Every time it looks like the Philadelphia Eagles take a step forward, they take two more steps back.
After improving to 5-4 and drawing even with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, the Eagles have lost two straight games to fall to 5-6, most recently losing to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Philadelphia has scored a combined 19 points in its last two defeats, as Carson Wentz has scuffled.
The Eagles have also been without their top two wide receivers, as DeSean Jackson is out for the remainder of the year as a result of core muscle surgery and Alshon Jeffery has missed the past couple of games due to an ankle injury.
The good news is that Philly will be taking on the Miami Dolphins next weekend. The bad news is that the Eagles have shown us nothing all year to make their fans feel comfortable that they will be able to go on the road and get a win against an inferior ballclub.
To be fair to Philadelphia, its last two losses came to two of the top teams in the NFL in the New England Patriots and the Seahawks, but at the same time, the Eagles have defeats to the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions on their resume.
The Cowboys keep giving the Birds every opportunity to seize control of the division, but the Eagles keep punting them. Dallas has gone just 3-5 over its last eight games, including a Week 12 loss to the Patriots. Jason Garrett seems to have lost control of the team. The offense has been inconsistent. And yet, the Cowboys have still maintained control of the NFC East due to Philly's ineptitude.
The Eagles are having many of the same issues as Dallas. Just on a larger scale.
Doug Pederson has lost a whole lot of his luster since the “Philly Special.” Wentz is far removed from the MVP candidate he was a couple of years ago. The receiving corps is banged up. The secondary absolutely stinks.
From a talent perspective, the Cowboys should actually be blowing the Eagles away right now, but because they don't exactly have it all together either, they have given Philadelphia life.
The problem is, the Eagles aren't breathing it in.
Make no mistake about it: Philadelphia absolutely, positively has to beat the Dolphins next Sunday. No questions asked. I don't even care if the Eagles are without Jeffery again. They have to find a way to get it done.
Remember: this is a Miami club that seemed to be in contention for worst team of all-time honors earlier in the season. Obviously, the Cincinnati Bengals have crashed the party, but that doesn't mean the Dolphins are suddenly good.
The Cowboys also have a pretty tough schedule the rest of the way, as they have the Bills, Bears and Rams on tap before a showdown with the Eagles in Philly on Dec. 22.
That's why the Eagles need to start taking advantage of their opportunities. If they let anymore slide on by, they aren't making the playoffs, and if they lose to Miami, they can probably kiss their postseason hopes goodbye.