Nick Sirianni stresses how critical it is for the Eagles take immediate action to identify and resolve issues
Coach Nick Sirianni is well aware that his team's are running out of time in Philadelphia.
"We need to address our issues," he stated, "and we need to address them quickly."
The devastating 35-31 loss to the Arizona Cardinals severely damaged the team's hopes of earning the first seed in the NFC playoffs. According to ESPN's Football Power Index, the Eagles only required wins against the Cardinals (4-12) and the New York Giants (5-11) to clinch a second straight NFC East championship, even with what was considered the easiest closing schedule in football history.
Nevertheless, the Dallas Cowboys are now in a dominant position as a result of the setback. The Cowboys can secure the NFC East with a victory over the Washington Commanders in Week 18, which would also likely force Philadelphia to travel during the postseason.
"I got it. Whatever it takes, we'll do it. We've found ourselves in this predicament," defensive end Brandon Graham of the Philadelphia Eagles said. "Remain unified. That's ultimately what matters."
After a strong 10-1 start, the Eagles' subsequent slide to 1-4 in their last five games has highlighted long-standing problems. Finally, the squad has faced persistent issues including poorly timed offensive mistakes, defensive woes in the red zone, and difficulties on third down.
Even missing their best receiving Marquise Brown (heel), the Arizona offense was able to accumulate 449 yards and score touchdowns on each of their four second-half possessions, highlighting the defense's shortcomings.
Cornerback James Bradberry reflected on the differences between the Eagles club of this year and the 2022 the group that advanced to the Super Bowl, saying, "Last year, things just seemed to go our way." Throughout the year, we made mistakes, but we always managed to get back up and execute a play. We haven't been able to accomplish it up until now, and I believe that's been the missing component—we need to play when it counts."
With little over four minutes remaining and the score knotted at 28-28, the Cardinals attempted an onside kick, giving the offense an advantageous field position that they failed to take advantage of. After an offensive holding call, the Eagles coaching staff chose to proceed with two planned quarterback runs for Jalen Hurts. They also tried an open throw to Kenneth Gainwell, which was a play that was far short of the first down marker, and ultimately settled for a field goal.
That was followed by seven plays that Arizona ran for 70 yards and the game-winning score.
The idea that the Eagles used a cautious playcalling strategy during that crucial offensive period was denied by Sirianni.
After the defeat, there were several differing reactions in the locker room. Graham was among the guys that tried to bring some positivity into the situation. Conversely, receiver A.J. Brown was mute for the second straight week, saying he had "nothing to say."
Take on When asked whether Sirianni still had the players' backing, Jordan Mailata spoke up for the coach.
"Yes, without a doubt. Why even pose that question?" Mailata shot back. "This is the National Football League. Every Sunday, for example. Because we didn't underestimate them in their final days we suffered a setback today. It's the National Football League. No, the locker room is still with Nick. That is where I will end it.
The Eagles have one more game, their Week 18 matchup at MetLife Stadium against the Giants, and they want to start the playoffs with a winning record before facing elimination.
In light of possible critiques, Sirianni underlined the need of maintaining unity. As a team, we succeed and fail together, and at this point, unity is of the utmost importance. A lot of teams hope to be in the playoffs, and we are. We still have room to act, and we can still accomplish our objectives."