Ethan Shander. Can the Eagles get their mojo again?


What the hell occurred?

I keep in mind when the Philadelphia Eagles gained the primary two months of the season, man was it a good time.

Abruptly it was gone.

It solely took three straight losses — sure, three — for the Eagles to crumble. They misplaced their chief in Jalen Hurts, then went two video games in a row in horrible self-improvement style. The workforce is not the identical with out Hurts, and now comes the largest problem of all the season: getting that mojo again.

Hurts was far more than simply that that affect the participant on the sector. His worth as a pacesetter grew exponentially with out his presence within the pack. It was clear that neither Gardner Minshew nor anybody named Hurts was going to save lots of this workforce.

It seems like as a lot as they depend on him as a participant, they simply would possibly depend on him an excessive amount of as a pacesetter. That is to not say there is a lack of management or high quality leaders on this workforce. Something that claims to be false. It makes the final two weeks so loopy and barely annoying.

We get it, going 17-0 within the common season is hard. The Eagles ought to have misplaced a few video games, however the circumstances surrounding the final two weeks and what’s to return make issues that a lot worse. Having Hurts again is vital, however primarily based on what this workforce went via towards Dallas and New Orleans, it is honest to query whether or not it is sufficient.

“Eagles” went from unhealthy to worse. They misplaced one recreation at dwelling in Dallas, then got here out utterly unprepared towards New Orleans. From Minshew to the AJ Brown catastrophe to the OL on an unlawful subject aim on a punt quite than the RPO he almost definitely heard, this workforce was utterly unprepared to play. Nick Sirianni simply realized how laborious it’s to coach and not using a bandage. Each coordinators got a lesson in find out how to be nice when Hurts is out, not simply in.

The previous two weeks have proven us what this workforce is with out one participant, and it is a scary sight. Unforced errors and lack of preparation stand out regardless of a brilliant gifted roster across the QB place.

However Shander, come on, they misplaced their QB. What the hell would you like, two wins in a row?

Sure! But it surely’s greater than that.

The San Francisco 49ers have gained 9 video games in a row and far of that’s on the power of their third string QB. There may be actually no sled after Brock Purdy was drafted, and Kyle Shannahan has labored his magic round him. The protection will get to the QB and shuts down the run, the offense is constructed round misdirection and fast throws mixed with a workhorse acquired through commerce.

It is a lot like 2017, besides this run will overshadow the Eagles as a result of Mr. Irrelevant gained all of it. However is there actually that a lot of a distinction or hole between the expert QB gamers in San Francisco and Philadelphia this season?

They’ve some gifted WRs just like the Eagles. They’ve an enormous defensive entrance and a punishing offensive line just like the Eagles. They’ve seven backs on protection, together with a number of standouts, to assist counter a few of the points with their secondary as a complete, very like Philadelphia. They’ve artistic teaching that has resulted in excessive scores and massive leads, very like the Birds.

San Francisco has discovered a method to succeed regardless of key accidents on either side of the ball. It simply wasn’t an excuse. This is the place the previous two weeks differ from workforce to workforce, and it comes all the way down to these in cost.

It is inexcusable to be unprepared and sloppy because the Eagles went via this two-week stretch, compounded by the Niners nonetheless discovering methods to win video games. The most important takeaway right here is that with out Jalen, this workforce is misplaced. This isn’t the workforce we all know as followers and are used to seeing compete this yr.

Not a workforce that may make the playoffs, however it’s very laborious to shake what occurred, primarily the way it all occurred. Sure, there will probably be no extra Minshu obsession. Sure, the workforce is returning its chief. However what about every part else round him?

The Eagles had seven sacks and had two receivers near 100 yards apiece, and nonetheless misplaced a recreation by which they scored simply 10 factors. They really discovered a artistic method to lose towards the Saints.

The rationale that is so vital and nonetheless related is due to the Giants recreation. The sport the Eagles have already performed and gained. That is the primary concern past the apparent, which is that it is the cold-hearted NFL and craziness is the norm. The Eagles have been advised all week that the Giants are going to bench everybody and no person on the market cares about this recreation. That, mixed with the return of Hurts, equates to the Eagles hitting.

I am financially invested within the Eagles successful the Tremendous Bowl, as is everybody who reads my column again in the summertime, so I might love for them to rock New York within the solar and enter the playoffs on a constructive be aware. : However I additionally know this league like you understand this league and s**t occurs.

Whereas it will not be apparent within the absence of Daniel Jones or Saquon Barkley, New York really wants this win. It is apparent what this might do to the Eagles’ seeding, successfully ruining the course of this superb 3/4 of the yr and dropping them as little as the fifth seed. The opposite half is what successful 10 video games would imply for the Giants, significantly their head coach.

If New York wins 10 video games, count on Brian Daboll to be named NFL Coach of the Yr, taking it away from the opposite man (and almost definitely Doug P to win the AFC South). You higher consider the entire workforce is aware of about it and has additional motivation.

Talking of which, Nick Sirianni ought to hit up Invoice Cowher and ask him what the 2004 Steelers have been advised on the final day of the yr. That is when a lackluster recreation for Pittsburgh noticed them sit their starters to face a determined Buffalo workforce. Though the Payments wanted the win to get in and the Eagles are already there, the sense of desperation is much like the circumstances surrounding the upcoming recreation.

Your complete sports activities media, together with betting folks, advised the world to dam the Payments. Folks have been advised they might guess their mortgage and college funds on Buffalo. There was merely no method a workforce determined to play that a lot may lose a bunch of reserves. However that is the NFL and the Payments misplaced.

Ship that textual content, coach. This one is simply too vital to lose.

Comply with Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow:

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