It feels like a million years ago right now, but it was only a few weeks ago that the Philadelphia Eagles offense was the toast of the NFL. In the team's third preseason game against the Packers, quarterback Sam Bradford completed all 10 of his passes for three touchdowns in a performance that had many pundits picking the Eagles to make it to the Super Bowl.
How things have changed. The Eagles' uninspired loss to the Cowboys puts them in an 0-2 hole, thanks in large part to a mistake-prone offense that put up single-digit rushing yards and barely produced in the passing game. According to right tackle Lane Johnson, the Eagles' performance in the preseason could have something to do with the way the offense has looked in the regular season.
"We got a lot of confidence going [as a result of the preseason], and maybe kind of got overconfident coming into the season, thinking we’d just come over and steamroll everybody and put 30, 40 points on everybody," Johnson said after the game. "And that hasn’t been the case. It’s really disappointing. I mean, I’ve never played in a game where we never got any energy going; no drives going on. It’s just really frustrating and embarrassing."
Anyone who watched the game would have a hard time arguing the lack of energy. The Eagles finished the game with 226 yards of total offense (including only seven yards rushing) and three turnovers. It's a far cry from the preseason version of the offense, which was first in passing yards and third in rushing.
"I think [in the preseason] we put up points so fast that, really, you only saw us for a few series; maybe a quarter and we weren’t able to go out there and consistently … get a drive and a rhythm going," Johnson said. "We knew what Dallas was going to do, we just didn’t go out there and stop it."
At 0-2, the Eagles' margin of error is non-existent. To climb out of this hole, the offense will need to return to at least some of the form we saw before the games started counting. Their next opportunity will come next Sunday when they travel to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Jets.