How are the Eagles trending after four years of the ‘new normal’? – Philadelphia Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have reached the playoffs in three of four seasons since winning Super Bowl LII after the 2017 season. However, their 31-33-1 record during the regular season paints a picture that doesn’t match up. not to Doug Pederson’s proclamation of the “new normal” on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art before the city’s masses of rabid fans.

The organization deserves credit for staying competitive under ideal circumstances and initially setting a high standard where playoff appearances in three of the four seasons could be considered a disappointment. Some NFL organizations dream of such a position.

How should the objective success of reaching the playoffs three out of four times be seen in the larger context of the organization?

Construction of the Roseman list

General manager Howie Roseman is as complicit as anyone in the failure to maintain success at the top of the NFL after Super Bowl LII. He made several damaging missteps in the draft, relied too heavily on Super Bowl heroes in their early years and struggled to replicate the success he had in free agency in the 2017 offseason. .

The 2018 and 2019 seasons consisted of disappointing rosters barely surviving in desperate circumstances due to serious injuries and poor performance to finish 9-7 and sneak into the playoffs. Pederson weathered adversity admirably throughout both seasons and found ways to keep his team together and capitalize on lucky opportunities to reach the playoffs. Roseman found ways to fill holes in the roster with lesser-known players filling in for injured starters. However, they just didn’t have enough to compete with the best teams in the NFL.

Bottom fell in 2020. The gaps caught up with the Eagles and played a major role in the organization’s deteriorating relationship with Pederson and Carson Wentz. Roseman himself created the need for a “transition period” in 2021, and the strategy limited the ceiling for a respectable season.

Exposing the weaknesses of the NFC East

The NFC East’s collective weaknesses have played a major role in Philadelphia’s ability to stay in the hunt for the playoffs every year despite recurring inconsistencies at the start of each of the past four seasons. The Dallas Cowboys fell short of high expectations due to underperforming talent. The Washington Commanders franchise has been marked by off-field dysfunction and (at best) mediocrity. The New York Giants were abysmal.

The Eagles have feasted on weak teams in Washington and New York since 2018 with a combined record of 12-4. Despite the streak of playoff appearances, their roster-building issues showed up against the mighty Cowboys. They are 2-6 against their arch-rival since Super Bowl LII.

Colt McCoy, Mark Sanchez, Josh Johnson, Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins, Taylor Heinicke and Garrett Gilbert have all played important snaps at quarterback Washington in games against the Eagles since 2018. Starters Haskins and Alex Smith have in some way sort swept their division rivals in two Matches 2020.

The Eagles suffered losses in divisional games to starters Daniel Jones and Andy Dalton while beating Jake Fromm, Mike Glennon and Ben DiNucci. Their highest hit points in the 2021 season came against equally overmatched reserves.

Competitive incompetence is not the true mark of a winning team and can inflate the interpretation of regular season performances. Average regular-season performances showed a 1-3 record against stronger NFL competition in four playoff games.

The Defensive Value-Over-Average (DVOA) measure “compares a team’s performance to a league baseline based on the situation to determine value-over-average.” soccer strangers ranked the Eagles 15th, 11th, 28th and 15th in overall stats over the past four respective seasons.

Do the Eagles have a good organizational culture?

When professional sports organizations exceed talent expectations on their rosters, analysts tend to credit the subjective idea of ​​a “winning culture” for explaining something they can’t quantify. What does winning culture really mean? Do the Eagles have a winning culture?

During the 2021 off-season, the Philadelphia plaintiff and Athleticism both published lengthy briefings that included troubling facts about the organization’s deteriorating relationship with Pederson and Wentz, the lack of proper collaboration between departments in football operations, and questionable draft strategies, among other points of contention. dysfunction.

The Eagles have unquestionably committed serious missteps that fall short of the ‘new normal’ standard set in February 2018. However, there are elements of the organization that have kept them afloat through the tough times and allowed them to stay. in conversation as one of the most successful franchises in the NFL since Jeffrey Lurie bought the team in 1994.

Lurie confidently proclaimed, “We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with,” in January 2021, just weeks after a 4-11-1 season ended.

His record of hiring head coaches justifies the confidence he has in his internal leadership. Andy Reid, Pederson and Nick Sirianni were all lesser-known coach candidates with experience as offensive assistant coaches who scored well in leadership and emotional intelligence. Sirianni hopes to replicate the success of two of the best head coaches in franchise history after making big strides during his rookie season.

The longtime Eagles owner clearly learned his lesson after appointing former head coach Chip Kelly too much power in 2015. He returned to the formula that built a strong organization. His first recruit, Ray Rhodes, also won AP Coach of the Year in 1995 before his four-year tenure ended badly.

Roseman found success despite his shortcomings. He consistently and confidently prioritized certain positions as a formula for success. He found ways to win despite difficult circumstances, which is the defining characteristic of winning culture.

Perception of success by fans

The relentless passion of Eagles fans can sometimes lead to polarizing beliefs. Just ask about the perception of Pederson, the only coach in franchise history to win a Lombardi Trophy, who is remembered just as often in Philadelphia for minor failures as for one of the most playoff series. notables in NFL history.

The perception of the Eagles as a failure since February 2018 is based on extremely high expectations that the team has never met. However, short of that goal, they are still one of five NFC teams to earn a playoff berth in three of the last four seasons.

Errors in roster construction prevented the Eagles from setting the “new normal” that Pederson spoke of. However, the 2021 transition point is now a thing of the past. The Eagles have their most talented roster since 2017, and they’ll be looking to enter a new era with higher expectations than the patchwork playoff berths that never result in championship contention.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

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