The Philadelphia Eagles were blown out at home on Sunday night, losing to the Arizona Cardinals, 40-17. The loss dropped the Eagles to 6-8, and yet they still control their own destiny in the NFC East.
How is that possible?
“Well, it’s a really terrible division would be the short answer to that question,” Philadelphia Daily News Eagles writer Les Bowen said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Not only are the Eagles 6-8 right now; they’re 3-7 against NFC teams, which, you would think you’d need to beat a few of those every now and then to get into the NFC playoffs. But really, if they beat the Redskins next Saturday night and they beat the Giants next week, they are the NFC’s champion. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but nonetheless, if it does, that’ll be the case.”
The Eagles trailed just 17-10 at halftime but committed four turnovers in the second half, including a pick-six to open the fourth quarter that gave Arizona a 37-10 lead. The Eagles have lost four of six and can finish no better than .500.
Eagles fans, needless to say, cannot be happy.
“Well, I think people are pretty exasperated and frustrated,” Bowen said, “but it’s pretty clear also that the owner Jeffrey Lurie just gave Chip the reins last January and put him in charge of personnel, so I don’t think anything drastic is going to happen regardless of how this season plays out. But I think Chip clearly has to learn from some of the mistakes he clearly made last offseason in putting the Eagles in this position. . . . Chip, since he came here, (has been) more interested in how people fit into what he wants to do than how talented they are. So he has just gotten rid of people like DeSean Jackson for nothing. The Eagles got nothing back in return – and in the NFL, you just can’t give away talent, especially when talent is in its prime. You can give away talent when it’s over the hill, but good players are valuable obviously. You just don’t say, ‘Oh, he doesn’t fit what we want to do, so we’ll just cut him.’
“The Eagles have done things like that,” Bowen continued. “They got outbid for Jeremy Maclin in free agency last winter, which left them really short of experience and polish at wide receiver. The LeSean McCoy/Kiko Alonso trade has not worked out well at all, and their free-agent singings last year were kind of a disaster.
Those signings included Byron Maxwell, who got $63 million, and DeMarco Murray, who got $40 million.
“DeMarco Murray carried the ball two times on Sunday for three yards,” Bowen said. “He just hasn’t had the pop this year. There was a lot of stuff said in the offseason about guys who carry the ball 400 times, as he did last year (and how) the next year tends not to be very good. He just can’t make a sharp cut, he can’t get going, he isn’t used to running out of shotgun as much as he does with the Eagles – he doesn’t seem to see the blocking very well, frankly. Maybe a good offseason here will rejuvenate him and get him into a more usable situation.
“But people really weren’t that surprised when they started to go away from him,” Bowen continued. “The other running backs have been so much more productive. That just shouldn’t happen when you’re talking about a guy who led the league in rushing last year by quite a bit, but they’re kind of chained to him because they gave him this money. Nobody is going to trade for that contract given the year that he’s had, so I think they better find a way to make this work.”