Submitted by Jim Feist on Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 12:00 AM
With the second round of playoffs just around the corner, one team I wanted to focus on is the top seeded Philadelphia Eagles. There doesn’t seem to be the excitement surrounding this team as they head into the playoffs for the first time in four years. The excitement that we saw after week 13 has faded with the injury to quarterback Carson Wentz. And, if their play in the last three games of the season is any indication, the Philly faithful have a lot to be worried about. Probably no team’s value has dropped more than the Eagles.
After week 13, I thought Philadelphia was the best team in the NFL. They had it all, offense, defense, offensive line, defensive front and likely MVP Wentz at quarterback. I don’t believe anyone fully realized just how important Wentz was to this club until his week 14 injury. Now, they proceed into this round of the playoffs with some key injuries, most notably Wentz and left tackle Jason Peters.
Quarterback Nick Foles has stepped into the starting role and he has had success in past seasons. It wasn’t long ago when Foles tossed 27 TD’s when Chip Kelly was head coach and had the Eagles first in the league in offense. Defenses had a difficult time preparing for the Eagles offense back then under Kelly. However, this season Foles, in my opinion, has not fit well into this offense and has looked horrible the last few weeks. Philadelphia still has a strong defense, a strong offensive line and a decent running game. I am somewhat skeptical about second-year head coach Doug Pederson throwing Foles under the bus when there is no other option behind the quarterback.
Can the Eagles ask defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s unit to carry the load? It is possible. The Eagles have excellent defensive numbers and an excellent defensive line and linebackers. They are one of the best in the league against the run and they will be rested and ready for this game. I just don’t think you can ask this defense to burden all the responsibility. Look what happened to Denver’s defense this year with no offense. The Broncos still had a top defense, but got tired and gave up points. I think the same thing will happen here when the team faces opponents like the Rams.
The other NFC teams will not be intimidated having to go to Philadelphia and play this Eagles’ team that has Foles at QB. The fear is gone and soon the Falcons or Rams will be arriving and unless the Eagles and Foles steps up their game, it will be a one and done post season for the Eagles.