Pederson: “We’re Headed in the Right Direction”
After the Eagles loss for the sixth time in eight game on Monday night, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said he still thinks his team is headed in the right direction.
“In the National Football League, it's tough," Pederson said on Monday night after the loss.
"I still believe that we're obviously heading in the right direction as a team. It's great for those guys to play. At the same time, you know, it's hard. Each guy sort of has to have the ‘next man up’ mentality. But, you know, we all got to look at ourselves in the mirror and make sure we're doing the right things when we get those opportunities.”
The Eagles came up short again, but Pederson looks at the game as another opportunity for many of his young players to get valuable NFL game experience.
“Look at the effort," Pederson suggested. "I think you might look at wins and losses. I got to look at the potential of the football team and the guys that we have. Are we there yet? No. Are we heading in the right direction? Yes. Again, it may not show up right now in wins and losses, but I see that potential. I see that there is no quit in this team. Everybody's fighting to the end. That's a sign that things are heading the right direction.”
The Packers came to Lincoln Financial Field with one of the NFL’s worst defenses and on a four-game losing skid, including one two weeks ago in Tennessee where they gave up 45 points. That’s why the Eagles were favored even though they were missing multiple starters.
While the Eagles offense started fast, they never got on track. Green Bay scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, and while the Eagles’ defense settled in after that, their inability to make a third-down stop made it too much to come back from given their inability to mount anything on offense.
Philadelphia only had seven possessions in the game, punting twice, turning the ball over and turning the ball over on downs one time each. Carson Wentz was picked off once and finished with a 75.5 passer rating. The Eagles make-shift offensive line allowed four sacks, playing without starters Brandon Brooks and Halapoulivaati Vaitai, took a step backwards. It all added up to only 292 yards of offense and 13 points against a Packers defense that had given up 38 points per game over its previous four.
Evan for an offense that has had its issues since losing Lane Johnson, this was an awful showing.
Pederson tried to explain his offenses latest struggles.
"I think we had maybe six possessions the entire game," Pederson explained when asked who the offense fialed to score against the struggling Packers defense. "It was a keep away game. We didn't have enough touches. The touches we had, we've got to make sure that we're doing the best we can to score points and score touchdowns, especially against a good quarterback in Aaron Rodgers and that offense. Bottom line, that's what you have to do."
The loss dropped the Eagles to 5-6 and severely hurt their chances of making the NFC playoffs. They lost ground, dropping to the 11th spot in the NFC field and with a 3-6 conference mark, they are going to need some major help even if they win out..
One piece of good news, they should be getting healthier. Brandon Brooks and Jordan Matthews are expected to be back for Sunday game against Cincinnati while Ryan mathews sounds like he is getting closer.
But losing to a now 5-6 Packers team in the fashion they did still stings.
“I just think that we've given ourselves opportunities," Pederson said. "If we just make a few more plays, just one or two more plays in some of these ball games, the outcomes are different and we're not talking about this right now.”
As the Eagles losses continue to pile up, we may be hitting a turning point of their season. A comment from Pederson led to the conclusion that the Eagles may have been fools gold earlier in the season, that maybe they were playing over their heads.
"Yes, I'll admit, we're playing with some young guys on offense," Pederson explained.
"These young guys are getting valuable, valuable reps. We had Big V in there for a while. Now [G] Isaac [Seumalo] is in there. Wendell and Carson, the youth at receiver that are getting valuable reps. Yes, I agree that it may not show on the scoreboard and it may not show with the wins and losses. I totally get that. We're in this business to win games. That's why we're here. But at the same time, I look at the process. I look at the plan. I use those words because those are words that we use around here because there is a plan and there is a process. You build your team through the draft. You pick up a couple good free agents in the offseason. You continue to work. You watch these young kids develop and turn into ball players and you see the potential."