going 70 yards on nine plays, eight of them runs. Then Miles Sanders fumbled on the doorstep.
And that’s when the commitment to the run ended. Final tally: 40 drop-backs, 25 runs. That means 39 of the final 55 plays were called runs.
A Super Bowl-winning coach would have a proper game plan ready for playing the Giants for the second time in less than a month, with two weeks to prepare.
Instead? They managed three points on four first-half drives in the rematch, crossing the 50 only once, and never really contended in a 27-17 loss.
A Super Bowl-winning coach would pick up on the fact that his quarterback tends to fare better when he’s out of the pocket. He seems more comfortable, and has more time to pick out a receiver than when he’s in the pocket.
Does Pederson design more rollouts for Wentz? No. He leaves his QB in the pocket; a sitting duck to take hit after hit. Wentz took 10 hits on his 40 drop-backs, according to the official scorebook, although I guess it was more.
A Super Bowl-winning coach would see that his future Hall of Fame left tackle Jason Peters is a swinging gate now, and has been for most of this season. Peters’ best days are in reference books and highlight DVDs.
Did Pederson pull him? Never even considered it, even as Olivier Vernon had a romp in the rain against Peters, sacking Wentz three times, including once in the end zone for the safety. Pederson took no action, even as his $137.5 million man was getting his clock cleaned.
Does Pederson not watch film? Does he watch the games as they’re happening? Does he ignore what his assistants see? What virtually every Eagles fan sees? Does he just not like Wentz and want him to fail?
What happened to the guy who pressed every correct button on the way to delivering the Eagles franchise its first Super Bowl?
Whatever the case, Pederson has done far more to destroy his reputation this season than winning Super Bowl 52 bolstered it.
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