It’s been a bad year for the Philadelphia Eagles and head coach Doug Pederson. After contracting and recovering from COVID-19 back in August, Pederson has watched his squad begin the 2020 NFL season with a disappointing 0-2 record and look particularly bad in the process. On Sunday, it got worse when Philadelphia Eagles fans booed the team’s performance against the LA Rams. The only problem was there weren’t any fans in the stands. Here’s what happened.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson contracts COVID-19
In March, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was patient zero for the NFL. He was not only the first head coach to publicly confirm he had contracted the COVID-19 virus, but the first NFL employee.
In early August, Payton got company when the Philadelphia Eagles announced head coach Doug Pederson had tested positive for COVID-19. The coach, who was asymptomatic when tested, suffered minimal symptoms and worked remotely. Assistant head coach Duce Staley ran football operations on site. After Pederson self-quarantined for 10 days, he returned to work ready to go.
“I was chomping,” Pederson told reporters, per FOX 29’s Kristen Rodgers “I stayed engaged virtually with the team. I was able to watch the practices and stay up with everything the team did.”
Philadelphia Eagles start 2020 in disappointing fashion
After winning the NFC East title in 2019, the Philadelphia Eagles expected to build off that performance in 2020 and hopefully make a deeper run in the playoffs.
Despite limited offseason training and no preseason games, the Eagles and their fans were optimistic heading into the 2020 season. That enthusiasm lasted for a half of football. That’s how long the Eagles looked liked the better team on the field in Week 1 against the Washington Football Team.
After the Philadelphia Eagles jumped out to a 17-0 lead, Washington stormed back and scored 27 unanswered points to win 27-17 in the season opener. To start the season off with a loss is one thing. To start it off with a loss like that was entirely different.
Eagles booed with no fans in the stands
Despite the rough start, the Philadelphia Eagles organization remained hopeful for the Week 2 matchup against the LA Rams and a return to Lincoln Financial Field for the first home game. Turns out, it was a home game in name only.
With no fans in the stands, there was no home-field advantage, and it showed. The Rams jumped out to an early 14-3 lead in the first quarter. The Eagles mounted a mini-comeback and narrowed the gap to 21-16 at the half.
The Eagles offense drove down the field to start the second half and were threatening to score when quarterback Carson Wentz threw one of his four NFL-leading interceptions on the season. The PA system, which is meant to mimic Eagles fans, started booing. It was authentic Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Eagles played poorly the rest of the second half and the invisible fans booed on multiple occasions en route to a 37-19 defeat. Philly hosts the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. There will be no fans in the stands. But as Wentz and the Eagles have already seen and heard, if their performance doesn’t live up to expectations, they will hear about it in true Philadelphia style.