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  • Alex Hand

What the Birds Need to do Offensively to Reach the Playoffs

The Philadelphia Eagles are at a 4-5 record, and it is about time to figure out solutions to the problems that have been plaguing the team since week one. Forget the one-point loss to the Miami Dolphins and forget the overtime victory against the Dallas Cowboys, let’s just look at what the Birds have accomplished in their first nine games.

Despite what every other amateur writer may have written, Sam Bradford is not the one who should be blamed for the unevenness of the offense. Yes, he does have some bugs that still need to be corrected such as quicker reads, getting rid of the ball sooner, and better decision-making, but by no means is he terrible at either of those things. To be fair, it is still quite impossible to determine whether Bradford is the franchise quarterback. A lot of fans have been calling for his head, but against Miami he completed 19 of 25 passes for 236 yards with a touchdown and zero interceptions.

If we are really looking for a reboot at a particular position, it is at outside receiver. Riley Cooper, Nelson Agholor, and Miles Austin, have been extremely underperforming this season. Not only due to drops, but overall production has been nonexistent. Cooper has not recording any form of statistic in a total of five games this season. Austin is not any better as he had not recorded anything form of statistics either in a span of four games; however, he was also targeted 10 times in those games. Agholor has only been active for six games and was drafted in the first-round to be the replacement for Jeremy Maclin. So far, Agholor has not come close to producing his potential and his frustration within himself in evident.

The offensive line has also been a struggle for the Eagles ever since the departure of Evan Mathis. Even with a healthy Jason Peters, he has been nowhere near as dominant as in prior seasons. Both Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce have established themselves as good players, despite their piling penalties. Both players understand the concept of having two new offensive guards throws off the rhythm and communication of the line and has therefore caused problems in both pocket protection as well as the run game.

Unfortunately, there is no way the Eagles are going to bring in two newer guards that will seamlessly be able to mesh and communicate flawlessly by Sunday. The Birds are going to just have to make it through this season with who they have, clean up the errors, and to not overcompensate for both their position and the guard’s position. Johnson and Kelce have voiced their frustrations in front of the media, and it may be true that they are trying too much when instead the answer to their problem is to simply do their job and not worry about the guard next to them. If they are overthinking about whether the guard will go through his motion and get his technique correct, then the play is already crashed because they are not thinking about fulfilling their own job to the highest degree. The guard knows what their job is and needs to be able to function without the overcompensating aid of the center or the tackle.

The game of football, and much as the media makes it out to be, is not that difficult of a sport. That is why New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches of all time. He preaches to his players each and every day to do their job. When players are not concerned with what the guy next to them is doing, because both they and the guy next to them are too busy worrying about doing their job correctly, games are won. Proof of this statement can be found in the Patriots trophy room and their current record of 9-0.

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