Thank God that game’s over. Thank God that season’s over. Thank God all of it’s over.
Time to figure out what went wrong and start firing people.
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles and their NFL rivals from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The Eagles finished their 88th season 4-11-1 after a grotesque 20-14 tank-job loss to Washington.
Only three teams in franchise history lost more games than this juggernaut: The 1968 Eagles went 2-12 in Joe Kuharich’s final season, the 2012 team went 4-12 in Andy Reid’s last season and the 1998 team went 3-13 in Ray Rhodes’ final season.
Here are our 10 observations from the Eagles’ season-ending abomination.
1. With a young quarterback like Jalen Hurts, I tend to focus on the positives and not the negatives. Because every young QB has plenty of things to work on. Hurts is 22, and without benefit of an offseason or preseason games, he did enough good things in these four starts to make me want to see more. Not going to anoint him, not going to count him out.
He didn’t get a whole lot of help Sunday night and he didn’t have much around him, but he also missed some open guys, most notably Quez Watkins in the end zone on that 4th-and-goal from the 4-yard line. He ran for a couple touchdowns, so that was good to see.
He’s got a lot of work to do, but there’s something there.
2. Just bizarre seeing Carson Wentz on the sideline not even in uniform. Just makes you wonder how it got to this point. A year ago this week, Wentz was preparing for his playoff debut, he’d finished a season healthy for the first time since his rookie year, he’d led the Eagles to four straight wins to finish the season and he had the Eagles rolling despite a rash of injuries on offense.
And here we are 12 months later, and we very well could have just witnessed Wentz on the Eagles’ sideline for the final time. It’s incredible how quickly things can change in the NFL. Maybe the Eagles and Wentz can sort all this out, but at this point it really does feel like the end of an Eagles career that began with so much promise.
3. I like Carson. He’s a good guy, does a ton of work for charity, made a lot of incredible plays here, won a lot of games. The Eagles don’t win the Super Bowl if he doesn’t go 11-2 in his 13 starts in 2017. From 2017 through 2019, the dude threw 81 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He was really good.
But for crying out loud, I’m not sure I even want a quarterback whose only reaction after getting benched is to demand a trade. I want a guy who wants to fight for his job. A guy who believes so much in himself that he has no doubt that he’ll beat out Hurts or anybody else in a fair competition, and if there isn’t a fair competition, that if he keeps working hard, he’ll eventually get another chance and make the most of it. I want a QB who’s going to compete, who’s going to battle. Not just give up and want to leave.
I find the whole “trade me” thing really disappointing.
4. The Eagles have to use that No. 6 pick on Ja’Marr Chase or Devonta Smith, assuming one or both of them is on the board. They’ve got this whole fleet of young wide receivers, but I don’t look at any of them — Jalen Reagor included — as a sure thing.
They missed on Terry McLauren. They missed on D.K. Metcalf. They missed on Justin Jefferson. They can't keep missing on these guys. Picking at No. 6, it’s really, really hard to miss. Has to be Chase or Smith.
5. You can make a case for either Doug Pederson coming back or getting fired. You can make a case for Wentz coming back or getting traded. I don’t see how after watching the continued absence of young talent on this roster for 17 weeks you can make a case for Howie Roseman remaining in his current position with his current responsibilities.
6. Always been a Ron Rivera fan. He was here for the first five years of the Andy Reid regime and is an absolute class act and a heck of a defensive coach. Here’s a guy who played for Buddy Ryan and coached with Jim Johnson. That’s a hell of a résumé.
I couldn’t care less about the Washington Football Team, but I’m happy for Riverboat Ron and wish him many years of health and a deep run in the playoffs. Incredibly, one of three former Eagles defensive assistants in the playoffs this year along with John Harbaugh and Sean McDermott. And along with Big Red himself.
7. I know one guy I want in my starting lineup next year: Alex Singleton. That dude is a force. He plays hard. All the time. Every snap. He’s got some work to do in coverage, but he’s a machine against the run, he can pressure the quarterback through sheer determination, and he’s as sure a tackler as the Eagles have had at linebacker in years. He’s kind of an old-school throwback linebacker, and I’d take him on my team anytime.
8. When the season began, Pederson was tied with Greasy Neale for the highest winning percentage in Eagles history at .594. He has since dropped to .531 and now trails Neale, Reid (.583), Rich Kotite (.563), Chip Kelly (.553), Ryan (.551) and Buck Shaw (.543).
9. That game reminded me of one of those 1987 strike replacement games. Really hard to watch. Maybe a tank this ugly is worth moving up three spots in the draft, but honestly, NFL football should never look like this.
I just wonder what was going through the minds of Jason Kelce, Zach Ertz, Brandon Graham and the other guys who gave everything they had to carry the Eagles to the top of the football world three years ago as they watched this abomination.
It was embarrassing.
10. Now that this miserable season is over … only 248 days until opening day 2021! Let’s all hope for a jam-packed Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 9.