If you let everyone from the outside looking in tell it, the Philadelphia Eagles are suffering from a Super Bowl Hangover. What else can explain how a team finished the 2017-18 NFL season with a 13-3 record then proceded to beat the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs before beating the New England Patriots in the big one? The answer to their problems is the same man who built this team, general manager Howie Roseman.
When Carson Wentz went down with his season-ending injury last year, Roseman didn’t panic. He knew he had a capable QB in backup Nick Foles. For his trust in Foles, the Eagles walked away with their first ever Super Bowl victory.
Then the offseason hit, and Howie Roseman forgot what got him where he was and forgot what made the Eagles so special last season. His first mistake, letting LeGarrette Blount walk away. For all the talk of how Wentz was on his way to becoming the NFL MVP last year, none of that would’ve been possible without the running style of Blount.
With Blount leading the way in 2017, the Eagles ranked 3rd in rushing compared to 25th this season. What also has to be placed on the shoulders of Roseman is that when Jay Ajayi went down with his season-ending injury, Roseman sat on his hands. In his mind, the Eagles have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. However, injuries have robbed them of that title and the ground game has suffered,
With Ajayi down, Roseman elected to use Wendall Smallwood, Corey Clement, and now Josh Adams, and the results have been not so kind. What this has done is place added pressure on Wentz. Although Wentz has continued to perform well, the Eagles’ offense is a shell of what it was last season and throughout the playoffs.
The moment I knew Howie Roseman lost his nerve, was when Ajayi went down and he let Le’Veon Bell stay without a job. Roseman pulled off a few in-season contact moves that gave the Eagles enough capital to make a trade for Bell. Instead, he elected to stick with the players he had. The Eagles are desperate for a power runner. But after winning a Super Bowl, Roseman figured he would ride it out with his team. Not a smart move.
Then the injuries started to pile up on defense.
With the Eagles expected to make a few moves during the trade deadline, Roseman decided to go the offensive route instead of shoring up a defense ranked 26th in passing yards allowed. The reason for that was injuries. With Ronald Darby out and Jalen Mills hurting, Roseman was expected to go get a DB. With rumors swirling that Patrick Peterson wanted out of Arizona, many predicted the Eagles as the best landing spot.
Fast forward and no moves were made for the secondary. Instead, Roseman elected to go after WR Golden Tate of the Detroit Lions. So, that left the Eagles in dire need of a power back and DB. With neither, the Philadelphia Eagles a facing heavy criticism that 2017 was nothing more than a fluke. All thanks to the non-moves of Roseman. What happened?
To his credit, Roseman is no fool. This is a guy who sat back, took his demotion like a man when Chip Kelly rode into town on his white horse and just waited. He waited for another chance and when he got it, he struck gold over and over. But this season, it was mistake after mistake and that is why the Eagles are sitting at 4-6, just one game ahead of the New York Giants for the worst record in the NFC East.
But all is not lost. The Eagles are still within shot of winning the division but they must get it done with the guys Roseman elected to believe in. If not, then the failure of a repeat will fall on his shoulders for not being the gun-slinging GM he’s been known to be.