While it is too early to consider them a victim of the persistent “Super Bowl hangover,” the Philadelphia Eagles have gotten off to a shaky 1-1 start in 2018.
Some view this as impressive, considering star quarterback Carson Wentz has not played a down yet after suffering his ACL tear late last season. Others are concerned with many of the issues present thus far. This, by no means, is the worst-case-scenario start Philadelphia dreaded, but expectations of the optimistic are yet to have been met.
In Week 2s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Eagles were simply outplayed. Though they only lost by a score of 27-21, Tampa Bay remained in control for a large part of the game. Head coach Doug Pederson was not able to improve upon backup quarterback Nick Foles’ Week 1 performance, and it showed.
Another factor in last weekend’s debacle was the outstanding play of Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has gotten off to an exceedingly hot start, torching both defenses he has faced for a total of 819 passing yards and eight touchdowns. The deep-passing game employed by head coach Dirk Koetter’s Buccaneers shredded a vulnerable secondary and continuously killed any momentum the reigning champions found.
No matter what Philadelphia dialed up, it was not enough to defeat a tough Tampa Bay team.
Week 3 holds an interesting matchup for the Eagles, as they head home to host the Indianapolis Colts. While Colts quarterback Andrew Luck always poses a threat, Philly’s finest should be favored. One reason for this is the return of Wentz. After a bid for MVP was cut short, Wentz is back with a chip on his shoulder. Everybody knows he wants to lead this team into January football. Winning this game will be an important challenge for Philadelphia to overcome on its way to the playoffs.
Before they progress any further, questions will need to be answered.
To add, Philadelphia’s issues have come from both sides of the ball, only complicating things some more. Every facet of the Eagles’ game underperformed down in Tampa and will need to improve moving forward. Whether it be quarterback controversies, injury woes or poor performances, Philadelphia has its fair share of issues to tend to. While Pederson has proven himself to be a quality coach, this season may test him more than ever before.
With two other relevant teams in their division, the Eagles need to step up immediately before the NFC consumes them. Here are three burning questions following Week 2’s loss in Tampa Bay.