Eagles overreactions: Raiders debacle highlights Nick Sirianni's failings

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Eagles overreactions: The unacceptable part of Sunday's game originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Raiders took it to the Eagles on Sunday, bludgeoning the defense and turning the offense into a slow slog as the Birds fell, 33-22, in Las Vegas.

After an exciting first drive the game devolved into a complete comedy of errors, piling up on the Eagles until they were hardly playing organized football as the third quarter faded into the fourth and the fans who flew to Allegiant Stadium were filing out.

Let's dive into some overreactions from a travesty in Sin City:

1. Nick Sirianni just isn't an NFL head coach

Sunday was a comedy of errors all over the field, but particularly from the Eagles' head coach.

Nick Sirianni looked once again out of place, making brutal mistakes in the decision-making department and looking way out of his depth.

From accepting a holding penalty rather that gave the Raiders another chance at a third down, to trying an ill-fated onside kick coming out of the half, Sirianni often feels like he's just feeling around in the dark for the decisions a real head coach would make. Occasionally he grabs one or two, but he often winds up doing something impossibly dumb.

Fans were excited in the first quarter when it seemed Sirianni had come around on the whole "run the ball" thing, before Miles Sanders hurt his ankle and left the game for good. Instead of adapting in real time, Sirianni decided using the dimunitive Kenneth Gainwell in place of Sanders on runs up the middle and off-tackle was a good call for two more drives until he finally snapped out of it.

It seems like the game is moving too fast for Sirianni at times. I know he's a first-year head coach, but Doug Pederson never looked like this in his first year, even when he made his rookie mistakes.

Sirianni's team has no sense of identity, very little discipline, and is so disorganized that even Jason Kelce lost his cool on Sunday, getting into a shoving match with a Raiders player after yet another failed offensive snap.

Sirianni had 10 days to prepare and this is what happened. I don't want to hear about the Sanders injury: this was an embarrassing performance from the head coach.

2. Jalen Hurts is killing DeVonta Smith

We've discussed time and again that Jalen Hurts is extremely not the guy of the future. At this point, that seems obvious.

But an unfortunate byproduct of Hurts being bad is that he's not helping rookie wideout DeVonta Smith, and might even be hurting him.

For two people who are good friends and once shared a football field in Tuscaloosa, it seems these guys simply can't get on the same page during games. Unless Smith has created enormous separation, Hurts has been incapable this year of throwing ahead of the speedy wide receiver, instead more often than not pegging him in the hip, the thigh, or another body part that I don't believe has a secret second pair of hands.

Smith is a silky smooth route runner who regularly finds himself open even against good corners, but Hurts isn't highlighting that ability, instead making throws that are just off enough that it seems Smith should catch it, when it's a miracle that he's even able to get his hands on the football. The rookie is constantly torquing his body to reach Hurts' passes.

Look at what Joe Burrow is doing with Ja'Marr Chase in Cincinnati. It's likely that Chase is better than Smith, but you can be sure that Smith would be having similar head-exploding success for a rookie if he was paired with a quarterback who places the ball where's he going to be, not where he just was.

When Smith gets a chance to make a play, he does. Look at this exceptional snag on the sideline:

But those plays few and far between, in large part because of his quarterback. It feels like we're not getting a full look at Smith's explosiveness and big-play ability, which is a huge bummer.

3. This is a completely lost year, which is unacceptable

There's nothing wrong with a rebuilding year. There's absolutely something wrong with a lost year.

Sunday's loss was one of those games where you look at the product on the field, look at the decisions the front office made this past offseason, and realize you might come out of 2021 with absolutely no positives. Jalen Hurts? Not a starting quarterback. 

Nick Sirianni? Not an NFL head coach. 

Jonathan Gannon? He's got me begging for a return to the Jim Schwartz era.

This team is, top to bottom, embarrassingly bad.

The Eagles will basically be starting from scratch next season, if the front office is smart enough to realize its mistakes and cut bait sooner rather than later.

The concern, of course, is a potential refusal to admit those mistakes - at least with Sirianni and Gannon, two guys who have seemed through seven games completely ill-fitted for their jobs - and a doubling-down on those guys for a second season. I can't see Roseman & Co. sticking with Hurts past this year, but I can absolutely see them giving Sirianni and Gannon another go. Unless they become totally different people over the next 10 games, they shouldn't.

If they turn it all over after one year, maybe that'll be the shock to the system Jeffrey Lurie needs to turn a more critical eye towards Howie Roseman, whose decisions have time and time again put this team in bad positions. Sirianni and Gannon aren't good at their jobs, but Roseman's poor drafting and poor investments at multiple positions have put them in tough spots.

Sunday's loss was a legitimate low point for the Eagles. This was once a franchise that stood among the league's most consistent elite. Every year, the Eagles were relevant and well-run. 

You just can't say that anymore, and I can't imagine Lurie is very happy with that development. After a fully lost year, maybe he'll be angry enough to make real changes.

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