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The Eagles are in shock as a once-promising season ends: ‘Fate is not on our side’

TAMPA, Fla. — Jason Kelce walked off the field holding a helmet that he might never wear again after the Philadelphia Eagles suffered a devastating playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At 36 years old and in his 13th season, Kelce, who represented his team’s success and earned his sixth All-Pro selection, faced the possibility that his this season might be his last.

How did this once-promising season turn into such a disaster? The Eagles, who had a strong start to the season with a 10-1 record, ended up being eliminated in the wild-card round in a humiliating loss to the Buccaneers. As they left the field, they were heckled by fans, creating a shocking contrast to their early-season success.

In the locker room, players were despondent, offering little explanation for their collective collapse. Jalen Hurts described it as simply not being “our turn,” while Devin Smith mentioned the small errors the Eagles were making that prevented them from fulfilling their potential.

Despite first-year offensive coordinator Brian Johnson’s efforts to equip Hurts with more control over the game, communication errors and struggles with the blitz resulted in inconsistencies in their offense. This became even more apparent in the wild-card game against the Buccaneers, where they relied heavily on DeVonta Smith, who had a 55-yard catch that preceded their only touchdown of the game.

The Eagles also struggled defensively, giving up 426 yards to the Buccaneers and failing to contain their opponent. Matt Patricia, the de facto defensive coordinator, was criticized for his play-calling decisions. The Eagles’ defense under his leadership gave up more yards and points in five games than it did in the previous 13 games under Sean Desai.

As the Eagles pondered their future, with fans and ownership seeking answers, it became clear that significant changes might be needed within the coaching staff. And as Jason Kelce headed to the locker room, it was uncertain if he would be a part of those changes, or if his 13-year career with the Eagles had come to an end.

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