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Eagles continue to embarrass themselves after offseason of badmouthing Patriots

Alex Reimer
November 19, 2018 - 10:15 am

Are the Eagles having fun yet? After an offseason of badmouthing the Patriots –– offensive lineman Lane Johnson called New England a “fear-based organization” –– the Birds are in the midst of one of the worst Super Bowl defenses in league history. It provides additional appreciation for what the Patriots have accomplished under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, which is needed following an atrocious loss to the Titans and week of widespread pessimism about the fate of the team. 

Philadelphia dropped its showdown with the Saints by a score of 48-7 Sunday, which is the largest loss ever by a defending champion. At 4-6, the Eagles are on pace to become only the seventh Super Bowl champion in history to have a losing record the next year. 

It was an all-around system failure for the Eagles in New Orleans. The shellacking was punctuated with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Alvin Kamara. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, who was beat on the play, flipped off his former head coach Sean Payton on his way off the field. 

While the Patriots have had their share of embarrassing losses over the years, no player on the team has acted that petulantly in the wake of a rough defeat. Last week, for example, the Patriots took the high road after Mike Vrabel’s Titans ran off two trick plays in the fourth quarter with the game well in-hand. The optics probably don’t matter in terms of wins and losses, but it’s always a bad look when players appear to take out their frustration on the team that just whopped them, opposed to themselves.

The Eagles are still in the playoff race, because they play in the mediocre NFC East, and the division-leading Redskins just lost starting quarterback Alex Smith for the rest of the season. But there is no way Philadelphia will be able to rattle off any sort of winning streak if its offense doesn’t start scoring points before halftime. The Eagles have only put up 21 first quarter points this season and been shut out in eight of 10 opening periods. And the most mystifying thing is, Carson Wentz is actually having a decent season, his three-interception performance against New Orleans aside. His quarterback rating is 100.1, which is three points higher than Brady’s. 

In addition to Wentz, the Eagles also have star tight end Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffrey and recently acquired wideout Golden Tate. This team is woefully underachieving on offense, and the blame falls squarely on Doug Pederson, who scripts out the first 15 plays. The absences of offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterback coach John DeFilippo probably hurt matters as well –– they left for coaching promotions in Indianapolis and Minnesota, respectively –– but Super Bowl champions lose assistants all of the time. It’s part of the challenge. 

The Eagles aren't up to the task. Their offseason of chest-pounding keeps looking sillier.