BACK in April, in my NFC East Pre-Draft Preview, I picked the Redskins to win the East, with the Eagles as my dark horse favorite. Given our strong nucleus of veteran leadership, our win in the trenches philosophy, and youth at skill positions, we have a lot of “win now” already built-in. However, a rookie coaching staff, and a second year QB, who himself was basically a rookie, left serious questions about our upward mobility.
Still, I took proper assessment of the pieces, and predicted the Eagles to push for the NFC East crown, and they did exactly that.
We’ve so far won 9 games. None of those were against teams with a winning record. Then again, it’s been half a season since we even FACED a team with a winning record. Hell, we didn’t make the schedule. We just beat who was put on it.
Also, in all fairness, three of the first six teams that our rookie head coach faced, have played in the last two Super Bowls (KC vs SF and KC vs TB). Of those three games, two were decided by just 6 points each. So maybe a little fucking slack would be appropriate here? I dunno. Seeing things in their proper context is sort of a fetish of mine.
My favorite was the NFL website itself. You know the one. The place that sometimes allows their journalists to post a headline, which is linked to a tweet. Yeah. That place. Before the season, this was their prediction for us:
I’m petty, so I screenshot that shit. I couldn’t guarantee us winning the East, but I knew that 5 win prediction was going to age like an Olsen twin, and I wanted to be able to say:
Which I’m doing now.
We destroyed their prediction, and even exceeded their ceiling for us. Right now, you could park a car in the shadow of my smugness.
THIS is some bullshit!! Our game against the Washington Redskins (don’t bother complaining), was postponed for two days, from Sunday to Tuesday. My biggest gripe with this is pretty the same gripe that every Eagles fan has: It robs us of two days rest and prep on the back-end for the giants game next Sunday.
If we were tanking and just running down the season, it wouldn’t matter and none of us would care. However, we are trying to make a push to qualify for the playoffs. In fact, as of today it’s still mathematically possible (though highly unlikely) that we could win the division. So anything that rocks our boat, acts as a hindrance to that effort.
What makes this so heinous, is that this hindrance was a deliberate act, handed down from the league itself. Worse, is the felling that we are being punished for the Redskins irresponsibility, while they seem to be receiving a form of clemency for it.
And honestly, what is to be gained from giving Washington two more days? They didn’t start tagging players until Tuesday the 14th. The quarantine period is 10 days. Tuesday the 21st is just 7 days from the earliest diagnoses. Some players weren’t popping until Friday the 17th. That’s just FOUR days. The CDC itself says that these windows wouldn’t be wide enough.
Players need two negative tests in 48 hours to return. If they were being watched for exposure, that’s one thing, but for those INFECTED, they can’t come back on Tuesday. They still have to quarantine because they may still be shedding virus, regardless of what the tests say about their infection state. Virus can be shed over a period of 8 – 31 days.
So the Redskins get no additional benefit from the two days. At best, all it does is slow US down.
Back in the Summer, the NFL declared that teams who didn’t follow proper protocols, and had outbreaks of Covid among their players and coaches, faced possible forfeitures as a consequence. Well, the instant that was tested, that policy flew right out the window.
Understand, the NFL is currently discussing moving other games as well. So it’s entirely possible that the giants game could also be moved. However, that ripple of a short week WILL show up in the next four. Given that we’re at the low-end of a playoff push, and ALL FOUR of these games are against division opponents, this is some ultimate fuckery.
SEASON Reviews are usually done at the end of the season. A few are also done at the halfway mark. Starting in 2017, Eaglemaniacal.combegan treating the season like a game, and breaking it into four quarters.
In 2021, the NFL expanded the season to 17 games, which makes for an uneven split. So this year (at least), these Quarterly Reports will come after Weeks 5, 9, 13, and 17. (Ugh. I hate even looking at that format.)
NOTE: Due to the short week between games 5 and 6, this report was pushed back a week. The Second Quarter will pick up on time, after Week 9.
Since football is a hard sport, we’ll take a hard look at where our team currently stands, in relation to where it started. Then we can discuss where it needs to go next.
STATUS: 3 – 6 , 2nd place in the NFC East, (Points per game: +25.2/-24.2)
( L ) Las Vegas
( W ) Detroit
( L ) Los Angeles Chargers
Progress has been made on Offense. In all three of these games, Head Coach Nick Sirianni has made a solid commitment to running the ball. As a result, the Offense is more stable and sustains drives better. So the Defense actually gets time to rest now.
If only the Defense could get off the field without giving up touchdowns first.
QB: (D) Jalen Hurts hasn’t thrown an interception in three weeks, however he’s only been responsible for 3 scores (passing or running) during that same span. Part of that has been the establishment of our run game helping him out. He’s gone from attempting 34.6 passes per game in the first 6 games, to just 21.6 (65 total) over the last 3 games.
Unfortunately, his lower usage has only highlighted the flaws in his game. Being a one read QB, by default Hurts favors clear and easy passes. He takes as much as a route can pry from the defense. What he doesn’t do, is create with his eyes or his delivery. (If he ever learns to convincingly pump fake on a scramble, he’ll be a friggin Pro Bowler.)
Hurts is a very good triggerman, in terms of executing what’s laid out for him. If Chip Kelly were still the coach here, the Deshaun Watson trade rumors may not have gained any traction. However, most systems require a QB to think and decipher. Hurts is also easily punked and bullied out of attempting the sort of throws that separate franchise QB’s from Sam Bradford types.
Gardner Minshew came in and went 2/2 while playing hand-off machine, during mop-up time in Detroit.
RB: (B) Miles Sanders was hurt early in the game vs Vegas. Since then, the Eagles have been starting Boston Scott, and he has been productive as a runner. What he truly excels at however, is catching Screen passes and then getting lost in blockers. Unfortunately, he’s only been thrown 5 passes all season so far.
Promoted to the Active Roster is a guy who NEVER belonged on the Practice Squad in the first place, Mr. Jordan Howard. While it’s true that the Eagles have been good at running the ball in these last couple of weeks, the attitude of this run game is Howard. He’s not just running for yardage, he’s taking yardage when he’s out there. He enables the Eagles to impose their will.
While Kenneth Gainwell is playing about as much as he did when Sanders was healthy, but he’s not quite seeing the situations that he was. For example, he doesn’t get first quarter red zone action, and he hasn’t had a pass thrown his way in two games.
Overall though, the Eagles ground game has looked like a force to be reckoned with. Granted, these last three opponents weren’t the stiffest test, but for a team just finding the run, they can’t be ignored.
TE: ( C) Dallas Goedertput up 185 yards over these last 3 games (61.6), but it’s little more than window dressing. In those games, Goedert has played 161 downs, but drawn targets on just 18 of them (for 12 catches). Though his 18 targets represent nearly 1/3 of his QB’s 65 attempts over the same period, his 12 catches for no scores, indicates how little he’s been factoring into games.
Jack Stoll caught a 9 yard pass in the blowout over Detroit. He’s played quite a bit over these last two weeks, and with the resurgence of the run game, one has to wonder about how much of that success is due to his blocking. Converted QB Tyree Jacksonfinally got his feet wet vs the Chargers. He didn’t do much. Didn’t see a pass thrown his way. I think they just wanted him to get a look at game speed.
Despite giving the position credit for its contributions to the run game, More is expected from Goedert if he wants to show the world that he wasn’t just a well-protected back-up,
WR: (F) In these 3 games, Devonta Smith has seen 18 targets. The other four receivers have seen 14. Total.
OT: (B) The bookends of Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailataplayed three straight games for the first time this season. The result is a QB who doesn’t have to look at his line to know where people are, as he starts to pick his way through pressure. That has resulted in us surrendering an average of 1 sack per game, instead of 2. Which we did last quarter.
OG: (B) Lie and say that you miss Isaac Seumalo! Landon Dickerson despite being a rookie, seems like an improvement already. He doesn’t get ridden back into the QB on passing downs and, you don’t catch him standing around on run plays, since he’s always looking to hit someone.
Jack Driscoll has been plug-and-play all along the line, and has been decent to good (not great), when he plays. He doesn’t look like a long-term starter. What he looks like, is a guy who’ll hang with one team for 6 years, learn what’s needed in all of the roles, and deliver a reasonable facsimile of it, when called upon. Then he’ll sign a big free agent deal, full of guaranteed money to go elsewhere, where he’ll immediately look like a career back-up. Always amazes me when these guys leave their first team.
Nate “Too Big” Herbigfilled in for Driscoll vs Detroit and got to maul some Lions. Again, Nate is a solid (not great) interior force when called upon. He seems to have a little more upside than Driscoll, but it’s hard to feel they’re being judged accurately, when they’ve both been moved around so much, across two coaching staffs.
Given the losses taken at this position, it should be one of weakness, but it’s not. The best part, is, that it doesn’t have to be judged on a sliding scale, or a curve.
C: (B) Jason Kelcehas been holding the young guys together, and the errant snaps have been cut down due to the QB lining up under C more. It’s really a good look for the elder statesman, as he trots out what has to be his last race.
DE: (F) This position grabbed 4 sacks vs Detroit, and 0 in the other two games. There were 7 hits on the QB vs Detroit, and 0 in the other two games. Outside of the (then) 0 – 7 Lions, there have been no forced fumbles. There have been no fumble recoveries. This position practically doesn’t exist.
While a lot of the problem with our pass rush is tied to generously loose coverage, it’s impossible not to notice the lack of tackles for losses against the run, in any game NOT played vs the Lions. This means that these guys are just not being effective PERIOD.
Josh Sweatplayed better in past seasons on the right. So far this year, he’s been asked to play the left spot in the absence of Brandon Graham. I don’t think he has the strength for it. He doesn’t set the edge vs the run, and is too easy to re-route on his way to the passer.
DT: ( C) Opposing QB’s are getting rid of the ball too fast for this position to be effective pass rushers now. They are however, a big reason that over these three games, that we’ve allowed an average of 88.3 rushing yards per game. Particularly Fletcher Cox. They’ve also done a great job of keeping the MLB clean. It’s not worthy of a party, but it’s a building block.
OLB: (F) Genard Averyand Davion Taylor have been the starters during the last three games. Four really. Still, neither of them is making a noticeable impact out there. The coaching staff seems to want a long look at what Taylor has to offer, so he’s going to keep starting, regardless. Alex Singleton was benched after the win at Carolina, but with Taylor out there, Singleton would upgrade our tackle range and ball-skills.
MLB: (B) The Eagles outright cut Eric Wilson and elevated T.J. Edwards to the starting role. Edwards has been a key reason that rushing yards for our opponents have gone off a cliff, recently. He benefits from having two DT’s who command as much attention as they do, but to his credit, he does get off of blocks very well. As a result, he been a tackling machine.
S: (F) This position has produced 2 pass break-ups and some tackles in the last three games.
CB: (D) We are 3 – 0 this season when Darius Slay gets so much as a finger on the football. We are 0 – 5 when he doesn’t. Seems like the Defensive Coordinator should scheme him into positions where he can compete for the ball more.
Avonte Maddox was the only player at this position to show up in games without Detroit in them. Maddox snagged a pick vs Las Vegas, early in the game. Otherwise, over this span, we’re giving up a completion rate of 83 (88/106). Not factoring games named Detroit, the number is 87.5% (63/72).
LS: (B) Rick Lovato hasn’t blown any snaps, but he also has yet to make tackle on a coverage unit.
P: ( A) Arryn Siposs only had to punt 7 times in the last three games, with 2 fair caught and 3 returned for 36 yards. That’s 12 yards per return on punts averaging 45.7 yards in this period.
K: ( C) Jake Elliott has been 10/10 on extra points and 4/4 on field goals. The kickoff are alarming however. IN these three games, he’s kicked off 18 times, 8 were touchbacks, but 8 were returned for 222 yards (27.7). This has gotten worse since last quarter.
PR/KR: (F) WR Jalen Reagor has also disappeared on Special Teams. WR Quez Watkins averages 21 yards per kickoff return. Which again means, he should just take the touchbacks!
KC: (D) The kickoff coverage unit does a good job, but shouldn’t be put in a position to be tested so much. The 9.3 yard punt return average from last quarter needed to come down. And so it’s now up to 9.5 yards per return.
SINCE LAST QUARTER:
The Offensive coaching staff seems to be getting it! We’re running the ball, so drives are more stable, the Defense now gets to rest, and we only punt half as much anymore. The mission was to get the coaching staff to stop being our biggest obstacle and that’s halfway what happened.
Defensively, the timid woodland creature who coaches our Defense, still gets skittish when he sees his shadow. He’s going to have to be replaced. Don’t tell me how smart and hardworking he is, when he keeps repeating the same stupid, lazy patterns.
MISSION FOR THIS QUARTER:
Get to playing man-press. These weak zones have the Eagles allowing a completion percentage north of 75. If it continues, we will set the record for worst completion rate in NFL HISTORY.
Here’s a crazy truth: At 3 – 6, we’re still in the thick of the playoff race. While going 2 – 2 over the next 4 games would probably be good enough to keep those hopes alive, 3 – 1 would almost certainly do the trick
THANKS to the NFL deciding to send 15 out of 16 teams in each conference to the playoffs, the Eagles have a chance at the postseason this year. YAY! Everyone gets ice cream, and a trophy! Everyone’s a WINNER! Well, everyone except that one team. Shame on them, for getting left out. Next time be special. Exactly like everyone else is.
I’m kidding of course, but not about the Eagles having a chance. That part is 100% true.
However, for those who really don’t know (and are too ashamed to ask), only 7 teams per conference get a seat at the postseason table. Four division winners, and 3 Wild Cards. Current math puts the 3 – 5 Eagles just on the outside of that picture. We sit a game behind the 4 – 4 Panthers, and a tie-break behind the 49ers. So just how far-fetched, or how probable, is our chance at seeing the 2021 playoffs?
Yes Jim. Playoffs.
Our last two games vs the Raiders and Lions, have signaled that Head Coach Nick Sirianni is learning the importance of balancing his Offense. No great shakes there, but consider that the hardest part of our schedule is behind us. Then add that 7 of the remaining 9 games are either at home, or played in our backyard (NYG, NYJ, WAS).
Provided that our team can stop shooting themselves in the foot, there’s no reason that the remainder of the season (Weeks 9 – 18) can’t be really, really good for the Eagles..
Weeks 12 through 17 could be a five game win streak (NYG, NYJ, WAS, NYG, WAS). On second thought, it should be a five game win streak. Which leaves the remaining 4 games (LAC, DEN, NO, DAL) up for grabs. That said, I fully expect New Orleans head coach Sean Payton aka Elderly Frankie Muniz,
to take Sirianni to school during Week 11. (Not a bad class for a young coach to take, frankly.)
With that five game win streak, plus a 50/50 split of the other 4, our Eagles could be a 10 win team this year. Currently the #5 seed seems to belong to the 7 – 1 Rams, and #6 so far looks like the 5 – 2 Saints. The Panthers are 4 – 4 with the #7 seed. As of now.
Everyone else in the NFC has 3 wins or fewer. So 10 wins will likely end up being enough to get into the postseason. So there’s still a path to the postseason, dear friends. And now that we run the ball, and blitz out of man coverage, we’re finally on that path.
TOLD you so! In my QB of the Future article, I said, regardless of whether QB Jalen Hurtsis healthy, the Eagles will find a reason to get QB Gardner Minshewon the field, around Week 8. Well the Lions game was Week 8, wasn’t it? Did Minshew play? Yes indeedy he did! I saw this one coming from a mile out.
I figured the Eagles would jinn up some reason, but the blowout was good enough. In fact, it was the best-case scenario. Notice how the words “QB controversy” aren’t on anybody’s lips, right now? Minshew threw 2 passes, completing both for just 11 yards. Otherwise, he played hand-off machine, and didn’t even attempt anything interesting.
This isn’t me trying to create a story. Let me say this outright. Right now there isn’t a story. No one is trying to spook, or unsettle you. No one is trying trick you into click-bait, ladies.
What I’m doing, is what I told you I’d do. Over the last couple of years, I think people (me included), have forgotten just how kick-ass I am at this. So I’ve decided to make a point of reminding you of who I am, and why you should come here. So, I’m not leaving a prediction open to interpretation. When I nail it, I’m going to point it out directly.
I had plenty more to say in the ‘QB of the Future’ article, and the one that came before it Killing Off All Starting QB’s. Some of it will take seasons to unfold. Which is fine by me. Time after time, I’ve mentioned on here that I’m a patient man. I cannot be tired by waiting, because I don’t just attach myself to an idea. I invest in it. I evolve with it, if need be.
Rest assured, I don’t just seem different. I am different.
As for Gardner Minshew? Keep your eyes open. We’ll talk.
Well… I’ll talk. And if you have an opinion, you can talk back.
PHILADELPHIA beat the holy hell out of Atlanta, 32 – 6 in the season opener. It brings our Eagles to 1 – 0, and puts us in the driver’s seat for the division lead, since no one else in our division was up to the challenge put to them this week. But just how significant was our victory over the Falcons?
Atlanta is a bad team. Let’s get that out of the way, right now. Like us, they were 4 – 12 last year. In fact, they originally were two draft slots ahead of us, until we traded back from 6th to 10th. Their defense was the stuff of comedy legend. Only three teams allowed more yards than Atlanta did. Nobody allowed more passing yards.
As a result, last week’s NFL Power rankings had the Eagles ranked 25th and the Falcons 26th. In an article that the NFL put out last Monday, they had the Falcons projected win total at 6, and ours at 5. All indications had us being evenly matched teams. Except, 32 – 6 proved that we are not evenly matched.
A score like 39 – 40 indicates being evenly matched.
(Remember how dominant the Cowboys were in this one?)
But back to the Eagles! The beginning of the game saw the Eagles getting punched in the mouth, and it seemed like our Defense would get run over all day. Then our Defense rallied, holding a 1st and Goal, to a field goal. After which, we built from there. That’s character. Which has nothing to do with how good the Falcons are or aren’t, but has everything to do who the Eagles are.
Despite all the media pundits putting rookie TE Kyle Pitts in the Hall Of Fame, prior to even playing a game, he was held in check with a small Nickelback in Avonte Maddox. Atlanta was held to 0/2 in the red zone. Meanwhile our execution had us 3 for 3.
This was all done with a rookie head coach, and most impressively, no turnovers. We committed none, and we got none, and still we blew a team out. We put up a 26 point differential, without taking the ball away ONCE. Did you know, there are teams out there who can’t win a game, even if they get spotted FOUR turnovers. It’s true!
“It was just the Falcons.” Sure, if you’re an idiot. For those who aren’t idiots, this game wasn’t about the opponent. It was about the Eagles. The Eagles didn’t squeak by the Falcons. They did what you’d expect a playoff team to do to a bad team. They wiped the FLOOR with them. The Eagles got punched in the mouth 0 – 3, took the lead 7 – 3 on rookie WR Devonta Smith‘s TD grab, and from there never looked back.
How meaningful was this win? That question isn’t determined by who is, or who isn’t across the line from us. It’s about who we ourselves are striving to be, regardless of who opposes us, or doesn’t believe in us. It’s about being good enough, because we continuously make damned sure, that we are. Don’t let anyone obscure that for you. Not regarding this football game, or in your day to day lives.
And only an idiot wouldn’t see the meaning, in that.
THIS is Monday, September 6th 2021, and this article will probably seem crazy to you.
While everyone else was yelling and weighing-in on the trade for QB Gardner Minshew, I shut up. What I did was sit back, observe, and consider.
This article marks my first official statement on the trade, or on what Minshew being an Eagle truly heralds. This article is not about this season, but about the future. The long game.
Never lose sight of the long game.
Early in June, I wrote that the NFL is Killing Off All Starting QB’s. I told you that the NFL is changing the concept of the every game starter. I got into the reasons why this is happening, and why it is happening, specifically now.
While it may have seemed far-fetched when I wrote about it in June, if you caught last week’s final preseason game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers, you were treated to more of the Wentz/Hurts, Brees/Hill style of platooning QB’s, that I mentioned in the ‘Killing’ article.
While working on this article, I saw Saturday, that NFL reporter Bucky Brooks put out an article recommending that the 49ers utilize the two QB approach. Figuring that he’d covered it, I almost put this article in my ‘Unpublished Articles’ folder. However, after reading Brooks, I saw that he left it at just the 9ers, andhadn’t really broached the broader subject.
Brook’s article (and even the original draft of this one), mentions the 49ers head coach saying “I don’t need to announce the quarterback, I don’t think I need to announce the starting punt returner, either, but I bet you guys could figure it out,“.
Clearly, the coach was having fun at the media’s expense, but since when was a head coach ever coy about such a thing, two weeks before the season opener? Especially after subbing his QB’s in and out, like a wresting tag team. This is different, folks! Don’t get caught missing the action, while staring directly at it. Don’t let NFL GM’s brag about how they snake charmed us.
Getting back to the Eagles, many people (fans and pundits alike), are speculating that the Minshew trade is about having an insurance policy for QB Jalen Hurts, or having someone to push him. Neither is true. Minshew will play this year. Not just that, but even if Hurts is still healthy by Week 8 or so, you’ll still see Minshew take a few snaps. At least.
Expect to hear (or read) some kooky nonsense about how the coaching staff has “different packages” they want to run for Minshew. As if he has a physical trait or ability that Hurts doesn’t, which the staff desperately needs to get out on the field. It will be utter nonsense. Just enough babble to excite the kind of fan who reads Dave Spadaro, unironically.
In the “Killing” article, I went into why NFL franchises need the two QB system to control their costs. In this article, I’ll add that franchises also need the two QB system, as a means of increasing revenue. The central idea here, is that more games, equals more money. But first, “relics” like Aaaron Rodgers have to be phased out.
The NFL can’t ask television networks for substantially more money, without offering a substantial increase in their product, or finding some other value added aspect. That’s just Sales 101. This is easily solvable by adding more games, which the NFL is eager to do.
We all know that NFL has long had it’s eye on international expansion. (More games.) They’ve also been in talks with the Player’s Association over the years, to find ways to lengthen the regular season. (More games.) Right now were seeing the league attempt to lengthen the regular season, by undercutting the preseason. (And so far the results are ugly.)
Teams can’t play a 20 – 21 game regular season with just one starting QB. The Human body can only take so much punishment. The two QB move, is a move that the NFL has to make, if they want to grow the league. So the NFL has to transition you to being okay with a two QB system. Whether your team runs it or not, is immaterial. The NFL just has to normalize the idea.
Again, this is Monday, September 6th 2021, and this article probably sounded crazy to you. That’s okay. I just wanted to get it on record, that this was another time when I was out, waaay ahead of the curve. While a couple of my “I told you so” articles have been open to interpretation, the one that I will write about this one, won’t be.
New categories include an EXCLUSIVE weekly Offensive Line Report (Rushing TD’s + 3rdand 4thdowns converted of 2 yards or less – Sacks allowed); as well as Drive Killer(Int – FR – 4th down Tackles – FF – TD).
Passing: (S) QB Joe Flacco – (13/16 – 81.2 – 188 – 2 – 0)
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these Four Thingsarticles. It’s to point out what we need to address BEFORE the game. Then AFTER the game, there’s a no-bullshit assessment of whether or not the Eagles did any of what they needed to do, to ensure the win.
So how much of what I mentioned in Four Things: Jets did the Eagles actually get around to doing? Well let’s see:
1) Coach for the Win: Instead of trying to guide his starters to a form of victory to get the taste of a win in their mouths, head coach Nick Sirianni decided to continue to evaluate his bench. Maybe that will pay off, if we get hammered with another injury bug. (Not Done)
2) Play the Starters for a Half: Nope! The starters didn’t even wear jerseys without pads. They were on the sidelines in black t-shirts, like Batman henchmen. (Not Done)
3) Death Row Just Watches: Plenty of guys who are going to be cut, stole reps from guys that we may need to contribute if injuries become an issue. This may be viewed as me over-reacting after a third preseason game, but you can’t fake the adrenalin of a real game. Families, friends, and old coaches don’t tune into joint practices. Sirianni had a chance to give that to high level back-ups, and he blew it. (Not Done)
4) Shuffle the Ends: We got the same thing served to us as the last two games. We saw a lot of DE’s Matt Leo and Tarron Jackson. We saw little outside pass rush, and nearly zero run contain. Asking to see OLB’s Genard Avery and Patrick Johnsonget reps at DE remained an ungranted wish. (Not Done)
Again, that’s 0 for 4. Two straight weeks of goose egg, and 2 of 12 this preseason. The result being zero wins. Two weeks from now, I wonder if the Starters will get to play Week One; or if Sirianni will elect to save them for the playoffs. Rock, paper, motherfu-
On The Whole:
Some will see our 31 – 31 tie, and mention this silver lining. We put our bench out against many of the Jets starters, and we didn’t lose. The problem with that is, we got up 24 – 10 and then fell apart 7 – 21, to finish the second half. Not rolling out our best stuff is one thing. Being out-hustled on Special Teams, run over on Defense, and uninspired on Offense, is quite another.
At this stage I have no idea where any spirit of competition is supposed to come from. The Starters know that they’re sacred cows, because the back-ups hardly showed anything, across three straight weeks. In fact, the only player looking over his shoulder at this point, might be QBJalen Hurts. Is he the starter yet? I’m kidding! I’m KIDDING! It’s not like the Eagles are going to go out and trade for QB Gardner Minshew. (sigh)
CENSORSHIP is running amok on Facebook. This is mostly an overcompensation for all the illegal stuff that FB was rumored to be letting Russian hackers (cough cough, government agents) get away with, prior to the 2016 Presidential election.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had his ass hauled in front of Congress, and now the social media platform is taking down anything that can be misconstrued as bullying, or spreading false information. They’re even going so far as to take down memes and posts from 2017 and earlier. As a result, lots of the funniest shit that you and I ever posted, is coming down.
Since I hate that, I decided to create a running page of rude, sexualized, sometimes blatantly offensive memes, just because I think there should be a place where we ADULTS, can still be treated as such.
TRADING TE Zach Ertz is stupid. Let me get that on the record right now. I don’t want anybody saying later this season, that I was ever unclear in my language about the move. Trading him, cutting him, doesn’t matter. Ertz being removed from this roster, this year is unwise. Some will argue that 12M$ is too much to spend on an aging player, with diminishing skills.
Okay. Let’s look at that.
His 12M$ cap hit is a large one. That said, the Front Office has already found a way to fit it under our 2021 salary cap. In fact, according to Over The Cap the Eagles are currently 6.4M$ under the cap. So affording Ertz has already been done. That means we can stop trying to make this about money. How about age?
Ertz turns 31 in November. While that is an advanced age for this position, it’s not ancient or even the most advanced age. Current TE’s Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and Kyle Rudolph are all older than Ertz, (and most Eagles fans would be happy to add any of those).
People bring up age, because they want to either infer, or say outright, that older players will be less durable, miss more games, and thus be less reliable. Last season at age 30, Ertz missed 5 games, due to injury. It was the first time he ever played in fewer than 14 games in a season.
Before suggesting that the misses are tied to Ertz’s age, consider the following: Back-up TE Dallas Goedert, whom the Front Office (and fans) expect to replace Ertz, also missed 5 games with injury. Goedert is 26 years old. Injuries, not age, determines injuries. So quit letting yourself be told, that one means the other.
Well what about Ertz’s diminishing skills? What diminishing skills? Based off of what, the 2020 season?? You go and point out even one, just one, Eagles starter who didn’t take a step backwards in 2020.
Don’t say RB Miles Sanders. He ran for more yards, but his receiving production took a nose dive, and his yards from scrimmage were dramatically down in 2020. Yes, WR Travis Fulgham emerged, but A) He wasn’t a 2019 Eagles starter, and B) He faded badly, down 2020’s stretch. A pandemic of bad offense infected the whole roster. Including Goedert. Including Ertz.
Finally, what on Earth would we be replacing him with? Aside from Ertz and Goedert, the Eagles have five TE’s on the roster. Only one has ever caught a ball in an actual NFL game. One is converting from WR. Another one is converting from QB.
TE Caleb Wilson shows a little promise, and Jason Croom would be a decent #3, but the step down at TE would be huge, if Ertz goes in 2021.
Then again, Head Coach Nick Sirianni isn’t Doug Pederson. He may not like using 12 Personnel (1RB, 2TE), as much as the guy who won a Super Bowl with it, while playing 32 year old TE Brent Celekfor a third of the offensive snaps. (Hey! Isn’t 32 older than 31?)
If Sirianni is looking to feature a Slot WR more, then he won’t be using two TE’s very much, and won’t need to have two good ones. That doesn’t help us with talented depth for red zone situations, or insurance vs injury, but you can’t have it all right?
Except right now, we still have Ertz, and his presence is a luxury. Moving him now would be stupid. Just stupid.