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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Eagles face late-season slump, enter post-season with 11-6 record

Eagles face late-season slump, enter post-season with 11-6 record

Publish Date: 01/14/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

For the first time since the New York Jets in 1986, the Philadelphia Eagles have mirrored a startling slump in the NFL. Starting the season with a remarkable 10-1 record, the Eagles’ performance nosedived after losing five of their subsequent six games.

This downturn leaves them at an 11-6 standing. The team now faces a critical wild-card round game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.

Repeating history

This pattern of decline, however, isn’t new to the Eagles. Historical patterns reveal a similar trend of early-season triumphs followed by late-season collapses.

A notable example occurred in 1981 when the Eagles, after a 6-0 start and an impressive 9-2 record, spiraled down to lose three consecutive games. The team then lost in a wild-card round to the New York Giants.

The most dramatic collapse happened in 1994. The Eagles began with a promising 7-2, only to lose every subsequent game, finishing the season at a disappointing 7-9. This collapse led to the firing of then-head coach Rich Kotite.

Lesser-known but equally significant was the 1996 season. The Eagles started strong at 7-2 but managed only one win in their next five games, ending the season at 8-6 and missing the playoffs.

The 2014 season followed a similar script. The Eagles kicked off with a strong 9-3 record, even leading the NFC East momentarily. However, a series of losses after their victory over the Dallas Cowboys, who had an 88.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, led to another missed opportunity in the playoffs.

Amidst this trend, theories have emerged to explain the Eagles’ late-season falters. One such theory suggests a strategic resting of key players to conserve energy for the playoffs, a practice observed in the NBA. However, whether this strategy is at play or if it’s a mere recurrence of historical patterns remains a point of debate among fans and analysts alike.

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