Getty Images

After a spell in which the Eagles boasted not only world-class talent but championship-caliber fortitude, the wheels have fallen off in Philadelphia, or so it seems. Fresh off a prime-time defeat to the Seahawks, the reigning NFC champions have lost three straight for the first time since head coach Nick Sirianni's first month on the job. They no longer control their path to a potential No. 1 seed. And amid abrupt staffing shakeups and questions of commitment, well, Philly fans have reason to lean into their trademark ire.

But this is a 10-4 team, you say! Lots of aspiring playoff contenders would kill for such a record. Well, tell that to the 2022 Vikings, who finished 13-4 and went one-and-done in the playoffs, in part because their improbable string of close wins masked a negative point differential. Or the 2020 Steelers, who started 11-0 with ugly offense, only to drop four of their last five and get bounced in the wild-card round. Yes, a 10-4 record will punch the Eagles' ticket to the postseason, but after the Birds' 2022 breakout set a title-winning standard, no one in Philly cares much about simply making the playoffs; they want to know if this team can fight for it all.

So, can they? The skeptics look at the franchise's recent activity -- a quarterback who keeps forcing big plays to offset a predictable offense, a new defensive coordinator stripped of play-calling in late December -- and sees only panic from within. Where, then, might the eternal optimist find reason to buckle in for what's ahead? Is there truly any reason to anticipate a turnaround?

Here are seven key numbers that suggest the sky isn't actually falling for these Eagles (yet):


You can't control your opponents; you can only control your performance. But the Eagles literally drew the toughest 2023 schedule of any team (according to opponents' combined 2022 win percentage, .566). That included a Week 9-15 stretch with consecutive games against the Cowboys, Chiefs, Bills, 49ers, Cowboys and Seahawks -- all playoff contenders. Again, a challenging slate shouldn't excuse a collapse; there are no excuses for losses in January. But keep in mind that Buffalo and Kansas City might be two of the AFC's top Super Bowl candidates, and they are currently a combined 17-11 despite easier schedules.


Much of the concern surrounding the Eagles stems from their three-game losing streak, but consider their chief competition atop the NFC: the 49ers, Cowboys and Lions. Each of those three has also suffered at least three (3) losses -- some of them consecutively -- you might consider concerning. San Francisco, consistently vaunted as a Super Bowl favorite, lost three straight to the Bengals, Vikings and backup QB-led Browns in October. The Cowboys have lost by multiple scores to the Bills, 49ers and Cardinals (!). And the Lions were outscored 95-41 in losses to the Bears, Packers and Ravens. No one's been invincible.


Since Week 10 of the 2021 season, the Eagles have played 21 games in their own stadium, including playoffs. They've won 17 of them, or 80%. And two of the four losses came with Gardner Minshew replacing an injured Jalen Hurts. So even though the 49ers embarrassed the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field this year, they retain a decided home-field advantage. Should Philly win out to claim an NFC East title, the Birds will at least open the postseason with that edge.


The Eagles defense has mostly been a sieve lately, but the loaded front, which saw Haason Reddick racking up clutch sacks earlier this year, still ranks third among all teams in total QB pressures (143 combined hurries, knockdowns and sacks), behind only the Dolphins and Chiefs. And that's despite blitzing just 22.2% of the time (24th). It suggests the Eagles are getting into opposing pockets; they're just not finishing. Or the coverage has been so spotty that they don't have time. With upcoming games against the Giants (5-9) and Cardinals (3-11), they should have opportunities to finally turn pressure into production, building momentum for bigger games.


Running back D'Andre Swift, who's already shattered his career numbers as the Eagles' ball-carrier, has picked up a first down on 49 of his 234 touches, or 20% of the time. His eight plays of 20+ yards are also third on the team, behind only A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. In other words, the Eagles have a home-run hitter in their stable, if they would only seek to prioritize his usage. Sirianni notably pivoted to lean more on the rush late in 2021 to spark a playoff push; perhaps he'll do it again, this time with Swift.


This is Jalen Hurts' jersey number, so it makes for a good time to reaffirm the QB's unusually even-keeled leadership. Intangibles only get you so far if you can't control the ball, which has been a real issue for him in 2023, but these are precisely the times Hurts' unfazed aura should keep the Eagles afloat. A month ago, the only thing people were talking about was his penchant for crunch-time heroics. He's capable of restoring that. Beyond that, he still has two of the NFL's best receivers at his disposal, provided coordinator Brian Johnson starts scheming up better routes. Only one other team -- the Dolphins -- has two different wideouts ranked in the top 20 for yards this year, with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith combining for almost 2,300.


No one cares about special teams until they win or lose a game, but the Eagles have quietly fielded one of the NFL's best units in that category all year. Kicker Jake Elliott is 24 of 26 (a career-high 92.3%) on field goal tries, including 7 of 8 from beyond 50 yards, and he's still yet to miss a kick in the playoffs. But he's not alone. Philly also ranks No. 1 in special teams DVOA due to punter Braden Mann, who ranks sixth in net yards per punt; and return specialist Britain Covey, who ranks second in punt return yards and third in yards per return (13.7). Football is played in three phases, and the Eagles at least own this one.