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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 25: Head coach Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles watch a field goal attempt during the second quarter against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on December 25, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

If you were told before the season the Eagles would go 12-5, you would be happy with that. With their schedule, that felt like a realistic goal. But the missing context there is how they have gotten to 5 losses. Their performance this season is so much worse than their record implies. The defense is completely ineffectual, and the offense has taken a massive step back. The only part of this time that works the way it should is the Special Teams. They got away with it through the first 11 weeks, but then everything imploded, leading to a 1-4 record over their last 5 games.

They will still be in the playoffs, but unless some lower seeds like the Rams or Seahawks go on a run, the road back to the Super Bowl is going to go through the road. And to be honest, home or away, it would be hard to have any confidence in them winning a playoff game right now. When you can’t force the Cardinals to punt a single time, how exactly are you going to play a team with a winning record and come away with a win?

This team feels broken. There are whispers of locker room issues. Players are visibly frustrated. The coaches are feeding us the same nonsense of having to do a better job every week. It has gotten so bad that talks of Nick Sirianni being on the hot seat have cropped up. Something you would never expect in the season after they went to the Super Bowl.

Things are bleak. But who is to blame? Is it the coaches? The players? The GM? Let’s go through some of the prime suspects, and assess their guilt in this awful collapse.

Here are the people most to blame for this Eagles collapse:

  • Nick Sirianni

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 31: Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni calls a play during the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field on December 31, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    The head coach will always take the brunt of the blame when things go wrong. And Nick Sirianni has certainly played a big part in this collapse. His offense has gone stale. It is still technically productive. But last year they were building up big leads, and then taking their foot off the gas. That has not been the case for most of this year. The offense has become more mistake-prone, and less explosive.

    The problem is that he is making things harder than they have to be. Watch a 49ers or Dolphins game and see how often they scheme their WRs open. Then watch the Eagles. If one of their WRs are wide open, it is because Smith or Brown just beat their guy. Jalen Hurts more than any other top QB is being asked to throw into tight windows. That is on the coaching.

    Add in all the locker room issues, and Nick Sirianni doesn’t come out of this season looking too good. Will he lose his job? Probably not yet. But there are a lot more questions about him than there were before the season.

  • Howie Roseman

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 05: General Manager Howie Roseman of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 28-23 at Lincoln Financial Field on November 05, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    Howie put together a great roster on offense, that is being wasted. But what he failed to do this offseason was adequately replace the 5 starters he lost on defense. Drafting Jalen Carter to replace Javon Hargrave was a good move. But as we are seeing now, relying on rookies, no matter how talented they are, is risky. Carter has waned throughout the season, as many rookies tend to do. And he and Jordan Davis (not a rookie but didn’t play many snaps last year) hit that wall and the defense completely fell off.

    To make it even worse, he didn’t even get much talent in to replace TJ Edwards, Kyzir White, CJ Gardner Johnson, and Marcus Epps. They relied on Nakobe Dean and Reed Blankenship, two guys with little NFL experience, and then filled the rest in with castoffs from other teams. Howie has done a great job as GM over the years. But one major flaw he still has is how little value he places on Linebacker and Safety, and it caught up to them big time this year.

  • Jalen Hurts

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 31: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the ball against Dennis Gardeck #45 of the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 31, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    I think Hurts is taking more heat than he deserves. Has he been as good as he was last year? No. But overall he is still having a very good season. But that doesn’t mean he is blameless. Hurts has become too mistake-prone. His interceptions are way up after he protected the ball well last year. And there is also the issue of him being less patient in the pocket. 

    We know he is capable of being a pocket QB. He had the best pocket QB Rating in the NFL last season. But this year it feels like too often we see him roll out rather than step up, even if he has time. It may be because he feels the need to play more hero ball. But what the Eagles need is the calm cool collected guy we saw in 2022. That guy was an MVP. Coaching needs to help him out too, but some of it is just on Hurts getting back to the great mechanics he had last season. 

  • Brian Johnson

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 22: Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson looks on prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Lincoln Financial Field on October 22, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    Public enemy number 1 in Philly. Johnson takes the brunt of the blame for the offense taking a step back. The logic is that he is the only major difference, so clearly he is the problem. I don’t quite buy it. He has not done a good job, but this is Nick Sirianni’s offense. And the problem is not just the play calling, it is the scheme itself. It is too predictable. We have heard and seen it every week where defenses are just ready for whatever the play will be.  

    How many WR screens get blown up right away? How often does the QB draw get immediately met with a defender? Thats not just on the play calling, it is the whole scheme being stale and predictable. Brian Johnson has done a bad job, but Sirianni is the bigger problem right now on the offense.  

  • Matt Patricia/ Sean Desai

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 18: Philadelphia Eagles coach Matt Patricia looks on before a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on December 18, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.

    (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    They changed Defensive Coordinators, and things got worse. That tells you a few things. one that neither guy is doing a good job, but also that the issue is bigger than just the scheme. As we already said when talking about Howie, this defense is not talented enough. There is talent on the D-Line, and that is it. And even those guys have hit a wall.

    It is hard to run any scheme well when you have next to no one in the secondary or at linebacker to rely on. The best scheme in the world can be blown up by your Cornerback getting burnt. And the Eagles are too slow at corner. That is what happens when both of your starting corners are over 30. We all liked bringing James Bradberry back at the time. But maybe they would be better off if he left, and they were forced to get younger.

    Patricia and Desai did not do a good job. But I have a hard time throwing them too far under the bus when they were not given much to work with. With that said, they do need a better coordinator for next season.

  • The Rest of The Players

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 31: Julio Jones #80 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates a touchdown catch during the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field on December 31, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    Can you blame a player for being bad, when they are being put in a spot they have no business being in? If a great player plays poorly, it is on the player. So those weeks were AJ Brown was a non-factor, are at least partially on him. The same goes for Hurts, and the Vets along this D-Line. But should I be upset at Nicholas Morrow for how bad he played against the 49ers, or should I be mad at the people who thought Morrow was an adequate option at LB to begin with? 

    The Players definitely deserve a lot of the blame, but as we have already talked about, some of them just aren’t good enough period. Shaq Leonard is not a starting linebacker anymore. Injuries and age caught up to him. That is not his fault. It is the Eagles’ fault for being so thin at LB they needed to rely on a desperation move like signing him to begin with.  

    When Hurts throws an interception, or somebody misses a tackle, that is on the player. But they aren’t being helped by the scheme, or the roster construction.  

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