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For a moment, let’s put aside the nonsensical argument over whether that was a guarantee or not. Pederson presumably predicted the win to shake up his team, to inspire confidence and fire them up. He needed something to dig his 3-3 team out of a rut. He needed to do something big to get a proper response in a key game.
The Eagles were horrible on Sunday night in a 37-10 loss. They started slow, again, and were down 27-7 to the Cowboys by halftime. This was an enormous game in the NFC East and for the Eagles’ playoff hopes, and they had no juice whatsoever. It looked more like a preseason game to the Eagles, and a playoff game to the Cowboys. When the Eagles had a tiny chance at a miracle comeback in the fourth quarter, Carson Wentz threw an interception and dropped a shotgun snap for a fumble on consecutive possessions.
Pederson tried predicting a win in the Eagles’ biggest game of the season to date, and the players had their worst performance of the season. Now it’s Pederson’s mess to clean up. He’s going to have a long week in Philly.
“I feel like he got a statement today,” Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who wasn’t pleased with Pederson’s comments, told NBC’s Michele Tafoya after the game. “We’re going to let him go sleep on it.”
Eagles look bad in loss to Cowboys
The Eagles’ night started bad. Dallas Goedert lost a fumble on Philadelphia’s first drive of the game. The Cowboys scored a few plays later. It didn’t get better after that.
Pederson was celebrated as one of the NFL’s best coaches after masterfully leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl title. He out-coached Bill Belichick in a Super Bowl, and that would be the first line on almost any NFL coach’s resume. Last season looked like a big disappointment until a late rally led by Nick Foles made everyone forget about the start. This season is shaping up as a bigger disappointment, and Foles isn’t around anymore for late-season heroics.
There hasn’t been one big reason for the Eagles’ failure. Against the Lions, they dropped a ton of passes. Against Atlanta, the defense allowed a long game-winning touchdown by Julio Jones on a fourth down. That’s still the Falcons’ only win of the season. The secondary, thinned out by injuries, was shredded last week by the Vikings. On Sunday the Eagles’ normally strong offensive line struggled, the defense missed a ton of tackles and turnovers were a problem again. It’s actually more difficult to figure out what Philadelphia did well on Sunday night.
It seems like in each loss, there’s a different problem. Pederson deserved kudos for his acumen during that Super Bowl season, but he also has to take heat for this Eagles season in which his team has been sloppy and unprepared at times. Maybe all that praise for the championship season was premature.
Doug Pederson needs to find some answers
It’s not like the NFC East race is over. Dallas is 4-3, a game ahead of Philadelphia, and has its own issues. But the Cowboys struck a big blow on Sunday night.
Perhaps more important, the Eagles looked overwhelmed. At no point on Sunday night did they look like the better team.
The Eagles are unquestionably talented. They have stars everywhere on offense and defense. Plenty of the key parts of the Super Bowl team are still on the roster. Wentz has been seemingly healthy and mostly played well this season, and it hasn’t mattered much. Injuries have affected Philadelphia, but the Eagles are far from the only team in the league dealing with that.
The answers are hard to come by, but it’s on Pederson to figure it out or this talented Eagles team isn’t going anywhere. That’s a guarantee.
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