By Kevin Kennedy
Not much has been going the Philadelphia Eagles’ way lately. Philadelphia suffered their fourth consecutive loss on Sunday to the Washington Redskins 27-22. The loss drops the Eagles to 5-8 and makes any hope of a postseason berth a very slim possibility. While this season has slipped away from the Eagles in the past few weeks, there have been some silver linings on the dark clouds of a losing streak. Here are five reasons for Eagles fans to be optimistic that better days are ahead:
- Quarterback Carson Wentz
Philadelphia got off to a fast start by winning its first three games of the season. The superb play of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz in those games had Eagles fans dreaming big. Wentz has cooled off considerably since then. In the Eagles’ last eight games Wentz has a quarterback rating of 76.3 with eight interceptions and only six touchdown passes. Despite the dropoff in performance, Wentz says he is progressing each week. While Eagles fans may be disappointed that Wentz hasn’t followed up on his early success, he should still get the benefit of the doubt. Growing pains are common for rookie quarterbacks in the NFL.
- Offensive Guard Isaac Seumalo
An illness to starting right guard Brian Brooks forced Isaac Seumalo to make his second start of the season against Washington on Sunday. Seumalo played very well in the game and earned the praise of offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Eagles reporter Aaron Kavinitz says Seumalo, a third-round draft pick, wants to play a bigger role on the offensive line and that he might get that chance very soon.
- Wide Receiver Paul Turner
Paul Turner, an undrafted rookie out of Louisiana Tech, saw extensive playing time in the Eagles’ 32-14 loss to Cincinnati. Turner was one of the few bright spots in that game. He caught six passes for 80 yards. Turner’s strong performance likely means that he will see more playing time in the Eagles’ remaining games this season. With Jordan Matthews back in the lineup, Turner saw limited playing time in the Washington game. He caught just one pass for 16 yards. Still, Turner is an another young player that could bring some good things to Philadelphia’s future.
- Tight End Zach Ertz
Zach Ertz drew a lot of criticism after the Cincinnati game for failing to put a block on Vontaze Burfict. Ertz responded by promising that he wouldn’t let his team down again. He backed up that promise by having his best game of the season against Washington. Ertz caught ten passes for 112 yards.
- Head Coach Doug Pederson
Although the Eagles will likely miss the playoffs for the third season in a row, expectations in Philadelphia remain high. Some fans are looking at the losing skid the Eagles are on and questioning whether Head Coach Pederson is right for the job. While patience is running thin amidst the current losing streak, Pederson is keeping high expectations for his team. In addition to having a year of experience under his belt, Pederson will likely have a better roster to work with next season.