The two Spidermen pointing at each other, one labeled 2020 Eagles and the other labeled 2015 Eagles. Tweet that out and you’ll go viral in no time.
As my eyes melted out of my skull this past Sunday watching Carson Wentz airmail 90% of his throws into the fifth row and Doug Pederson desperately try to reclaim his “Big Balls Doug” moniker by going for a two-point conversion when the team was down four, I realized I was basically living out every single Sunday from 2015 all over again.
Completely bereft of all joy while watching a game? Check. Wondering why I was wasting my time on a team that was obviously going nowhere? Double check. A coach entirely in over his head with absolutely no ability to adapt to game flow or change his scheme on the fly? Triple check.
The only difference between this season and the Eagles’ 2015 season is the ever present threat of DEATH on the winds…so maybe 2015 wasn’t all that bad in comparison.
Is it just me? Am I being a curmudgeon, or is anyone else watching these games and getting serious 2015 vibes? Two bloated and aging rosters absent of talent from top to bottom with serious questions at quarterback, the continued mind-numbing utilization of skill players and game plans that seemingly consist of nothing more than throwing a glob of shit against the wall and seeing what streaks down.
You know everything is quickly rolling downhill for a coach when you find yourself agreeing with sports talk radio callers who suggest incredibly OBVIOUS changes that should have been implemented into a game plan but were ignored for reasons unknown. Why was Matt “Jamon Brown Jr.” Pryor playing at guard when it’s SORELY EVIDENT he’s the JJ Arcega Whiteside of the offensive line? Pederson had two weeks game plan a scheme around Jason Peters moving to guard and Jordan Mailata sliding into tackle… but Mailata remained on the cold and drafty MetLife Stadium sidelines all afternoon, dreaming sweet dreams of Vegemite and Fosters, as Pryor did his best to ensure Carson Wentz get concussed as much as possible.
It brought back uncomfortable memories of a pissed off DeMarco Murray standing in the backfield next to brittle-boned Sam Bradford, wondering why he was brought on to a roster that planned to only run him primarily out of the shotgun formation despite 100% of his career rushing success coming from handoffs from a quarterback who was under center.
It was obvious a change should quickly be made early in the season, to let the 220-pound bruiser of a back run downhill between the tackles and not be tasked with dancing to the outside from a stand-still position like Darren Sproles. But it wasn’t in Chip Kelly’s scheme, was it? The scheme, in his eyes, was flawless and by GOD he was going to fit the highly-paid square peg into his vaunted round hole (gross).
His refusal to adapt, to build a scheme around his roster’s strengths and weaknesses, got Kelly a one-way ticket out of town in week 17. Remember what happened in the final game against the Giants in week 17? Murray ripped a 54-yard touchdown run and finally mirrored his Pro-Bowl self when he was put in a position to succeed.
Pederson and Kelly are slaves to their own schemes. Success can only be gained within the confines of their game plans… so no adaptations should be necessary. Why allow Wentz roll out of the pocket when the SCHEME calls for him to remain nestled behind a collapsing Berlin Wall at all times to toss wildly inaccurate passes 15-feet over the heads of receivers as he’s pummeled by defensive tackles?
Oh, Miles Sanders is ripping off eight-yard runs? Better bring in Jalen Hurts for a gimmick play that has 0% chance of being successful to completely stall out a drive. Need to get him some VALUABLE snaps because the scheme, the precious game plan, both call for it.
It’s this kind of unfathomably poor decision making that’s reared its ugly head for the last two seasons and counting that makes you wonder exactly how much Pederson sold his soul to the Devil for in 2017. What hope is there for the rest of this season? An NFC East championship at 4-11-1? Is that what you game planned for all along, Doug?
Ahh sweet misery, how we’ve all missed your stinging kiss. The old warm and weathered coat still slips on so perfectly. Fits great, feels right.