Late at the end of the 2016 season, the Eagles of Brotherly Love signed a new GM with street cred. Neal Wintermute came in with a positive reputation as a talent evaluator, and promptly finished the last 5 games with a 3-2 record, sending Philly to the playoffs with two wins over good teams to finish the year. The Eagles were one and done, and headed into the offseason with a lot of work to do, but at least they were the cham
The Eagles had been kind of a competitive but flawed team for years, unable to turn a team with Aaron Rodgers and a few different explosive WRs into a fully dominant team, or even an efficient passing team.
But coming off of their second playoff appearance expectations were the Eagles had as good a chance as any to win the division. But then, the wheels fell off.
Aaron has been the QB that toils, trying to bring back a mediocre team but ultimately not able to cover for everything. The Eagles went young, but were still expected to utilize Rodgers to defend their divisional title. Aaron has started two games, averaging 45 attempts with less than 45% completions, 4 TDs, and 5 INTs.
These two games were against the Cowboys and Giants, two teams that were under .500 just the season before, and probably prompted...well you'll see.
The Neal Wintermute's made 9 picks before the third round was over, and so far 7 of them have started or seen significant minutes this season, including 3 in the front 7.
The Eagles have been working on developing their young, hard-hitting secondary and are doing a decent job but not turning in the deflections and turnovers that they will in 3 seasons. But that front 7 has been getting run on quite a bit. The presence of 3 rookies in the front 7 certainly has allowed them to turn susceptible to a good run game.
Furthermore, one of the most premium run-stuffers in the league, Mark Herzlich has been put on the shelf for his lack of range in the run game. While it is easy to see how the future will be bright for the Eagles front 7, right now youthful mistakes have taken their toll.
The rookie getting all of the attention is Malik McNabb because:
Aaron Rodgers on the bench
The next McNabb
6'8", 260 lbs, powerful running QB
Malik has been a good runner, with 4.5 YPC in each game but one. Since his first two starts, he's held his own with 7 total TDs and 8 total turnovers in 7 games. And he's done all of this on a team that Aaron Rodgers has struggled to do much better with.
But there is no doubt that McNabb's best isn't enough to carry a team like Aaron Rodgers can do, and his worst has absolutely lost games for the team this year.
If the playoffs began today, their schedule would include 10 games against playoff teams. With games against the elite NFC West and AFC South, along with the Buccs and Bears, the Eagles drew about as bad as you can. Sure they've contributed one or two games to the record of every team they've played, but when you count games against every team that is at least one game over .500 they have 12 of them.
The GZL has seen two 1-win teams.
Both occurred the same season, 2011. The Titans beat the 6-win Colts in a 16-14 game where the defense was able to get the better of Peyton Manning. The Redskins beat the 2-win Seahawks 40-22, in a game where the Redskins forced FOUR fumbles and one INT and scored 27 points in the second quarter alone. Those Seahawks might have actually been the team with the best chance of going 0-16, except they got to play a lot of the league's worst teams.
As seen below, this Eagles team best chance of winning is in the next two weeks.
at Seahawks (4-7)
vs Jaguars (4-7)
vs Texans (6-5)
at Buccaneers (8-3)
vs Cardinals (9-2)
While Neal has been very calm about this year, one wonders if he'd bench McNabb to try and steal a couple wins with Rodgers to help with the development of youth, but if not we may just see the first win-less team ever in the GZL.