Too much going on to wait until Sunday, so here's a special Tuesday bonus edition of Roob's 10 random Eagles observations!
Including a conspiracy theory about Jason Peters, thoughts on Doug Pederson's future and a crazy Rich Kotite vs. Pederson stat.
1. The only thing more disturbing than Pederson insisting on playing Alshon Jeffery ahead of the Eagles’ promising young receivers is this part of his explanation: “He's a part of what we've done and the success we've had here.”
Seriously? Who cares what he was a part of three years ago? Because he had an incredible TD catch in the Super Bowl, you’re still running him out there at the expense of John Hightower or Quez Watkins when he’s no longer capable of contributing? Why not bring back LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood and Corey Graham while you’re at it.
2. Something monumental happened Sunday. With the Eagles’ loss, Pederson’s career W-L record fell to 41-32-1 and his winning percentage dropped from .569 to .561. Why is that significant? Because Kotite in his four years went 36-28, which is a .563 winning percentage. So … yeah. Kotite now has a higher winning percentage as head coach of the Eagles than Pederson.
3. I’m not going to say the Eagles’ offensive line has been good. It hasn’t. But I would say at least 30 percent of the sacks have been on Carson Wentz standing there, not sensing the pressure, lacking pocket presence, holding the ball too long, not seeing the field and finally getting clobbered.
4. If this season continues to go off the rails — let's say something like 5-10-1 — it's going to be fascinating to see what changes Jeff Lurie makes because Lurie is not one to watch his team plummet to the depths of the NFL and sit idly by and not do anything. He never has. The Eagles have won five or fewer games only three times in his 26 years as owner — 1998, 1999 and 2012. He fired Ray Rhodes after a 3-13 season in 1998 and replaced him with Andy Reid, who he fired after a 4-12 season in 2012.
How much time does winning a Super Bowl in 2017 buy Pederson now? Maybe another year. But Super Bowl LII was three years ago, and the franchise has trended downward each year, and if Lurie studies this season and doesn't see a reason for hope in 2021 and doesn't see improvement in the quarterback, I really believe there's a good chance he'll make a coaching change in January.
5. What happens with Howie Roseman? I think it's much less likely but not out of the realm of possibility that he has his responsibilities shifted. But what's interesting is that assuming the Eagles don't win this watered-down NFC East — and they won't — they're going to have a fairly high draft pick. Top 10 and conceivably top five or six. That's a huge pick for this team. Franchise-altering. This doesn't happen often.
The Eagles have had only two top-10 picks in the last 20 years — Lane Johnson in 2013 and Wentz in 2016. Does Lurie want the guy that drafted J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Sidney Jones, Andre Dillard and Jalen Hurts making such a monumental pick? Maybe not?
6. Frank Reich is a brilliant offensive mind, no doubt about it, and a heck of a head coach. That said, the notion that his departure is directly related to Wentz’s decline doesn't add up. Wentz when he was healthy in 2018 and 2019 threw 48 TDs and 14 INTs, completed 66 percent of his passes and had a passer rating of 96.7 — ninth highest in the league over that two-year span. That was without Reich. With Pederson. Do the Eagles miss Reich? Sure. Is that why Wentz is struggling so badly? Nah.
7. I like Avonte Maddox’s toughness and aggressiveness, and I think he's decent in the slot. The reality is, he’s not a starting outside corner, and I would put CB2 at or near the top of the Eagles’ offseason wish list.
8. If Alex Singleton loses one snap when Nate Gerry returns, there needs to be a Congressional inquiry.
9. Sunday’s loss guaranteed that the Eagles will go a third straight year without 10 wins, something they haven’t done since 1997 through 1999 and hadn’t done under the same head coach since 1983 through 1985 under Marion Campbell.
10. OK, who’s up for a good conspiracy theory? Have been trying to come up with some sort of rational reason the Eagles are refusing to replace a washed-up Peters with promising, 23-year-old Jordan Mailata, since anybody who’s watched the two of them can plainly see that Peters is just about out of gas and Mailata is an impressive young tackle with loads of upside who needs all the reps he can get.
Here's my theory: The Eagles want Dillard to be their left tackle moving forward, since he was a first-round pick and they're financially committed to him. And they’re afraid that if Mailata plays really well these last six games, it will make it difficult for them to justify starting Dillard next year over Mailata.
Hey, I told you it was a conspiracy theory. I don't know how else you explain such a misguided decision.
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