Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With losing record, Eagles look downright silly for Patriots trash talk

Alex Reimer
October 22, 2018 - 1:39 pm

Somebody check on Lane Johnson to see if he’s still thumping his chest. The boisterous Eagles offensive lineman spent all offseason denigrating the Patriots, calling them a “fear-based organization” and celebrating their Super Bowl loss. 

Well, seven weeks into the 2018 NFL season, the Patriots are 5-2 and appear on track for another AFC East win and first-round playoff bye. The Eagles, meanwhile, are 3-4. Their post-Super Bowl malaise shows just how difficult it is to sustain excellence in the NFL, and the foolishness of Johnson’s offseason taunting.

Philadelphia blew a 17-0 lead against the Panthers Sunday, allowing 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Cam Newton fired off a pair of touchdown passes to Devin Funchess and Greg Olson to catapult Carolina to victory.

The Eagles did have a chance to come back and win, but Carson Wentz fumbled on the last fourth down of the game. Whoops.

It’s been a trying season for the Eagles, who join a long list of Super Bowl teams that have failed to recapture the magic in their encore effort. Their opponent on Sunday, the Panthers, know that all to well. Carolina went 6-10 following its 15-win season in 2015, which ended in a Super Bowl blowout loss to Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

Though the Eagles’ defense blew up on Sunday, their offense has been the big problem all season. They’ve only scored more than 24 points once in seven games, and struggle mightily on third down. In 2017, they were 51. percent on third downs in the red zone. This year, they’ve only converted 21.1 percent of those opportunities, which is 31st in the NFL.

With Wentz less than a year removed from knee surgery and issues at running back –– Jay Ajayi is lost for the year –– the Eagles’ offense that put up 41 points against the Patriots in Super Bowl LII may not be at full strength all season long. Hopefully they enjoyed their summer of celebration. 

Related: Dolphins begin their annual self-implosion, further clearing the way for another Patriots AFC East win