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CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Shane Steichen of the Indianapolis Colts reacts during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on December 10, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Eagles had a very hectic offseason. They brought in a lot of new faces, but they lost even more. 5 defensive starters, 2 offensive starters, and both of their coordinators. We hoped the Eagles were good enough to overcome losing that many players and coaches. It would seem they are not though.

They started out 10-1 and looked on track to get back to where they were last season. But even while they were winning, something was a bit off. They weren’t dominating the way they were in 2022. Cracks were starting to form in their defense. We ignored it because they were winning. They even had some wins over very good teams. But eventually, their luck ran out, and things imploded.

Since they beat the Bills, they are 1-4. The 49ers blew them out. Then the Cowboys blew them out. The Seahawks beat them on a late TD over the head of James Bradberry. And then finally, the Cardinals embarrassed their defense and came back late. It dropped them from the 1 seed, down to the 5 seed. The Eagles still do have some life. Their early success was enough to secure them a playoff spot, even if their playoff journey will take place on the road. But something is clearly off compared to what they were doing last year. And it has people wondering if maybe they kept the wrong people, or are missing the people they let go.

Would they be better off if they still had CJ Gardner Johnson? Or Javon Hargrave? TJ Edwards? Is the loss of both their coordinators taking its toll? Which of those 9 players and coaches they lost are they missing the most? We went through all 9 and ranked them by how much the Eagles are missing them.

Here is which offseason losses hurt the Eagles the most:

  • 9th) Miles Sanders

    CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 19: Miles Sanders #6 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball during the third quarter in the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    (Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images)

    This is one loss they are definitely not missing. Not just because D’Andre Swift has come in and played well, but because Sanders has been a no-show in Carolina. To be fair to Miles, that whole team has been a mess, and their O-line is awful. But even with that context, it’s clear Sanders was overachieving here. And Chubba Hubbard has been more productive behind the same line.  He is a solid RB, that was buoyed by an elite O-Line. This season he averages just 3.3 yards per carry. All 4 Eagles RBs, even Penny with his 5 carries, average more yards per rush than him. Letting Sanders walk was the right choice.

    And by the way, this same logic applies to Swift too. He has been productive this year. But lots of RBs could be. They have enough work to do this offseason, paying Swift will not be a priority.

  • 8th) Isaac Seumalo

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Isaac Seumalo #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against the New York Giants during the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    This has nothing to do with Seumalo as a player. He is as solid as ever with the Steelers. But the Eagles O-Line hasn’t missed a beat with Cam Jurgens in there. Cam has missed some time here and there, but he has been very solid when he plays. And moving on from him, to get a bit cheaper, helped them make changes elsewhere.

  • 7th) Jonathan Gannon

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 31: Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon walks onto the field before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 31, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    Sean Desai and Matt Patricia have not done a good job ad DC for the Eagles. But Gannon wasn’t good at the job either. Losing him is not why the Eagles have taken a massive step back on D. It is because of all the good players they are missing on defense. If Gannon was the Eagles DC, they would still be in trouble. Gannon was exposed as a bad DC in the Super Bowl. He was helped out big time buy how talented the Eagles defense was last season.

  • 6th) Kyzir White

    GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 24: Kyzir White #7 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates an interception with teammates during the fourth quarter of a game against the Dallas Cowboys  at State Farm Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.

    (Photo by Mike Christy/Getty Images)

    Was Kyzir White a star linebacker? No. But he was at the very least passable. You could put him in your starting lineup and be content he would not get picked on all game long. Were he still here, he would probably be their best LB. And while that says more about the linebackers they have, than it does about him, it doesn’t change the fact that this would be a better defense if he was still here.

  • 5th) Marcus Epps

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 14: Safeties Isaiah Pola-Mao #20 and Marcus Epps #1 and linebacker Robert Spillane #41 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrate after Epps forced a fumble by running back Joshua Kelley #25 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter of their game at Allegiant Stadium on December 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 63-21.

    (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    Like with White, Epps is not some super star that made a massive difference last year with the Eagles. But he was a solid dependable Safety. And it was rare to see him getting beat badly. That is not the case this year for the Eagles at Safety. Reed Blankenship has upside, and we have seen him flash it. But we have also seen a few too many mistakes from him. And maybe those mistakes would be easier to stomach if they had Epps lined up next to him.

  • 4th) Shane Steichen

    CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Shane Steichen of the Indianapolis Colts reacts during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on December 10, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    Play calling is not fully the issue on defense, but you can make the argument it is the biggest problem on offense. Now I would say Brian Johnson takes too much heat, and that Nick Sirianni is more to blame for the Eagles offense being a bit stale. But this is pretty much the same offense they had last year, and the biggest difference is no Steichen. So it is hard not to wonder what they would look like if he was still here. He has the Colts offense over performing expectations, even with Gardner Minshew at QB. And maybe his presence helped balance Sirianni’s worst habits on offense.

  • 3rd) Javon Hargrave

    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 12: Javon Hargrave #98 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates a sack against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at EverBank Field on November 12, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida.

    (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

    On paper, the Eagles got the perfect Javon Hargrave replacement, Jalen Carter. And for the first half of the season, Carter was playing like it. But now we see the perils of banking on a rookie. Carter has hit the rookie wall. And without his production, the Eagles D-Line has completely fallen off. Over his career, Carter will be a great replacement for Hargrave, and might even be better. But this year they are missing Hargrave. Having another great pass rusher inside would make the world of difference for them right now.

  • 2nd) CJ Gardner Johnson

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN - SEPTEMBER 17: C.J. Gardner-Johnson #2 of the Detroit Lions reacts after a play during the first quarter in the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field on September 17, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan.

    (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

    Last year the Eagles were a takeaway machine, and leading the way on that was CJ Gardner Johnson. This year they are near the bottom of the league in that category. And Safety has been one of their biggest issues as teams picked them apart across the middle of the field.  I will give the Eagles credit, and say that losing CJ, was way more on CJ than it was on the Eagles. They easily would have given him what the Lions gave him. But the Eagles took their time in the off season as they tried to reshape their secondary, and CJ got awful advice by his now former agent. Regardless of who’s fault it is though that he is no longer here, they dearly miss his ability to impact the game out of the secondary.

  • 1st) TJ Edwards

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 22: T.J. Edwards #53 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after a play during the first quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Soldier Field on October 22, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.

    (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    And without a doubt the guy they are missing the most this year is TJ Edwards. I don’t think we understood how good he was until he started playing for the Bears, and we realized what it looks like when you have terrible LB play. It seems like Edwards was set on going home to Chicago, and they paid him very well. But if they had found a way to keep him in Philly, the Eagles defense would look very different this season. TJ was great at not only dropping back in coverage, but he could defend the run to both sides of the field. Linebacker has been a complete mess this season. It is the primary reason why this defense is this bad. And if they had TJ, this would go from a bad defense, to perhaps even a good one.

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