The defending Super Bowl champs were terribly out of sync in a 5-0 preseason loss to the Cleveland Browns. Week 3 of the preseason is when teams let their starters play more to prepare for the upcoming regular season. However, Philly’s offense looked more like a bottom-barrel team than one trying to defend its title.
Nick Foles Has been Horrible
One big problem for the Eagles is that quarterback Nick Foles hasn’t played anywhere near his potential.
Foles took over for starter Carson Wentz when he tore his ACL in Week 14 last season. And the backup was able to guide Philly through the playoffs and towards a Super Bowl 52 victory – with Foles earning the game’s MVP award.
Wentz still doesn’t look fully back from his ACL injury, which means Foles will be leading the team again in the meantime. Against the Browns, though, he looked anything but a leader while throwing errant passes and committing a couple of silly turnovers.
“There’s time when I feel good and times when I’m making mistakes,” Foles said following the Browns game. “It’s as simple as that. I just have to keep being critical of myself, keep watching the film and understanding what’s going on.
“I have to keep playing, keep going through it. Obviously, I haven’t been myself and I expect a lot of myself, but I have to keep learning. I’ve played this game a long time, I know how to address this and keep moving forward while keeping that positive outlook.”
Coach Pederson Blames Entire Offense
Foles was missing his top three wide receivers and top two running backs against Cleveland. And the backups who played didn’t do him any favors. This is why head coach Doug Pederson was quick to say that he wasn’t putting all the blame on his QB.
“It’s obviously not what you want in the third preseason week. Listen, it’s one of those things where we’re still keeping things very vanilla and we still want to evaluate and make sure we have the right guys in the right spots. Now, we’ve obviously got one more preseason game, and then we turn our attention to Atlanta in week one.”
Pederson doesn’t want to ruin his current starting quarterback’s confidence going in the season. But he can’t be too happy about some of the decisions that Foles made.
The veteran QB’s first pick against the Browns seemed like a rookie mistake. He failed to look off the safety, then threw a wounded duck deep into coverage. On the second interception, he tried throwing to Zach Ertz when he was covered by three defenders.
How will Eagles Fix Offense Going into 2018 Season?
Pederson doesn’t have any magical solutions for getting his offense to play better after a poor preseason run. Instead, he just wants to get back to the basics.
“I don’t think you can just snap your fingers,” he said. “That’s where we’ll get back to work. We have a lot of work to do.
“It’s not going to be easy, but that’s why we are here. That’s why we’re a part of this team and in the NFL – we know that we have to be critical of ourselves and get back to work.
“Get back to the basics and play our kind of ball. That’s moving the ball around, running the ball, throwing deep, throwing short, screens – executions.”
Pederson Still Believes in Foles
It’s unclear exactly how many games Nick Foles will start for the team to open the season. After all, Wentz, an MVP frontrunner before his injury, could be ready as early as Week 2.
“He [Foles] finished the season pretty well last year,” the coach explained. “We know who he is and what we need to do to get him ready to go, and again, we’re still pretty vanilla offensively.
“We haven’t done any of our RPO game. Those are all things that are part of his strengths, too, so we’ve got to make sure that when we put game plans together moving forward, that we’re utilizing his strengths too.”
Foles doesn’t sound like he’s lost any confidence after his rough preseason outings.
“When you play this game, you’re going to be analyzed,” he explained. “Everyone is going to analyze your every move. Everyone is going to analyze and look for perfect.
“We’re not perfect people, I’m not a perfect player. I’ve not had a perfect game and I never will. That’s just how it’s turned out.
“That’s where I can lean on those experiences and continue to improve, not be too hard on myself, while being hard on myself. If you’re too hard on yourself all the time, you’re going to crumble.”
2018 Eagles Odds
Despite their offense having a rough start to the season, the Eagles are still widely favored to win the NFC East again. You can see our analysis of Philly’s chances here.
Below you can check out the current GTBets odds on the NFC East:
- Philadelphia -150
- Dallas +375
- New York Giants +450
- Washington +775
We still think that the Eagles can run away with the East just like they did last season. If you believe in this prediction, then place your futures bet on Philly at GTBets.