Only Eagles Front Office Can Stop Fire that Still Rages from Sunday's Loss

The players have spoken, now it's management's turn and that is what is needed to stop the controversey that still lingers days after it happened
Author:
Publish date:

Three days later, Sunday’s controversial Eagles loss won’t die.

Center Jason Kelce stepped up and into the fire on Wednesday.

Defensive end Brandon Graham has been heard from twice now on the matter, Monday and again on Wednesday.

Miles Sanders took a stab at it on Tuesday, a rather clumsy take but a brutally honest one.

The Eagles front office, though, has been quiet.

Granted, general manager Howie Roseman and the powers-that-be are absorbed in trying to solve their bungled quarterback situation, but their voice needs to be heard to fire-hose an issue that continues to burn.

Head coach Doug Pederson had his say, explaining that removing Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld to start the fourth quarter of a game they trailed 17-14 at the time, was all part of the plan.

It wasn’t verbally communicated properly, however, to all parts of the team.

Perhaps some players never noticed that Sudfeld actually got some first-team reps during the week. Maybe Sanders, in particular, didn’t notice it because he was rehabbing an injured knee and never ended up playing in the game.

Most of the fan base is fine with the loss. It’s what most wanted heading into Sunday’s season finale, so a 20-14 defeat was fine. Not all are happy with it, judging by comments and mentions received on various social media platforms, many of which said they were embarrassed to be Eagles fans due to the appearance of how they lost.

Nationally, the story won’t die.

The storyline across America, and especially in New York where Giants fans think the Eagles cost them a chance at still playing, even though they lost 10 games, isn’t so much about how the Eagles lost, but that the integrity of the game was ruined.

It’s not enough to point to teams doing it time and time again through the years, playing reserves in meaningless games for those teams at that point in time. 

The Steelers were the most recent team to rest a bunch of its starters last week, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, with nothing to gain in their playoff seeding. So, the Browns beat them and made the playoffs, costing the Miami Dolphins, who actually won 10 games, a playoff berth.

It still feels like more needs to happen from the Eagles so less will be said.

And that’s where the Eagles’ front office comes into play. Only they can kill an issue that has already gone on too long.

The longer it goes could put more players in unflattering moments like the one Sanders found himself in, caught off guard by the question about how things went down on Sunday.

It wasn’t a good look for the running back when he said on 94WIP Sports Radio: “If I’m being honest, nobody liked the decision, nobody. That’s all I can say, really. I don’t know who was the main person behind that decision, all I know is that a lot of people on the team was confused.”

The Eagles wouldn’t dare trade Sanders over that bit of insubordination, but it wasn't a good look from a RB who didn’t quite live up to his preseason billing of being a capable three-down back.

Sanders, though, had an interesting answer last week when asked who he expected to be part of the building blocks with him in 2021.

He talked about how he hoped everybody could be back, but he understands there will be turnover and finished his answer by saying, “I can’t really say who’s the core. I hope I’m still here.”

He laughed when he said it, but comments like he made while the fire was still raging certainly didn't do him any favors.

Maybe with Kelce and Graham speaking out - leaders that they are - will be enough, and the fire is now extinguished.

It certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing, though, if the organization made sure it doesn’t flare up again, because the last thing the Eagles need in an offseason with so many issues to resolve is to have this one continuing to linger above their heads.

Check out anything Eagles-related you may have missed by going to www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow me on Twitter @kracze.