The Philadelphia Eagles were out of their element Sunday afternoon against the hapless New York Giants. Doug Pederson and Co. could hear the boo birds coming from the empty streets of Philadelphia about a 90-minute drive away.
This included a 14-3 halftime deficit and another absurdly bad defensive performance from Doug Pederson’s squad.
Despite putting up 14 third-quarter points, Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense went AWOL in the final stanza. Ultimately, it led to an ugly 27-17 road loss to the Giants and a 3-5-1 record on the season.
We had previously heard rumors coming from Philadelphia that Pederson’s tenure with the Eagles might not be long lived. Losing in this fashion to a team that was 2-7 heading in won’t quiet these rumors.
Is Doug Pederson now firmly on the hot seat?
To be clear, it’s going to be hard for the Eagles to justify firing Doug Pederson with the team still in first place in the horrible NFC East. In fact, Philadelphia is two games up on each division rival in the loss column.
With that said, the regression we’ve seen from Pederson’s Eagles this season has been something else. That’s primarily true under center. Carson Wentz is a shell of his former self, a concerning fact given that Pederson was previously seen as a quarterback whisperer.
Wentz completed 21-of-37 passes for 190 net passing yards without a touchdown or an interception in Sunday’s loss to the Giants. This came against a unit that entered Week 9 having yielded a 97.9 passer rating through nine games.
Thus far this season, Wentz looks nothing like a top-20 quarterback in the NFL. It’s been a dramatic drop off for the former No. 2 pick.
Carson Wentz’s regression under Doug Pederson
- 2017: 60.2% completion, 3,296 yards, 33 TD, 7 INT (101.9 rating)
- 2018: 69.6% completion, 3,074 yards, 21 TD, 7 INT (102.2 rating)
- 2019: 63.9% completion, 4,039 yards, 27 TD, 7 INT (93.1 rating)
- 2020: 58.2% completion, 2,091 yards, 12 TD, 12 INT (73.1 rating)
To be fair, not all of this is on Pederson. Heck, Wentz deserves a lot of the blame. His accuracy has just not been up to snuff thus far this season. He’s also not seeing the field as well as in the past, leading to struggles throwing from the pocket.
It’s also important to note that the Eagles have dealt with numerous injuries to their offensive line and at the skill positions. Missing the likes of Lane Johnson, Miles Sanders, Zach Ertz, DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery for multiple games has not helped matters at all.
These are excuses. A number of teams have dealt with similar injury issues during what has been a trying 2020 season. It was to be expected after a lack of an offseason and preseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Excuses are like (insert word here). Everyone has one. Pederson is running out of them with the Eagles, and it starts at quarterback.
Will the Eagles fire Doug Pederson?
At this point, it seems highly unlikely. Despite their disastrous performance this season, the Eagles currently find themselves in playoff positioning. It’s hard to justify firing a Super Bowl-winning coach in the middle of the season. General manager Howie Roseman has too much respect for Pederson to do that.
It’s also highly unlikely that any assistant on Pederson’s current staff could take over on an interim basis and do better than him. The days of Eagles assistants such as Jim Schwartz and Marty Mornhinweg even being considered head-coaching caliber are pretty much over.
Instead, we can expect the Eagles to play out the remainder of this season with the lame duck Pederson calling the shots. Barring a deep run in the playoffs, that will pretty much be the end of Pederson’s time in Philadelphia.
It would be a sad ending to what seemed to be an ideal marriage just a few short years ago.