Some people are fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. This 2021 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Nate Sudfeld.
Your 2020 record: 4-Sudfeld-1.
In a vacuum, it makes perfect sense for a DOA team to bail on Week 17 and inch up in the draft by trotting out a replacement-level Training Camp Favorite. But the The Nate Sudfeld Incident didn’t happen in a vacuum. It happened in Philly, a town that never stops looking for reasons to be unhappy.
Let’s go back for a moment to examine the events leading up to that game. The Eagles opened up last season by blowing a 17-point lead to Washington. They blew a chance to come back against the Ravens because their head coach called a shotgun QB draw on their final two-point conversion attempt. They punted in overtime to force a deliberate tie against the Bengals. In a game against the Giants, down four points in the fourth quarter, they handed it off to Miles Sanders on 3rd and 18. (He gained one yard.) In a game against the Packers, down a touchdown in the fourth quarter, they punted. Green Bay’s Aaron Jones had a 77-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession.
I’M NOT FINISHED. Their best wideout was Travis Fulgham. Their other wideout was the guy they drafted one spot before Justin Jefferson and ended up having 1,000 fewer receiving yards. Their defensive coordinator pulled a Gregg Williams and inspired DK Metcalf to beat his unit into meat pulp. They had the fourth-worst turnover differential in football. And going into their final game—a rematch against Washington—the Eagles had already lost six of their last seven, with their lone win coming against a Saints team that was starting Taysom Hill at quarterback as part of an extended I Think You Should Leave sketch.
I’M STILL NOT FINISHED. The Eagles also benched their franchise deer hunter in early December because he had regressed into being the worst starting quarterback in the league and because he had alienated everyone in the building except for the shit-for-brains GM who drafted him. The rookie QB they started in his stead showed promise late in the season and was on the verge of kicking Washington out of the playoff field in that final game… UNTIL…
This team won a Super Bowl four years ago. I swear that actually happened.
Your coach: You won’t have Picnic Dad to kick around anymore. Doug Pederson went from winning a title to being roughly as employable as Adam Gase faster than Eagles fans can turn a sidewalk into a toilet. Lemme take you through a rough timeline of Pederson’s downfall:
- Wins a Super Bowl
- Loses Frank Reich, and therefore all his credibility as well
- Never wins more than nine games in a season after that
- Is forced to break down tape with his owner—the Lorne Michaels of football—every Tuesday during the season. Like, when he has to do actual work instead.
- Stands by as his GM drafts another quarterback because he wants the Eagles to become a “quarterback factory.” Just like they were when AJ Feeley was playing for them!
- Has Carson Wentz openly reject his play calls
- Benches Wentz for Jalen Hurts
- Benches Hurts for Nate Sudfeld, almost certainly by force, and then falls on the grenade for the decision like a chump
- Is fired by his owner anyway, but only after being forced to sit through two more meetings with the fucker.
If I missed any details in there, your area Eagles fan will be more than happy to fill in the blanks with partial truths and stale vomit. In the meantime, meet your new savior:
That’s former Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. For the second straight time the Eagles got a coach nobody else wanted: a guy who gauges draft talent the same way your father-in-law would. Imagine being DISAPPOINTED that your team didn’t hire Josh McDaniels as its head coach.
No one inside or outside of the NFL believes that Nick Sirianni is qualified for this job. But ultimately, it doesn’t particularly matter who’s in charge on the sideline. Pederson won the Eagles a title under impossible circumstances and it still didn’t make a fucking difference. That’s because of this man:
That’s Howie Roseman. If you ever wondered what it would look like if Jack Easterby and Brian Cashman fucked, here’s your answer. As long as Roseman and owner Jeffrey Lurie are in charge—a report earlier this year noted that Lurie has been meddling in football decisions, including having his son’s friend named VP of football operations and being upset at Pederson for not throwing enough after a thrilling win over the Packers in 2018—you’re fucked worse than one of Ed Rendell’s mistresses.
The Eagles were one of the great What Are You Even Going For Here teams last year, in a division full of such teams. They even added former Jags GM Dave Caldwell (37-91) to Roseman’s entourage this offseason to deepen the enigma. The Eagles are now dysfunctional, unlikeable, and expensive. TOP NOTCH WORK, HOWDOG. I wouldn’t ask Howie Roseman to run a fucking bake sale.
Do they have a Guy on the coaching staff? They do! Remember former Giants and Titans QB Alex Tanney? Now you do. When Sirianni turns out to be a lemon, don’t be shocked when Howie forces Sirianni to dress and start Tanney with the division title on the line.
Your quarterback: I guess it’s still Jalen Hurts, who had exactly one good start a year ago. Hurts may show the mythical “flashes,” but I’ve seen this movie before. I know when a punctured femur is in the offing. You will absolutely see both Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens start games for this team this season. And nothing about the Eagles quarterback situation will be any more resolved when you read this same preview a year from now, because Carson Wentz’s contract gives them more dead cap space than the back shelf of a Foot Locker, and because Wentz already gave his own foot COVID and blew the Eagles’ chance at getting a first for his sorry ass.
But by all means, keep assuming that a Deshaun Watson trade is forthcoming. Given what that man’s been accused of, he and this town belong together.
What’s new that sucks: The Eagles deliberately buttfucked themselves in order to get the sixth overall pick and then traded down out of that pick anyway. They used the 12th pick on Heisman winner DeVonta Smith, but this city is where wideouts, talented or otherwise, go to die. I’m not falling for that shit. Smith is a make-good pick for the Jalen Reagor bust, and he’s already hurt. This is the new future of the Eagles: cycling through one failed prospect after another and drafting insta-replacements to keep the stench from lingering.
Elsewhere, Ryan Kerrigan arrives from Washington for his 67th season. I live in D.C. and Kerrigan is lionized here because he’s the only guy on that team who’s had a sack this century. Kerryon Johnson arrives from Detroit, because why have one fantasy bust at running back when you can have two?
What has always sucked: I don’t say this lightly, and I don’t say this merely because the occasion to roast compels me to: Philly fans are now, bar none, the most annoying fans in sports. They’re worse than Boston. Worse than St. Louis. Worse than Pittsburgh. Worse than all of them. I fucking hate them.
There’s no story out there that Philly people can’t make about themselves. It’s constant, and it’s unbearable. Philly people post videos of each other every waking second. They point out each other’s accents every time a fucking local man-on-the-street news clip pops up on Twitter. OH MY GOD LISTEN TO THIS GUY’S SAY WOODER! THAT IS SO PHILLY! Even Boston fans don’t do this. This is just you, Philly. There is no group of people on Earth more determined to be uninteresting. And there’s no group of people on Earth who presume that their city limits extend all the way to fucking New Zealand. Haiti just had its President assassinated and I assure you that 900,000 Philly fans used that occasion as a mystifying excuse to bitch about Ben Simmons. If the whole of Philly was wiped out by a new Omega Variant of COVID that Carson Wentz left behind in his Evangelical food truck, I’d hold a goddamn boat parade. Fuck you and fuck your idiot team. You deserve every horrible thing coming to you, and I promise you there’ll be many of those things.
Zach Ertz is still here for some reason. The Sixers will never win another title.
Ratto says: The Eagles could have drafted pre-murder O.J. Simpson and still manage to screw it up. Nick Sirianni seems a perfectly normal hire compared to Dan Campbell, but not otherwise. BEST NAME TO HEAR ON TV: Ross Pierschbacher.
What might not suck: Provided he gets healthy (lol), Smith is about as likable a prospect as you’re ever gonna find. WIP will call him a bust after a single quarter.
HEAR IT FROM EAGLES FANS!
Before the 2019 season I bought a custom jersey with “WENTZYLVANIA” on the back.
Fuck Howie Roseman with Gritty’s left skate.
This morning’s exchange with the guy behind the counter at my closest Wawa:
Me: “Hey, good morning.”
Guy: “How you doin’?”
Me: “Ready for football, man!” *slight chuckle*
Guy, irritated: “Nah man, not me. Not anymore. Not with all the Covid bullshit they’re trying to pull.”
Me, confused: “I…I don’t…”
Guy, interrupts, much more agitated: “You ain’t out there to play politics, man. Just play football, you know?”
I pay for my Sizzli and hash brown and walk away. Go Birds?
God, we’re pathetic.
We have a general manager who could fuck up a one-car funeral procession.
Howie Roseman is super fucking short.
The average WIP caller is somehow now a more competent option for GM than Howie Roseman.
Howie’s gonna turn into a Matt Millen. Lurie is never going to fire him, everybody is going to wonder why, and I am just going to drunkenly YouTube the Super Bowl on quiet nights alone to remember what glory felt like.
Drew (not me):
This team is as grotesque and devoid of charm as the South Philly residents who pollute the streets near the Linc. The same people who will scream until they have a heart attack about how much Hurts lacks grit and hustle are the same repulsive slobs who are pre-pre-gaming with cheesesteaks from Pat’s or Geno’s at 7 a.m. on a Sunday before guzzling down a case of Yuengling and staggering over to the Linc to complain about immigrants and how they hate the city and love living in, like, King of Prussia. These fans are intolerable, offensive boors, and we deserve our reputation as some of the worst in sports.
Just about all of the players that had anything to do with that title are gone. Those that aren’t have regressed. Our franchise QB had a mental breakdown over Jalen Hurts.
This goddamned team took a DII QB and made him into a formidable QB in 2.5 years enabling them to have home field and eventually win a SB with his backup, and promptly turned him into dogshit within two years of that.
In 2017, I prayed to a higher power that the Eagles would win the Super Bowl. If I wasn’t religious before, I am now because holy shit did that cosmic bill come due IMMEDIATELY.
Because I cannot go one goddamn day without hearing 15 million times how interested the Eagles are in Deshaun Watson.
By my measure, flouting decorum and laughing in the face of competitive integrity was the most Philly thing Doug Pederson could’ve done.
The final straw for me was during a home loss to the Raiders when Todd Pinkston whiffed on a pretty catchable ball and the drunken idiot two rows in front of me screamed, “If that was a watermelon you would have caught it.”
The Sixers blew a 26-point lead to a team from Atlanta and their point guard can’t shoot.
The Flyers perennially have the ceiling of an 8-seed.
The Phillies have one good player and the rest of the team has Covid.
And yet none of those franchises hold a candle to the embarrassing year the Eagles just had.
The Eagles then replaced a Super Bowl-winning coach with a Ted Lasso cosplayer. The best part of this season will be watching the Cowboys blow yet another playoff game. Philly’s lone hit this year was a critically-acclaimed TV show that centered around a gruesome murder case and was dark and gloomy and depressing. Philadelphians celebrated this show like they won another Lombardi Trophy.
Philly fans might be known for throwing batteries, killing a robot, and booing Santa. But guess what? No one else is allowed to make fun of Philly anymore because the city saved everyone from four more years of Trump. You’re welcome, America. Pass me another Wawa hoagie and a glass of wooder.
Our training and medical staff are straight from a Gettysburg triage hospital. All of our running backs got hurt. All of our wide receivers got hurt, and Alshon Jeffery was still probably our best option at that position. All of our cornerbacks got hurt. Nathan Gerry started 19 games over the last two seasons, and the Niners cut him a few weeks after they signed him, confirming what we all thought about his talent. Wentz had the gall to bitch about getting benched 12 games into the season while playing some of the most god awful quarterback I have seen since Ty fucking Detmer.
We could have had Duce Staley, a beloved icon who more than earned his shot to be the head coach. He had the players respect, which is truly half the battle. He might have sucked, but he deserved a shot to find that out. Instead, we had to listen to Jeffrey Lurie, our esteemed team owner, talk about how Duce wasn’t the right fit, but wishes him the best because he is like a son to him. Fuck you, Jeff. The only thing the shield loves more than money is nepotism. If he was like a son to you would have hired him! You asshole! Fuck Jeffrey Lurie with a can of Campbell’s soup that McNabb puked on.
You’re not truly a Philadelphia Eagle until you’ve had an on-field injury that could be displayed in the Mutter Museum.
The South Jersey/Delco trash that gets priced out of Flyers games finds a way to ooze their unemployment checks, Trump flags and alcohol poisoned souls into the Linc even though tickets cost more than they take home in a month. Even after the essentials of alimony, child support and cocaine are deducted.
And this is all to see a team run into the ground by a Napaleonic weasel who farted together one random good season amid a decade of mostly shit. This year he gave the coach job to a stammering, stuttering awkward shit from Indy that literally no single person knew existed before he was hired. Our QB was so bad at Alabama, Nick Saban benched him for a player without operating knees. They have one good skill position player – maybe – and that’s a huge maybe because Devonta Smith is skinnier than a Kensington crack addict.
Our accents are gross, our fans are grosser, our jersey colors are even worse. I go to every home game. I’ll probably give myself COVID. I hate myself. Fuck Carson Wentz. Go Birds.
I don’t care anymore. Have Joe Flacco throwing the ball at the feet of the fastest while being coached by the Chiefs former administrative assistant to VP of Latin American Scouting. It doesn’t matter.
The organization then put our franchise QB behind a geriatric offensive line and feigned surprise when he didn’t light the world on fire with the likes of Travis Fulgham and Quez Watkins. The 2020 Eagles roster was a “Who’s That Guy?” drinking game that awakened my latent alcoholism.
Wentz got benched for his backup, sulked in silence and requested a trade via media leaks that somehow managed to divide the fan base even more than the Wentz vs. Foles debate. Now he’s free to peddle his Aw Shuck outlook on a good team while the Eagles cross their fingers that he finds success elsewhere because they ate the most dead cap space in NFL history all on the hopes of a 2nd round conditional pick.
Even though the Eagles won a trophy this century, I can’t rub it in the face of Cowboys fans because we’re run by Liberal Jerry Jones and his idiot adopted son.
We didn’t deserve the 2017 win and we might not win again until 2117 assuming humanity hasn’t been burned off the planet by then.
They’re going to trade for a guy who is aiming to match Bill Cosby’s assault quotient and three quarters of the fan base will scream “innocent until proven guilty.”
It’s absolutely the most Eagles thing ever to have alienated our franchise QB and tossed him aside for a second-year guy, only to now be stuck praying that he does just well enough at the new job to get us a first-round pick back.
A couple of months ago, I moved to Philadelphia. I’ve always been an Eagles fan and have spent much of my life in the area, but for the first time, I was living in Philly proper. After the settlement was finished, my realtor directed me to this sandwich joint about a minute’s walk from the office. It was lunchtime, I was hungry, so I figured why not? Might as well let me get situated with a local place.
So I open the door, step inside, and literally my first experience as a Philadelphia resident is this customer two spots in front of me ranting and raving at the top of his lungs about how the Eagles did Wentz dirty last offseason, how they set him up to fail, how Howie Roseman was a toady (ok, this is true), and about how Jalen Hurts would never amount to anything and that he had known this since his first year at Alabama.
He then followed this up with an extended tirade on Hurts, his playing style, and, bizarrely, Lamar Jackson, saying how that kind of QB (hmmm) was never successful (?????), and that he hoped the Eagles finished in last place this season and that Wentz would win the MVP with the Colts, out of sheer spite.
All of this happened in June, by the way, also known as the deadest period of the year for football news. It was also the day after the Sixers blew a 26-point lead in the playoffs.
Our GM has somehow cast a Svengali-like spell over whatever remains of Jeffrey Lurie’s brainstem. Roseman looks like if Data on Star Trek got some sun. He ran a beloved Super Bowl winning coach out of town so Lurie could handpick some chud to call pass plays from NFL Blitz.
Every dimwit in Delco just had their shitty way of life nationally validated when Jean Smart said “smacked ass” on Mare of Easttown and will ride that high right forever. Meanwhile, the team is not-so-shadow run by a doofus with a Napoleon complex who became one of the few GMs in recent memory to run both a Super Bowl MVP & Super Bowl-winning Coach out of town less than 5 years removed from a title.
Fuck the Eagles and double fuck anybody who has ever worn a Mike Mamula jersey.
I thought being an Eagles fan would finally be cool after winning that improbable Super Bowl but instead it’s been a deep dive headfirst into concrete.
Fuck Howie Roseman and fuck Jeffrey Lurie for treating themselves like kings when they’re a Philly special away from being the Jaguars. I hope we trade Hurts to Houston and he scores 40 TDs.
My wife only tolerates football because I work out my gametime anxieties by rubbing her feet. So it’s Week 4. The Eagles are on the road against the 49ers. There’s 6:50 left in the game and Wentz bails us out by going for it on fourth and actually throwing on target. They bring Jalen Hurts in and send Wentz out wide because Doug thought it’d be cute to cosplay as the Saints.
“Don’t waste it!” my wife chimes in, to my surprise.
The ball is snapped directly through Hurts’s hands. He scurries backward and falls on it, setting up a 2nd & Santa Monica.
She buries her face in her hands. “WHY MUST I EXPERIENCE THIS?!”
I still don’t have a good answer. What’s worse, the fact that she reacted at all tells me she cares now. I should be tried at the Hague.
– Let Carson Wentz serve as a constant reminder that there should not be two Dakotas. Or even one Dakota.
– Nick Sirianni looks the kid running the counter at that one local deli that everyone knows is just a mafia front.
– I’m pretty sure there’s still a guy busking outside the Linc selling “Romo is a Homo” t-shirts.
– I don’t have kids, but I do have a nephew who’s about to turn three. I’ve been slowly indoctrinating him to the Eagles side with his parents’ permission (my brother-in-law is a casual Bills/Giants fan, as they live in upstate NY, and my sister is indifferent at best to all sports). Part of this is Uncle/Nephew bonding, but a much larger part is that I want to have at least one family member to suffer with me so I’m not alone in my pain every year. This probably makes me some kind of sociopath. I don’t care. Grieve with Uncle Bill, Teddy. Grieve with me! At least we have an easy to learn fight song to pique his youthful interest.
– Last year our offensive line had more holes than your average PornHub search.
Mare of Easttown sucked.
Fuck Howie Roseman and fuck Chip Kelly with a cog from the QB factory.
WIP fans find Watson so essential that they’re basically willing to peddle myths about sexual harassment on air – after all, it’s just he said/she x 20+ said. “Innocent until proven guilty!” says someone who couldn’t explain the difference between a criminal or civil suit at gunpoint.
Everybody hates Carson Wentz for forcing his way out of town (and for suddenly becoming inexplicably awful), but I can’t dislike a guy who loathes Howie Roseman and Jeff Lurie as much as I do. Meanwhile, even the team doesn’t believe in Jalen Hurts, who was one of the worst QBs in the league last year but still played better than Wentz.
Joe Flacco has been injured and/or dogshit for years but Howie Roseman GAVE HIM A FUCKING RAISE.
They’ve been wearing the same wretched, no-green-found-in-nature for 25 years now with no plans to upgrade to a shade that isn’t three-quarters blue.
Lurie has owned a team in one of the largest markets for more than two decades. The Eagles have been a perennial playoff team and he’s won a recent Super Bowl. Yet he has less clout with the league office than the guy who squeegees Goodell’s limo.
I am a lifelong Eagles fan who moved to Kansas City in January 2018, arriving in town exactly two weeks before the Eagles won Super Bowl LIII and gave me the greatest sports moment of my life. Two years later, I joined my Chiefs fan girlfriend and her family at a Super Bowl party to watch Mahomes and Reid win their own Lombardi Trophy. As the confetti fell, I turned to my girlfriend’s cousin and uttered the following:
“I’m really happy we both won, because now if the Eagles and Chiefs meet in the Super Bowl next year I won’t feel guilty about rooting for the Eagles.”
WELP, I got exactly what I deserved for that little comment. In 2020, the Eagles didn’t just slam the door on any lingering Super Bowl hopes, they slammed the door, rolled a 50-ton boulder in front of the door, set the door on fire, then gave the door COVID-19.
The Eagles have jettisoned virtually everyone who made that Super Bowl happen. Nick Foles? No thanks, we’ve got an even DORKIER Christian at quarterback. Malcom Jenkins? Nah, we’ll just convert our worst cornerback to your position and hope it works out. Doug Pederson? Sorry Doug, but it’s either you, or the GM who singlehandedly drove the franchise into the ground. Tough call, but you gotta go.
We’re just going to spend our first round pick on a 96-pound receiver, sign a washed-up 40-year-old d-lineman for the 17th consecutive season, and undermine our starting quarterback AGAIN by handing Jalen Hurts the keys with one hand while photoshopping Deshaun Watson’s face onto the 2022 media guide with the other.
Philadelphia worships a mediocre boxer who didn’t even win his biggest fight. The Delaware Valley leads the country in Blue Lives Matter paraphernalia per capita and the FOP leader of our city’s cops looks like he eats a day’s worth of donut production for breakfast. I hate it here.
Submissions for the NFL previews are already closed, alas. Next up: Detroit Lions.