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TOPIC: The Philadelphia Eagles have an identity crisis

The Philadelphia Eagles have an identity crisis 7 months 3 weeks ago #1822

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After winning the first Super Bowl in franchise history Cheap Destiny Vaeao Jersey , coaches and players repeatedly stressed throughout the offseason and training camp this is a different team and a new year. They were no longer underdogs wearing dog masks. Winning titles was supposed to be their new norm.Players even went to coach Doug Pederson before the season and asked that a Super Bowl champions sign be removed from the locker room. They knew opponents would be giving their best effort and they embraced having a target on their backs so much it became a logo on a T-shirt players wore.But now after a 3-4 start, the Eagles are an afterthought in the NFC. The Rams are 7-0, the Saints are 5-1 and eight other teams also have better records. Pederson told the team in the locker room after blowing a 17-0 lead in a 21-17 loss to Carolina on Sunday that the pressure was off and everybody is counting them out again.Sounds like they're trying to use underdog status as motivation again. So much for different team, new season."I think part of it can be that," Pederson said Monday when asked about turning to last year's motivation tactics. "I think it's an important part of kind of where we are, kind of the identity of the football team."The other thing is, when you win games, we're not talking about this stuff because winning cures everything, right? Well, we're not winning, so everything is exposed. Now we're going to sit here and scrutinize every little thing. ... We were actually making these plays a year ago. You know what I'm saying? So now we're going to sit here and scrutinize everything and point the finger and point the blame game, and do all of that, when quite frankly Cheap Alshon Jeffery Jersey , yeah, we can go back and use that as fuel, as emotion."But it's a different team, different year. We're in this situation. We've kind of dug ourselves in a little bit of a hole."The Eagles are right in the mix in the division behind the Redskins (4-2). The Cowboys are also 3-4. But winning the NFC East wasn't the goal. They want to repeat as Super Bowl champions. It's tough to do without a Nos. 1-2 seed in the playoffs. Twenty of the past 28 winners had a first-round bye. Only 12 teams have reached the Super Bowl as a Nos. 3-6 seed since the NFL instituted the current playoff format in 1990."The great thing about where we are is we still control our division," Pederson said. "A lot of things can happen. We got a break coming up after an important game this week, got a break. Hopefully we get some guys healthy second half of the season. We'll see where we're at."The Eagles meet another struggling team in London this week when they play the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)."We're going to find out what we're made of now going forward," quarterback Carson Wentz said. "We're at make-or-break time, almost. It's hard to say exactly what it's going to take. Again, we know what we can do, we do it here and there some weeks, but we just have to put it all together."NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Some have Eagles dropping despite winning With Week 1 of the NFL season in the books, it’s time look at how various media outlets have ranked the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in their NFL power rankings. It’s always interesting to see how the Eagles stack up from an outside perspective. But first, let’s start by revisiting my rankings.Bleeding Green Nation1) The reigning Super Bowl champions are still on top after managing to defeat Atlanta for the second time in 2018. The Eagles’ offense is off to a slow start with Nick Foles under center but Philadelphia’s defense is looking pretty good. It appears Carson Wentz’s return might soon be on the horizon. (LW: 1)SB Nation3) There are rumors Carson Wentz won’t return to action for the Eagles until October. If that’s true Brandon Brooks Jersey , it’s hard to see the Eagles being as dominant as they were in 2017. They hardly managed to beat the Falcons in the season opener at home, right after raising their first Super Bowl banner. That said, they’re the defending champions and the defense is still built to win games. They’re trending downward (as are the Falcons) but didn’t fall too far this week. (LW: 1)ESPN1) Michael Bennett wasn’t a force in the box score in his debut (two tackles, zero sacks), but his versatility will help a deep Eagles defensive line throughout the season. He played 40 total snaps on Thursday, 19 at right end, 16 at left end, one at right defensive tackle and four at left defensive tackle. The Falcons gained 3.6 yards per play when he was on the field, and 6.3 yards per play when he was off the field. (LW: 1)NFL.com1)Ugly, ugly, ugly annnnnnnnnd ... a win. That’s all that matters, right? If you’re scoring at home, Philadelphia hasn’t lost a game that counts since early last December. (No Darren Sproles Jersey , we’re not counting that Week 17 snooze-fest against the Cowboys that mattered nada.) Thought the Eagles secured last Thursday’s win multiple times, only to suffer through them playing footsie on a punt, logging a few tight end drops and committing the most airheaded neutral-zone penalty of all time.

All of which darn-near derailed the defending champs. But ... they ... just ... keep ... winning. (LW: 1)Rotoworld1) Nick Foles may not have the strongest or most accurate throwing arm, but he’s a darn good receiver as Thursday proved once again. Nelson Agholor did his best Jarvis Landry impression in that game, managing only 33 yards despite nabbing a team-high eight catches. That gives the wide receiver 17 grabs over his last two games dating back to last season. The Eagles’ offense didn’t show much firepower against Atlanta, but it looks like they’ll have to tread water for a few more weeks with Carson Wentz (ACL) and Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) still on the shelf. (LW: 1)CBS Sports4) It wasn’t pretty against the Falcons, but they found a way. That’s the sign of a good team. (LW: 5)Yahoo! Sports4) There’s a lot of talk about Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, but it seems like that has overshadowed that the Eagles defense looks even better and might carry the team no matter who is at quarterback. Matt Ryan did look bad, but the Eagles defense had a ton to do with that. (LW: 4)USA Today1) Wasn’t a pretty opener, but respect factor — and, yes, dominant defense — keeps reigning champs in pole position until further notice. (LW: 1)Sporting News4) The Eagles aren’t going for style points with Nick Foles — just enough points to keep winning until Carson Wentz is able to return and rev up their offense. Having a nasty defense and a consistent running game eases the burden. (LW: 5)The Score4) The offense looked sloppy against Atlanta, but the defense was exceptional. Final score aside Jason Kelce Jersey , Doug Pederson’s squad defeated a playoff-caliber opponent without Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, and Nigel Bradham, showing serious championship fortitude. (LW: 3)Bleacher Report4) The Philadelphia Eagles made the most of the unveiling of their championship banner with a Thursday night win over Atlanta—even if they didn’t amass many style points in the process. The Eagles were outplayed by Atlanta on offense for much of the game and outgained by the Falcons 299 to 232. But thanks to the hard second-half running of Jay Ajayi and another lights-out defensive effort, the Eagles held off the Falcons and picked up win No. 1 of the year. Davenport sees the game as a blueprint for Philly surviving the absence of star quarterback Carson Wentz and top receiver Alshon Jeffery. (LW: 5)Washington Post 1) From “Philly Special” in the Super Bowl to “Philly Philly” in Thursday’s season opener, Coach Doug Pederson continues to push the right buttons. The defending champs did what it took to beat the Falcons, and the Eagles could have QB Carson Wentz back in the lineup in a few weeks. (LW: 1)Mile High Report6) I have them here simply because they beat a worthy (although allergic to Julio in the redzone) opponent. But boy do they look anything but a contender. They need Wentz back in a bad way, either that or Foles needs more of last year’s magic ASAP. (LW: 2)PennLive1) Sure, it wasn’t pretty, but the Eagles have shown they can win games ugly. That keeps them on top here. Tampa Bay emerged as an intriguing challenger, though. (LW: 1)Reddit1) Nick Foles went back his primary role as wide receiver as the Eagles escaped the Ryan/Jones connection with a victory. Mistakes and missteps took center stage and will need to be corrected if the Eagles intend to repeat. (LW: 1)numberFire1) No explanation (LW: 1)ANALYSISThe rankings range from as high as 1 to as low as 6. The most common ranking is 1. The average ranking is 2.4, which is down from last week’s average of 2.1.Some outlets decided to drop the Eagles since they didn’t look great on offense with a backup quarterback starting. I think that’s a little silly. You have to respect what the Eagles did on defense.The Eagles should get some more love this week if they can beat a Bucs team that played very well in Week 1.
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