Philadelphia Eagles fans will never forget the date Feb. 8, 2018. Call it an unofficial holiday as it was the day the first, and so far only, Super Bowl Parade in franchise history took place.
It’s also hard to forget the words Doug Pederson said on the podium that day:
“… This is our new norm! This is our new norm to be playing football in February!”
Well, at the time, Eagles fans everywhere, not just in the City of Brotherly Love, truly believed this team had the talent to make another run.
Unfortunately, here we are in 2021 still wondering if it will ever happen ever again.
Think about it.
How many decades did it take for the first Super Bowl celebration to take place?
And Pederson, the man who proclaimed playing in February will be the new norm, is gone. So is “franchise quarterback” Carson Wentz. Pederson was fired following the 2020 regular season and Wentz is now playing for the Indianapolis Colts.
Ironically, Nick Sirianni, Indy’s former offensive coordinator, is now the Eagles head coach. Like Pederson, Chip Kelly, and Andy Reid before him, this will be Sirianni’s first attempt at being an NFL head coach. So it’s only fair that we give him two to three seasons to see if he can cut it.
Eagles are getting no love from NJ online sportsbooks
Sure, like Pederson or any other NFL head coach, the goal is to be playing in February. Just don’t bet on it being February 2022.
The current Super Bowl odds from NJ online sportsbooks paint a picture of another very long and painful season for Eagles fans. Their current odds of winning the Super Bowl range from +7000 to +10000. Sure, the potential payout would be nice, but we are talking about a team that has more questions than answers.
We are talking about a team coming off a 4-11-1 season that included finishing last in the dreadful NFL East.
So how do they fix it?
Finding a franchise quarterback would be a pretty good start. The problem is we don’t know if Jalen Hurts, last year’s second-round pick, is the answer.
#Eagles not naming Jalen Hurts the starting QB is kind of silly but also it really doesn’t matter.
Hurts will be the starter unless they trade for a QB or draft a QB in the 1st round (unlikely)
What will really matter is if he is splitting reps in training camp, which I doubt
— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) April 21, 2021
Hurts did start four games as a rookie, but he didn’t exactly put up eye-opening numbers. Yes, he did lead Philadelphia to a win over the New Orleans Saints but completing 17-of-30 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown doesn’t exactly put opposing NFL teams on high alert. But unlike Wentz, Hurts is a running QB, and he did rack up a season-high 106 yards in that game.
The Eagles did not win any of the next three games that he started (including what ended up being a meaningless finale against the Washington Football Team).
This season, if he does end up being the starting QB (not like there is a better option at the moment), he will need to do much better than six touchdowns, four interceptions, and a 52% completion rate.
To be fair, the Eagles offensive line failed to provide adequate protection, surrendering 65 sacks during the regular season.
The lack of a true No. 1 or even No. 2 wide receiver only added to the problems. The players who were making the big bucks, we’re talking about DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, spent more time nursing injuries than playing in games.
Hopefully, this is the area Howie Roseman addresses with Philadelphia’s first-round pick on Thursday night. DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, both out of Alabama, could still be on the board when the Eagles are on the clock at No. 12. If you listen to the rumor mill, there is also a possibility the team will trade up.
But no matter who the Eagles select with their first pick, there are several more holes that need to be filled up and down this roster.
At this point, who knows how many years it will take to properly rebuild the Birds into a winning franchise. We’re not just talking about finishing the regular season with a winning record. Contending for the NFC East crown on a yearly basis and having a legitimate shot of playing in February is what the goal needs to be.
For now, replaying that 2018 Super Bowl parade over and over again will continue being the February norm.