With a 4-6 record after 10 games, the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles appear to be experiencing the dreaded Super Bowl Hangover. Philly was one of the best teams in the NFL last season and was expected to be among the inner-circle contenders this year, but instead has fallen back toward the pack.
Much of the blame can be placed on the team's defense, which has struggled badly after looking like one of the best units in the NFL a year ago. In 2017, the Eagles ranked fourth in both yards and points allowed, as well as fifth in defensive efficiency, per Football Outsiders' DVOA. This year, they are 23rd in yards allowed, 12th in points allowed, and 22nd in DVOA.
The pass defense, in particular, has struggled, as the team has just dealt with a ton of injuries on the back end. Consider the following image, courtesy of Eagles beat writer Eliot Shorr-Parks, which shows the secondary the Eagles expected to have and the one they'll likely have this Sunday against the Giants (1 p.m. ET on Fox, stream on fuboTV, try for free).
Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones -- the team's top four corners -- are all out, as are some of their backups. It's not a good situation right now. So many of their defensive backs are injured that they've taken to using wide receivers at that spot during practice.
Doug Pederson says the Eagles are so thin at CB that they’ve had to use some wide receivers at cornerback in practice.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) November 23, 2018
Luckily for Philly, the Giants' pass offense is not really one that needs to be feared. The Eagles could perhaps win this game even without their DBs, and keep themselves in the playoff race along with Washington and first-place Dallas.