The Philadelphia Eagles are in free fall as they stumble into the postseason having lost five of their last six games. The offense is middling, the defense can’t stop anybody, and the team seems to have completely lost faith in each other and the coaching staff.
Therefore, it’s obvious that certain changes have to be made ahead of their NFC Wild Card matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the Eagles want to make a deep run to the Super Bowl, they will have to switch things up starting Monday night, including giving more playing time to deserving players in key positions.
1. Nolan Smith
Smith, who was one of Philadelphia’s two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, has been used sparingly all season. Despite the huge hype coming into his first campaign, the 22-year-old linebacker has mostly been glued to the bench. However, he has gradually increased his playing time and has played over 20% of snaps in each of the Eagles’ last three games.
Yes, he is a rookie and will make mistakes. But this defense stinks anyway. How much worse can it get? At least Smith is physical at the point of attack, making plays with his burst, energy and quickness. He has the potential to be a difference maker with his athleticism in the defensive end rotation who has struggled all season.
Giving aging and slowing down Brandon Graham’s snaps to Smith could make a lot of sense.