There are two distinct ways to look at the Eagles’ last two games. On one hand, if I would have told you at the beginning of the season that they would beat the Raiders on Christmas to go to 13-2 with their only loss since September coming on the road against the Seahawks, you would have had a party in your pants. Like, a literal party. Friends, loved ones, acquaintances– they all would’ve been invited to your pants, partying everywhere, even the undercarriage.
But when I tell you that this morning, you might need to poke your manhood with a stick just to determine if it’s even still there.
Listless is a word that comes to mind to describe the Eagles’ last two performances.
So how are we supposed to feel? Never in the history of the NFL – willing to state this as fact – have their been worse games to clinch the division and homefield advantage. Seeing booth shots of Carson Wentz last night, followed by impressive stats of his MVP-worthy campaign, just drove home the point that we may well be fucked.
I have a holiday hangover and am being emotionally reactive right now, but it’s hard to defend Nick Foles after last night. He wasn’t just not Carson Wentz— he was inept. Couldn’t catch snaps, make wide-open reads, and generally looked lost and rushed out there.
The cold weather certainly didn’t help… but that’s the same cold weather that the Eagles will rely on when, say, the Rams or Saints come to town. Not to mention the Vikings, who are still the only team in the NFC with higher Super Bowl odds than the Eagles, even though their guy, himself a backup quarterback, was dreadful against the Packers.
Problem: The Vikings’ defense is superior to the Eagles’. Even if you remove the outlier that was the Giants game, seeing Jalen Mills get torched on the sluggo route last night was enough evidence that the Eagles defense, while occasionally stout, has major, exploitable holes.
Now we have to wait three excruciating weeks before another meaningful game. I’m convinced the Eagles will screw up the Week 17 plans, overplay the starters, and get someone hurt, but should we be so lucky as to avoid that misfortune, then we’ll have Nick Foles and the gang heading into a second round playoff game on three weeks rest, this for a team that has started slow all season after a layoff of more than six days.
This isn’t to write the season off. The Vegas odds still like the Eagles, and the Birds are more than capable of winning two home games against anybody in the NFC, but it’s hard to overlook that Giants game off now. The Eagles just played two of the worst defenses in the NFL and their offense looked like a shell of its former self. Say nothing of the defensive inconsistencies. Who knows what to make of them. The variance in possible performances has always been pretty large, but after the last two weeks it’s beginning to feel like the upper end is rather limited. The Eagles are a team that, at its best, can be good and not great. That might be enough to win two games at home. But there isn’t a lot of confidence they can even do that.