After previously looked at the answered questions by the Eagles' 2021 season, here are those left.
Can the Eagles win one super Bowl with Jalen Hurts on QB?
Hurts is without a doubt a talented runner and has shown glimpses of making some beautiful athletic games in some great moments. But for Hurts to be a Super Bowl-caliber QB (and that's what we all play for, right?), He needs to be able to win games with his arm.
After his first full season, we still haven’t seen him do it.
Hurts threw just 16 TDs this year, and his QB rating of 87.2 was 22nd out of 25 NFL QBs. Only Taylor Heinicke (85.9), Ben Roethlisberger (86.9) and Lamar Jackson (87.0), who were injured most of the season, were worse. He has yet to beat a team in playoff caliber, and his performance against Tampa in his first playoff game was not encouraging.
There's a reason Sirianni had to change the attack after Week 6, and much of it was due to the limitations of his second-year quarterback. Hurts leaves big games on the field. He is not consistent with his accuracy. He does not have a good touch on the deep ball and he apparently can not find his playmakers when he needs them most. All of his shortcomings were on display against Todd Bowles' defense, who played a million defenders in the field, lost his defensive backs in soft coverage, and dared Hurts to hit them through the air.
He could not. The question is, will he get there? And how long will the Eagles have to wait to find out?
It would have been better for the future if Hurts had either been amazing or blunted. But he did not either. Having a QB with a high floor and low ceiling is generally good enough to get you to the playoffs, but not very far once you get there. Right now, that's what Hurts is, but unless a major upgrade is available that does not appear to be obvious at the moment, he should get another crack at it in '22.
What's Nick Sirianni?
In the long run, it's still everyone's guess, but it's remarkable the success the team has had in hiring head coaches, even back to the Norman Braman era.
Since Marion Campbell was fired after the 1985 season, every Eagles head coach has taken his team to at least one post-season:
- Buddy Ryan: '1988, '89, '90
- Rich Kotite: 1992
- Ray Rhodes: 1995-96
- Andy Reid: 2000-04, '06, '08 -'10
- Chip Kelly: 2013
- Doug Pedersen: 2017-19
- Nick Sirianni: 2021
In fact, since Dick Vermeil was hired, only Campbell has failed to take the Birds to the playoffs since 1979. It's actually pretty incredible. The list above features some of the best coaches in franchise history, but also a fair share of one-hit wonders. So what is Sirianni?
Is he the team's next Vermeil, Reid or Pederson? Or is he Ryan, Kotite, Rhodes and Kelly? Will this be his only playoff team? Will he have a few successful seasons and they whine out? Or is he building something right? Are there strong roots that allow his flowers to bloom?
He needs more players before we know for sure, but so far Lurie has been able to do what few owners have - avoid team thinking when it comes to hiring head coaches and thinking out of the box. That's one of the reasons why every head coach he's hired has reached the offseason of their first or second year with the team.
How does Eagles get DeVonta Smith more involved?
It is inconceivable that DeVonta Smith, the only true star receiver on the team, would be ignored so often by Hurts and Sirianni this season. But even though he set a record for team rookie reception, one wonders if they could have gotten even more production out of him.
On the Fox broadcast, analyst Troy Aikman repeatedly destroyed Sirianni and Hurts for not getting Smith more involved. Despite Tampa's corners giving him 10 yards, Sirianni was constantly looking for routes that would drive Smith straight into traffic, and when the plays had to be made, Hurts was either late or did not see him. It's insane that Jalen Reagor receives a 4th and 10th goal and not Smith. It's insane that Smith did not see a goal until 1:55 left in the 2nd quarter. It's insane that he did not have a catch until 1:13 in the second quarter.
If Sirianni and Hurts are ever to be the leaders of a productive offensive, they need to understand ways in which they can plan their best players to get the ball, and for QB to get the ball to him on time and accurately. Otherwise, it's just a waste of everyone's time.
Have we seen the last of Jason Kelce as a Philadelphia Eagle? And if not, how do they survive without him?
The most important Eagle is who the quarterback is. The second most important Eagle is the future Hall of Famer, who at the age of 34 was named an AP 1st-Team All-Pro again this year. He's still as fast and as mobile as he's ever been, but it's unclear if he will be back in the 2022 season. Kelce annually takes a few weeks after the season to decide if his body can keep playing another season, and this time too we will wait with breath on his decision.
If he leaves, it's someone's guessing how the Eagles fill that gap, though Dickerson was probably drafted with the idea that he would be the heir.
How does the Eagles go from half decent to becoming "good?"
These statistics tell us a lot.
The Eagles played 7 games against the playoffs this season.
They went 0-7 (scored with 96 points).- Paul Hembekides (@PaulHembo) January 17, 2022
We know the Eagles could beat the bad teams this year and struggled with the good teams. Were they a "good, bad team" or a "bad, good team?" More importantly, what needs to happen to get them over the hump?
They need more playmakers in defense, many of whom are likely to come up with their insane draft haul this spring, including real, athletic linebackers, a pair of edge-rushers and No. 2 cornerback, a prolific, veteran-wide receiver to pair with Smith, a new player. , and plenty of depth everywhere else.
All that will help. But the most important thing they need is for Jalen Hurts to play better against good teams. Having better staff around him will help, but most of it will come from improvement from him.
Will Jonathan Gannon be the Eagles' defensive coordinator in '22?
Gannon is the head coach candidate for a couple of teams, a development in his head given how flawed Birds' defense was for most of the season. Perhaps their slow start against the Bucs on Sunday will extinguish some enthusiasm around his candidacy (or not!), but what we saw in his first year in Philadelphia was a coach who still had a lot of growth to do as a coordinator, let alone one who should have a head coaching job.
He's unlikely to win one of the top jobs available out there, and his defense needs better players. But it is still unclear exactly what Gannon will do in defense and what his style will be. Although he was able to beat some pretty awful QBs in the second half of the season, his inability to plan a defense that could slow down elite quarterbacks is a problem going forward.
What does the Eagles do with three picks in the first round?
Howie Roseman has a few options.
- Use them all on defenders.
- Mix and match all three in attack and defense.
- Swap one or two of them to move up the draft and select a college QB.
- Swap a number of them for a veteran QB like Russell Wilson or Derek Carr.
- Swap one of them to get another pick in the first round next year, and take a shot at next year's QB class, which is likely to be better than this year's.
At the start of the season, there was not much confidence that Roseman would know what to do with three picks in the first round, but he has gained a bit of confidence back with his final draft, so the clouds are suddenly not so dark.
Will Jalen Reagor be back in 2022?
Should he be back? No. Will he? Probably.
Here's the thing. Even if he comes back, what's his role next year? Is he good enough at all to be the team's No. 4 receiver? He's not good enough to play on special teams and he should not get meaningful snaps. I’d rather have Greg Ward as No. 4 again, giving that room to Reagor, a player who actively makes your team worse.
That said, he is a previous pick in the first round and has a cap hit of $ 3.6 million but a dead cap hit of $ 7.8 million. If you're looking for a reason why Reagor will stay on for one more season, $ 7.8 million is the place to start.
What the hell is that Dallas Cowboys do you want to do this out of season?
We end this with a funny tone. Just think you could be a Cowboys fan.
Dak Prescott took the fans at stake to throw bottles at the players, and rightly so. But when Dak heard that the goal was the judges, he changed his tune.
The Cowboys have now played 11 playoff games in a row without going to a conference title game. That's an NFL record. They have not been to an NFC Championship game since 1995, and as bad as the Eagles have ever been (they have been through some pretty tough stretches where, admittedly, they never made it to the playoffs), they have never been through what Dallas is going through. through. The Cowboys were in win-now mode, paying their franchise QB $ 40 million a season.
Playoff wins in the last 25 seasons:
Jake Delhomme (5)- Paul Hembekides (@PaulHembo) January 17, 2022
Trent Dilfer (5)
Mark Sanchez (4)
Brad Johnson (4)
Colin Kaepernick (4)
Dallas Cowboys (3)
Will Ezekiel Elliott change? Will Mike McCarthy be fired? Will one of the coordinators take his place? Do everyone keep their jobs?
The Eagles are heading into an important low season, but no team in the NFL has more pressure on them right now than the Dallas Cowboys, who join the Eagles on the sidelines for the rest of the offseason.
You hate to see it.