Dallas Goedert's theory on Eagles' collapse is as good as any

Dallas Goedert's theory on Eagles' collapse is as good as any originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Maybe Dallas Goedert was just talking.

In a locker room that seemed devoid of answers following an ugly 27-10 loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium, Goedert at least offered a theory on the Eagles’ complete collapse down the stretch of the regular season.

“I just know everybody in this locker room is ready to go to work for the playoffs,” Goedert said. “Ever since 4 or 5 weeks ago when we clinched the playoffs, I think everybody has just been waiting for the playoffs.

“Not something that is a great thing, but I think everybody is going to be ready to go and I think we’re going to show the world what we’re capable of.”

Everybody has just been waiting for the playoffs?

Pretty damning if it’s true.

But at least it’s a theory. At least it’s not the same coach speak and cliches we’ve heard time and time again, week after week, from the Eagles as they try to cope with their free fall.

The Eagles began this season with a 10-1 record but they didn’t clinch a playoff berth until Week 15 with a 10-3 record, coming off blowout losses to the 49ers and Cowboys. They actually clinched the playoffs the day before the loss to the Seahawks on Monday Night Football in Seattle.

Since clinching that playoff spot, the Eagles are 1-3 with losses to the Seahawks, Cardinals and Giants. Their only win since then came on Christmas Day against the Giants.

The problem with Goedert’s theory, that the Eagles have been coasting since clinching a playoff spot, is that there were reasons to flip the switch since. Last week against the Cardinals, the Eagles knew that with a couple of wins against awful teams they would still earn the No. 2 seed. And they entered Sunday’s regular season finale still with a chance to still win the division.

Against the Cardinals, they blew a 15-point lead. Against the Giants, they didn’t even show up.

So either the Eagles can’t find the switch or there’s just not one there to flip anymore.

Goedert on Sunday night said he believes the Eagles can still do it.

“Absolutely,” he said. “You see it through different teams getting in as a wild card, making it all the way. You see people who have played great all year come in as the 1-seed and after their bye, they lose their first game. Like I said, it’s a new season. We just have to be ready to adjust to anything that comes our way and be able to handle anything. We just gotta go out there and play the best football we played.”

The Eagles have to believe that. Or at least they have to try and talk themselves into believing that.

Like it or not, the Eagles are in the playoffs. And believe it or not, they’re actually road favorites against the Buccaneers, who clinched the NFC South in Week 18.

“We’ve got a lot of good players that I know will give everything they’ve got,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “We’ve got a lot of players that know what it takes to get to the top. We’ve got a lot of guys in that locker room who know how to win playoff games. We’ve got a lot of coaches who know how to win playoff games. That’s what makes you confident, is that.”

If Goedert is right that the Eagles were waiting for the playoffs, somebody better wake them up. Because the playoffs are here. And if there is some magical switch to flip, they’re running out of time.

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