Saturday, December 17, 2016

Should Doug Pederson Be on the Hot Seat in Philly?

The only good news for the Eagles heading into a Week 15 matchup on the road against the Baltimore Ravens is that the Philadelphia Flyers are riding a 10-game winning streak into their road game this Saturday against the Dallas Stars to help deflect some attention away from their dismal play over the last four games. Even the lowly 76ers have won more games than the football team in town lately with a 2-2 record in their last four outings.

I have been touting the Birds as a legitimate playoff contender all season long based on what I saw from this team when the leaves were still green and on the trees. Playoff teams win games in November and December while the league's pretenders continue to work their way into a better position for next year's draft. The race to the postseason in the NFC is one of the best in years, unfortunately with an ugly four-game losing streak Philly is now officially on the outside looking in.

Earlier this week I read an article about which NFL head coaches are in jeopardy of losing their jobs in the wake of the Los Angeles Rams' decision to part ways with their embattled head coach Jeff Fisher. Eagles' head coach Doug Pederson was mentioned, but thought to be safe considering that it was just his first year on the job. The simple fact that he was mentioned raises a red flag in my book. On the surface, a 5-8 record for a team that was projected to win just seven games does not appear to be all that bad, but it is the way that this team has collapsed down the stretch that raises my level of concern. Rookie Carson Wentz is headed in the wrong direction after a strong start as the team's new starting quarterback on an offense that is extremely predictable. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz had his unit playing at a very high level earlier in the year, but now this defense is not all that much better than the one that finished last season at or near the bottom of the league in most major statistical categories.

I am not jumping ship on the Eagles after still believing in them all the way up to last week's loss against Washington, but something has to be done about all the water this ship has taken in over the past month or so. Pederson needs to show that he can motivate this team to finish strong. Philadelphia can win in Baltimore this Sunday and it also has a chance to get a win at home this upcoming Thursday against the New York Giants. The best opportunity to show team owner Jeff Lurie that he does have what it takes to be a head coach at this level would be to knock off Dallas on New Year's Day if there is anything still on the line for the Cowboys as far as their postseason plans.

If Philly can get to seven wins this season then Pederson should keep his job. However, if this current four-game losing streak reaches seven games by year's end, I think Lurie might want to seriously think about cutting his losses and find a capable head coach that does have what it takes to guide his team.

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