More Sports:

January 02, 2024

What they're saying: Is there any reason to believe in the Eagles now?

The Eagles have lost four of five with a blown 15-point lead over the lowly Cardinals being their worst yet. What reason is there left to believe in this team going into the playoffs?

Eagles NFL
Gannon-Sirianni-Handshake-Eagles-Cardinals-Week-17-NFL-2023.jpg Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

One coach in this photo was way more aggressive than the other, and it wasn't the one running the 11-4 playoff team going in.

The Eagles lost again. 

They had a 15-point lead on one of the NFL's worst teams with the division and crucial playoff seeding on the line, and they blew it. 

The defense couldn't get a stop for anything, the offense didn't have anywhere close to the bite it needed in a crucial situation late, and now they're entering Week 18 against the Giants still with hope of capturing the NFC East, but fully at the mercy of the Cowboys, who just need to beat Washington.

It's bad, and there isn't just doubt in Nick Sirianni and his coaching staff, but now wonder over if he should be on the hot seat – or maybe even already is. 

The vibe has been decimated. Here's what they're saying about the Eagles...

This bird is cooked

Ben Solak | The Ringer

Are the Eagles still going to the playoffs? Yes. 

Is there any reason to believe they're about to do some serious damage in them? Certainly not after Sunday. 

This goose (bird?) is cooked. 

And it's not just that they're losing either, it's that there visibly isn't any belief – not among the fan base for sure, but of even greater concern, not even from within the building it seems, as Ben Solak writes:

The fact that the Eagles pivoted to Patricia as play caller is perhaps the single most damning moment of this forsaken season. It showed they were so desperate for answers that they’d try anything—when the reality is that the real problems with their defense are currently unaddressable.


The supposed strengths of the Eagles defense aren’t working, and there isn’t anything you can do about that schematically. Few defenses could survive without controlling the trenches, but it is especially true for a Philadelphia team that fields the worst linebacker corps in the entire league. The Cardinals gained 221 rushing yards on 40 carries on Sunday; imagine what a team with an actually good offense, like the Lions with their two-headed backfield and dominant offensive line, would do to the Eagles in the playoffs. Again, few defenses could survive playing man coverage with two aging corners and no playable youth behind them, as the Eagles have for the past month. The Cardinals’ Kyler Murray had six incompletions on 31 attempts—what will the Dallas Cowboys do, with Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb both playing career ball, in January? [The Ringer]

We already saw a painful glimpse of it back in Week 14. 

Same s***, different day

Chris Franklin |

The Eagles' defense has been suspect for a long time, but was masked by the 10-1 start. But now we're at a month of the unit continuously bleeding yards and, in turn, points. 

And it's the same thing every week: the front seven isn't getting to the QB like they used to, they're getting gashed on the ground, and repeatedly exploited through the air, and when it comes to third down, forget it. They're not getting off the field. 

“It has been our techniques, execution, and detail,” safety Reed Blankenship told's Chris Franklin. “We have to be more detailed. We say the same (bleep) every week. We have to come together and not fall apart when things don’t go our way."

Because things aren't going their way, and they're unraveling at the seams. 

More from Franklin:

The fixes under senior defensive assistant coach and new defensive play-caller Matt Patricia look as effective as those under previous play-caller and defensive coordinator Sean Desai. The Eagles consistently found themselves in short-yardage situations because the once-vaunted run defense that was eighth in the league (95.2 yards per game) lost its ability to stop the run, especially on first downs, allowing offensive coordinators to open their entire playbook and keep Patricia guessing as to what call should be made to stop a new set of downs.

All the Eagles players spoke about sticking together after the game and focusing on next week’s game against the Giants, hoping they can weather the storm and eventually play well defensively. The mindset is to look forward, but if it comes down to another late drive and the self-doubt of being unable to get off the field and hand the ball back to the offense for the “victory” formation, they could set themselves up for a very uncomfortable offseason. []

And things aren't exactly great right now as is. 

That was supposed to be aggressive?

Reuben Frank | NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Cardinals were matching the Eagles shot for shot, and outside of Sydney Brown's 99-yard pick six – which was a gift more than anything – Arizona hadn't punted or turned the ball over once. 

So tied at 28 late in the fourth quarter and down in the red zone, Jalen Hurts and the offense needed to have their foot fully on the gas. 

The playcalling, however, was anything but. 

After a Jordan Mailata holding penalty that knocked them 10 yards back, the calls were two ineffective Hurts runs and a screen to Kenny Gainwell on third down that accomplished nothing except for getting DeVonta Smith hurt. 

They settled for a Jake Elliott field goal to go up by three, when everyone knew full well that the defense wasn't stopping anything at that rate. Well, everyone except the Eagles' coaching staff, it seemed. 

Wrote Reuben Frank

Once the Eagles got down to the Arizona 20, they ran four plays – all of which went sideways. There was nothing down the field. Nothing vertical. Nothing that had a remote chance to help the Eagles score the touchdown they had to have .

For the record, Sirianni claimed the Eagles didn’t get conservative in that situation and did pretty much confirm the Eagles were just trying to get a few extra yards to make it an easier kick for Elliott.

It almost seemed like the Eagles’ offensive coaches didn’t realize how bad the defense was playing and for some reason thought they were going to get a stop.

They weren’t going to get a stop, and the offense needed to operate with an understanding of how porous the defense had been. [NBCSP]

Somehow Sirianni and Brian Johnson never got the memo.

And now you gotta ask...

Jeff Kerr | CBS Sports

Do the Eagles genuinely miss Jonathan Gannon?

His reputation in Philly tanked after the Super Bowl and his departure for Arizona along with the ensuing tampering case.

But then he came in with his Cardinals on Sunday and straight up outcoached Sirianni, all while the Eagles' defense looked like a total mess and with the guy brought in to replace him not even calling the shots anymore. 

Did the Eagles lose way more from Gannon's and Shane Steichen's departures than originally thought?

Wrote Jeff Kerr:

After beating the Eagles, the Cardinals currently sit at No. 4, having locked up the No. 1 pick for the Chicago Bears -- who own the pick via the 2-14 Carolina Panthers in the offseason deal that netted Carolina Bryce Young. Accepting losses isn't what Gannon is preaching to his franchise, evidenced by the wins against the Dallas Cowboys (11 wins), Pittsburgh Steelers (nine wins) and Eagles (11 wins).

Two of those victories have come in the last four weeks. That's more wins than the Eagles -- a team heading to the playoffs -- have in that stretch. 


Gannon has installed a new culture in Arizona, the same culture that his players bought into during his two years in Philadelphia. The Eagles miss that culture, one Gannon took out west when he decided to stay in Phoenix following the Super Bowl loss. [CBS Sports]

The identity that made that 2022 team what it was may have just stayed in Phoenix too. 

Follow Nick on Twitter: @itssnick

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports