I want to open this blog post with the ever-present and needed acknowledgment that reaching a Super Bowl is very hard and an achievement in itself. Not only do you have to have excellent players and coaching all performing at the top of their game, you also need a solid combination of health and luck to push you over the top.

But going into this season it was very hard to not view the Eagles as very obvious favorites for, at minimum, championship contention. The NFC as a whole was not viewed strongly with only the 49ers or maybe the Cowboys seen as threats to easy Eagles domination. They kept most of their roster intact and added even more Georgia studs in the draft. They did lose both coordinators, but the fans only seemed bummed about losing Steichen. Hurts got locked up long-term and there was no real reason to think that the Eagles wouldn’t again cruise. It was very irritating.

If you look at their record this year, you’d think they had a pretty good year and maybe just befell the problem I mentioned at the very beginning: winning a SB is hard. Teams face unexpected challenges and not everything is as easy as you’d expect. After all the Chiefs, the team who beat them last year, are also having a somewhat rough go of things this year. But the Eagles feel off in very ominous ways.

For one thing: Steichen was an extremely obvious loss. I thought Steichen was a good hire to begin with and he’s done more than prove that he should be getting far more credit than national media seems to give him. I’ve seen very little discussion about what he’s managed to do in Indianapolis this year but he deserves coach of the year nods for getting them possibly to the playoffs with Minshew starting most of the season. He’s being overshadowed by the more obvious miracle in Houston but he might be the very reason Houston doesn’t go to the playoffs.

In Steichen’s place the Eagles have regressed significantly on offense. Here’s Brett Kollman doing a good film breakdown of how bad it is. They can still score points, especially against bad teams, but everything is just falling apart. The run game (which should be their bread and butter with Hurts and that line) is terrible. The passing game essentially seems to boil down to hoping AJ Brown just wins his matchup, which he will often do, but not every time. Brian Johnson cannot call plays at all. Sirianni, who didn’t call plays to begin with, also doesn’t seem very good at game-planning and woeful at adjusting.

The defense is just as bad. None of the Philly fans seemed bothered by losing Johnathan Gannon to Arizona. The defense was the failure point for the Super Bowl loss and the weaker of the two units last year. This year…it got worse. Gannon’s skill as a coach remains to be seen after he endured a rebuild lost year in Arizona but he showed genuine promise and just this weekend he took his Cardinals into Philly and won, handing the Eagles one of the worst losses of the year.

Starting the year, Sean Desai was DC. He had little experience at the position, just one season under Matt Nagy’s Bears. He did nothing special with the unit and the Eagles quietly and confusingly replaced him a couple weeks ago…with Matt Patricia? That Matt Patricia? The Patriots Way guy who Nick Foles ate for breakfast in the Super Bowl in 2017 and then ruined Detroit, got exposed as a rapist, went back to New England to poorly run the offense, and then ended up as an assistant tucked away somewhere in the building? That Matt Patricia? You will be shocked to learn the defense did not improve during his weeks at the helm, letting Tyrod Taylor lead a respectable comeback attempt and then letting the Cardinals hang 35 on them without punting.

Looking back at the schedule this year, some red flags pop up. They were squeaking by in a lot of wins, even against bad teams like the Commanders and Patriots. They lost to the Jets. They barely beat the Cowboys in round 1 and then got shellshocked in round 2. The 49ers rematch that started this noticeable skid was a destruction. A quick glance in Eagles fan spaces and you will see some panic and frustration and even calling for Sirianni’s head in some places. They are 11-5 as of writing and locked into the playoffs.

Obviously this is all absurd. Sirianni has reached the playoffs 3 times in 3 years with a Super Bowl appearance. He’s in no danger even with a regression this year. It would actually be wild to me to see Howie Roseman fire two separate Eagles coaches shortly after reaching a SB. I guess all Sirianni needs to do is get in a power struggle first. But the team should have been trending well this season and they are falling apart at the worst moment. AJ Brown is apparently causing drama now and is at odds with the coaching. DeVonta Smith hurt his ankle. The defense is being accused of not trying. The seams are stretching to their limits and if they lose to the Giants (even resting starters, as many expect) and then get immediately bounced in the playoffs, we could see some heat.

Lastly, and I can not stress this enough: Good. You love to see it.