If you, in 2018, told an Eagles fan Doug Pederson would be on the hot seat, you'd be called crazy.
Yet, that's where we are headed in Philadelphia after the Eagles' latest loss. Philadelphia dropped to 3-7-1 with its 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, putting the Eagles in third place in the NFL's worst division. It's not exactly good company, and it should make for an easier going for Pederson's team, but it isn't.
A main issue is quarterback play, which we'll delve into shortly, but it's not the only issue. And after taking the publicly irked approach weeks ago, Pederson's team isn't playing any better.
When that's the case, the microscope typically shifts from player to coach. Pederson is now officially under it.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Monday night Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is unhappy with his team, and performances like Monday night's "will have him seriously assessing his coach's status."
The coach said Tuesday he hasn't "been reassured one way or the other" about his job status, adding his relationship with Lurie "is good."
"We communicate a lot throughout the week," Pederson said. "We have our typical weekly meeting and cover a lot of ground.
"But that relationship is good. Listen, some of these questions might be for Mr. Lurie obviously, but my job is to prepare the team and get ready for Green Bay."
One remedy might be a change in play-caller. Philadelphia has scored exactly 17 points in three straight games, and hasn't broken the 30-point mark all season. On Monday night, Philadelphia's promising running back Miles Sanders was a nonfactor, totaling 22 scrimmage yards -- his first game below 75 scrimmage yards this season.
Like his fellow Andy Reid coaching tree branch in Chicago, Matt Nagy, Pederson has turned to a familiar phrase regarding consideration of a change.
"I look at everything. Take everything into consideration," Pederson said Tuesday. "It’s on the table, wouldn't say it's off the table."
Pederson could take the heat, admit his struggles, pass the duty to someone else and forge onward with Carson Wentz as his quarterback. But Wentz's play hasn't been good enough to just blindly send him out and refuse to answer questions on the matter.
For now, Pederson said, Wentz is Philadelphia's quarterback.
"That one is my decision, if and when we make that change, but right now we're not doing it," Pederson said.
Wentz has been bad in 2020, sure, but the drop-off from one season to the next is what is really concerning -- and a great explanation for why the Eagles can't seem to take a lead in a terrible division.
From 2017 to 2019, Wentz owned a passer rating of 98.3, a completion percentage over 64 and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 81-21. His win-loss record was predictably above .500 at 25-15, and at one point in 2017, he was in the MVP conversation before a knee injury ended his season.
In 2020, Wentz's completion percentage is below 59, his touchdown-to-interception ratio is 16-15, his record is 3-7-1 and his passer rating has fallen off a cliff, from 98.3 to 73.4. Since 1950, six quarterbacks (including Wentz) have seen their passer rating fall by 24 or more points, per NFL Research. All were over the age of 30 and four of the five were in their final professional seasons.
Wentz is 28 and is supposed to be in the prime of his career. He's being paid as if he is, and he's not producing.
A very valid reason for his struggles is Philadelphia's rotating cast on the offensive line, which has seen Wentz sacked 46 times so far. He's on pace to become the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to be sacked 65-plus times and throw 20-plus interceptions. The Eagles rolled out their 10th different starting offensive line Monday night, joining the 1983 Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only two teams in the last 40 years to have 10 different starting line combinations in their first 11 games of a season.
Tampa Bay finished 2-14. The Eagles don't appear to be headed toward a much better final record -- and they might end up with a new coach if that proves to be reality.