Advertisement

What's next for the Eagles?

They started 10-1. They finished 1-6.

So what's next for the team that had a double-digit lead in the second half of Super Bowl LVII a little more than 11 months ago?

Even before tonight, there was already noise about a potential coaching change. The Eagles, as best I can tell, wanted to kill that narrative before it could get going. Now, it's going.

What will Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie do next?

During the fourth quarter, he looked stone-faced and stunned. It wasn't quite a poker face. It was more like the face of someone who wanted to take a red-hot poker to someone else.

Will it be the head coach? Nick Sirianni has three years on the job. He's taken the Eagles to the playoffs three times. Twice, the road ended in the wild-card round in Tampa. Tonight, the 32-9 blowout loss was the punctuation mark of a stretch that featured a team that seemed to be listless and disinterested.

Maybe it's the fact that both coordinators got head-coaching jobs after the 2022 season. Even when things were going well, the defense was sputtering. Quiet changes apparently were made, with defensive coordinator Sean Desai reportedly losing authority over third-down game planning. On offense, the loss of Shane Steichen to the Colts wasn't sufficiently countered by Sirianni (a former coordinator) and new coordinator Brian Johnson.

Maybe it's the fact that, at a time when the Eagles had started with 10 wins in 11 games, they were stomped at home by the 49ers, 42-19. It's easy for a team to conclude then and there that this year just won't be their year. If the players entertained that thought, the coaching staff never coached them out of the ensuing funk.

Regardless, the funk came. And it stayed. At a minimum, there will be a new defensive coordinator in 2023. There could be a new offensive coordinator. Plenty of fans will want a new coach.

It all comes down to what owner Jeffrey Lurie wants. He'll be making his decision with full knowledge that the greatest coach in NFL history is available to anyone who wants him. Already, Bill Belichick has interviewed with the Falcons. All eyes have been trained on Dallas since the Cowboys were embarrassed by the Packers, for the possible firing of coach Mike McCarthy — possibly followed by the hiring of Belichick.

If Lurie thinks his one chance at Belichick could quickly come and go, will Lurie make the move?

It could be that he'd only fire Sirianni if he believes Belichick would take the job. Formal searches notwithstanding, plenty of these arrangements are made behind the scenes. If Lurie knows he wants Belichick and if Lurie knows Belichick wants the job, it's just a matter of activating the process by creating a vacancy.

Regardless, Lurie has to reflect on a special season that fell short followed by a special start followed by an outright collapse when it mattered most. What will he do?

Time will tell in Philly. And in Dallas. With eight openings already (and one filled), there could still be one or two more in the NFC East.