e-a-g-l-e-s eagles! Posted September 21, 2020 Share Posted September 21, 2020 The Good: 1. Offensive line played well—One of the only encouraging things that I really could take away from the game today was the fact the offensive line really turned in a good performance. It helped that most of the day Wentz wasn’t holding onto the ball too long and firing it away when he didn’t have anything (sometimes even when he did). The Rams had 0 sacks on the afternoon and could only really get to Wentz a couple of times as they applied just 3 QB hits. I give credit to Herbig, Seumalo, Kelce and even Pryor (came in for Seumalo). They did a masterful job on Aaron Donald. The Eagles in general did a good job considering it was the best defensive player they were going to face all year coming after a horrible performance in Washington. Last week, Dallas had a ton of trouble against Donald. He was wreaking havoc in their backfield non-stop; Along with Floyd who finally looked like his first round billing. Against the Eagles, Donald and Floyd combined for 2 Qb hits, 0 tackle for loss and 2 tackles total. I am not ready to say Herbig should be a long-term starter. Frankly I was impressed he was able to turn it around as much as he did from last week to today. It definitely did help that Lane Johnson and Kelce were on the field between him. But it was nice to see him improve from last week to this week. He was actually extremely good in the running game. He and Lane were paving some nice holes for Sanders and Scott to run through. That is what you hope to see from your young players. What makes the offensive line performance that much more impressive is the fact the Eagles lost Seumalo midway through the game, but were able to still perform at a high level in the ground game and pass protection. Add on, Peters was looked much better against the Rams and played all of the snaps for the second consecutive game. As bad as the oline was in week one, I would say the unit was the best unit on the field for the Eagles in game 2. Tip of the cap to them for being able to shut down Donald, jumpstart the run game (some of that is on Sanders) and give Wentz enough time in the pocket. Granted, I do not think the Eagles really took shots down the field, which also helped their cause (will discuss in the bad section). 2. Herbig and Pryor—I know I talked about the offensive line around, but I felt the need to give both of these guys some more credit. Let me start with Pryor. It has been really crazy circumstances surrounding Pryor. He was supposed to be the starting RG when Brooks went down. Then training camp happened and he seemed to be in the doghouse and no way he was getting back on the field. Even Mailata got in before him. However, when he was called upon today to step in for Seumalo, he played really well especially considering he was going up against the best DT in the league. I am not sure he continues to play cause I do not know the severity of the injury to Seumalo. But it was comforting to know that if called upon he can come in even against the best of them in the league and hold up. I do not think this should be discounted. I am not saying he was perfect, but I thought he was more than adequate in both the run game and pass blocking. As for Herbig, I was super critical of him last week. I probably would have let Driscoll start at RG if the decision were up to me. But he was much better this week. In the running game, he was paving some nice holes for Scott and Sanders. Pass protection, he was much more sound and didn’t seem to have nearly the communication issues he had with Lane. I think some of that is he has had more time with Lane at RT then Driscoll in practice. Additionally, it really helps when Lane is out there. Again neither were world beaters, but I thought both deserved their own section giving them praise after being much maligned after last week and training camp. 3. Scott and Sanders shine outside of Sanders fumble—The fumble on the opening drive is something that simply cannot happen. The Eagles are not good enough to overcome carelessness with the ball and turnovers. Sanders has to hold onto the ball better and have better ball security. It basically put the Eagles behind the 8-ball all game. Nevertheless, after that Sanders looked good out there. He rushed for 95 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. That is a 4.8 yards per carry. His hammy held up and it didn’t look like he would have it nagging him all year. He had good burst through the line and to the outside and cut well. I would like him to not dance around at times, but you can see he is such an upgrade for the Eagles at the position. Not only is he a good runner with good vision, but he is such a threat out of the backfield. Sanders hauled in 3 receptions for 36 yards. Frankly his numbers should have been even better if Wentz would take more of those check downs and let him feast. Also it isn’t just as a receiver and a runner, he is much better at blitz pickup then he is given credit for. Last year heading into the season, it was a big question mark with him. He has really blossomed in that department. It is something that the Eagles really struggled with last Sunday in Washington. While Scott didn’t have the type of game Sanders did, I thought he was pretty good when he got his touches. He hauled in 3 receptions for 24 yards and 4 carries for 19 yards. Last week, I felt he was trying too do too much and that he wasn’t just hitting the holes that were there. This week he appeared to be much more comfortable in the role of backup to Sanders. I think Scott and Sanders are a nice duo. However, I think there is still something to be said for bringing in another RB. Sanders goes down I do not think Scott or Clement can handle the elevation to no. 1 and no. 2 back. I am torn on Freeman. I am torn because at 0-2 do you really want to spend some of the cap that can be rolled over to 2020 for a back that likely doesn’t make a great difference on the season? Granted not sure how much would be guaranteed to Freeman. 4. Special teams—Besides the holding penalty on the Boston Scott return, I thought special teams played well. It was a great job by Edwards to strip the ball and Wallace was johnny on the spot with the recovery. It was much needed after the Eagles offense fizzled out on the drive before. The recovery was made inside the red zone and it gave the Eagles some easy points on the board. Heck it kept the Eagles in the game at halftime when they really had no business being down just 5 points. They were grossly out played. Additionally, I thought Johnson had a really good game for the Eagles even though he had two punts. They were both boomers. He had a 62 yarder and a 58-yarder. Unfortunately, Clement couldn’t keep one out of the end zone but the other was down inside the 20. Besides coverage units being solid and Johnson, it was also nice to see Elliott get back on track. Granted neither field goal attempt were longer than 38, but he nailed both kicks and the extra point. 5. 3rd down offense—One of the few bright spots for the offense today was their ability to convert on 3rd down. On the afternoon the Eagles were 7-12 on 3d down for 58.3%. That is a massive jump up from last week where they were 5-18 and seeming for 2.5 quarters couldn’t pick up a first down. Nevertheless, the Eagles couldn’t capitalize on their success on third down due to turnovers. And the numbers could be even better if Wentz hit his receivers who were open or checkdowns where Sanders has no one around him for Miles. 6. Red zone offense—While the offense continues to struggle as a whole, the red zone offense looked good. The Eagles were able to score two touchdowns and make a field goal as they were 2-3. That is 17 out of a possible 21 points inside the red zone. Clearly the Eagles need more trips into the red zone with how the defense played, but I thought besides the two-point conversion the play calling inside the red zone was efficient and smart. The Bad: 1. Deep shots where did you go?—Last week it felt like Doug and the offense tried to prove to the NFL that they had the guys with speed to beat you downfield. We chucked the ball downfield like it was going out of style. Connected on one with Reagor and then the rest went incomplete. This week, I do not even remember the Eagles taking a chance deep down the field besides Carson’s inexcusable throw which I do think was the first read. I am guessing after seeing how the OLine held up in Washington that Doug didn’t want to expose his offensive line too much and get the ball out of Carson’s hands as fast as possible. I think Ramsey being out there might have also been a reason why not taking the chance on a coverage sack. While Wentz didn’t get sacked and much less pressure, I would still like to see us take 3-4 shots down the field. With Reagor and DeSean, you have the ability to hit a homerun at anytime. I do not think you need to go overboard like they did week one. With how Sanders was running the ball, you might have gotten the Rams in a position where they were cheating up to stop the run and able to hit them over the top. I think last week, the Eagles used the deep ball way too much. This week I felt like the Eagles didn’t use it enough. Doug has to find some middle ground in this department. 2. Doug got out-coached—I think we all understand that sometimes you are going to be outcoached. Before today’s contest, Doug had outcoached McVay twice in his career. However, I thought Doug was outcoached in this game, but I don’t think Doug even called a horrible game like last week. Doug stuck with the run even when they got down big at 21-3. He had good plays that execution was just not there. However, I thought his offense besides one play where Reagor came in motion and caught a pass and Hurts on the field in the red zone lacked creativity. With an offense struggling, I would like to see some creativity like we say from the Rams. On the other side, I thought McVay did a masterful job. There was a ton of creativity in his offense. He got Woods on a WR handoff. He had Kupp on a running play as well. He misdirection and perfect times to call play action and exploited matchups against Gerry, NRC and Maddox. Not only that he kept the Eagles off-balance and used their aggressiveness against them. I don’t think Doug called a bad game, I just think McVay had an outstanding performance in his play calls. I would have put this in the ugly section, but I think the offense would have been fine if you didn’t have Wentz making a poor decision and Sanders fumbling the ball. Do I think they would’ve won without those? Not likely cause the defense just wasn’t very good. I do have some gripes with Doug. I felt Doug could have exploited the Rams LB much more than he did. It is a young unit and not a particularly great unit either. I thought Goedert and Ertz should’ve been more of a focal point. Granted Wentz missed some throws to them. I also thought we should have been taking more shots down the field against the Rams even with our oline and Ramsey in their secondary. Lastly, I would really love to know why we are not getting Carson outside of the pocket. He is one of the best in football when he gets outside the pocket and can really carve up a defense. I am surprised after being asked that question all week why we didn’t see it very often. 3. Lack of Goedert and Ertz— While Ertz and Goedert combined for 15 targets, I thought they should have had even more. I look at the biggest weakness on the Rams defense and it is the linebacker unit. Losing Littleon to the Raiders was a big loss in my opinion. I do think it is something that eventually catches up to the Rams. That is the matchup that the Eagles had to exploit consistently to win the game. Somewhat similar to how McVay took it too Gerry and the Eagles linebacker unit with Higbee. Ertz finished with 5 catches for 42 yards and Goedert 4 catches for 30 yards. Granted some of this falls on Wentz cause he had Goedert wide open for a touchdown if he goes through progressions and sees him. I know Ramsey covered Ertz for plays in this game, but I think Goedert is easily just as big of a matchup nightmare and we failed to get him the ball enough. 4. What the heck is going on with DeSean—DeSean fnished the game with 9 targets. He pulled in 6 of the 9 targets for 64 yards. However, like last week there were long stretches were he seemed to be nowhere to be found on the field. I have to go look at the snap count but right now the Eagles cannot afford to not have him on the field. There might not be a end of the season worth playing for if they don’t have him out there more. Reagor and DeSean are about the only two threats at WR right now. Ward, JJAW and Hightower aren’t cutting it and really aren’t keeping defensive coordinators up at night. If the Eagles expect to turn this around then they are going to have to rely on him more and hope Alshon comes back soon and forced to rely on him. 5. Going for two—I just didn’t like going for 2 point conversion after cutting it from 21-3 to 21-9. Frankly I think in the first half you take the points and continue the momentum you build up. Felt like a poor play call on the two point conversion and the failed conversion could’ve taken a possible wind out of our sail. Rather take the points early instead of having to chase them later. I get analytically itll say go for it, but I dislike chasing points that early. The Ugly: 1. Dak and Goff have passed Wentz—At the end of last year, I thought the best QB of that draft class was still Carson Wentz. He carried a team of nobodies at WR to the playoffs. He looked like he was on his way to getting back to where he was in 2017 and some confidence going into 2020. However, after watching the games over the last two weeks, Dak and Jared Goff have passed him by as he has regressed. On the day Wentz was 26-43 for 242 yards, 0 passing touchdowns and a 56.6 QB rating. That is an even worse QB rating then last week’s 72.5 against the Washington. So lets talk about a couple things going on with Wentz. First, his mechanics and footwork is wildly inconsistent. You can tell on his high throws that his footwork just isn’t there as he is sailing gimme type of passes or putting balls into places to get his WRs killed. On one throw over the middle to Sanders he was throwing flat footed and the ball was partially deflected and sailed. On a bubble type screen to DeSean the ball was low making a routine catch and likely a 5-yard gain be incomplete. At the end of the 2016 season, I thought Wentz was starting to get much more consistent with his footwork. It was up and down for most of the year, but finally he seemed to breakthrough. Furthermore he really carried it into 2017. And when he had a poor footwork and mechanics type game, it was corrected the next week. However now it is just a snowball becoming an avalanche of poor mechanics. Wentz might not like it, but he isn’t young anymore. You have to be consistent week-to-week with your mechanics otherwise you are going to have issues in the NFL. He is not Aaron Rodgers to be able to get away with it. Second, the decision making of Wentz is just off this year. It would be one thing if mechanics were off and sailing throws for interceptions. However, his pass to JJAW was into double coverage and not put in a place where it was going to be either JJAW coming down with the ball or no one. That said, JJAW didn’t run a very good route and he seemed to not think the ball was coming his way. Nevertheless, it was a poor decision and throw especially when the offense had been moving the ball and seemed to get momentum back on their side after a big defensive stop. It felt like after the pick, the game was decided as it was pretty deflating. Additionally, missing a wide-open Goedert in the end zone is not good. So he isn’t making smart decisions nor reading the field well enough. Third, one of the things that made Nick Foles so maddening is that he could look like he did against the Patriots and Vikings, but then play as poorly as he did against the Raiders or Atlanta to start the season in 2018. It is beginning to feel like Wentz is following the same type of trajectory where he is going to just be an up and down QB that isn’t consistent enough at the NFL level to be a top tier QB. I am not sure what the Eagles can do. I do not see them benching Wentz after two weeks. Frankly if they do not do so against the Bengals, you are likely not going to see Hurts until week 7 against the Giants cause I don’t see us starting a rookie at 49ers, at Steelers and home against the Ravens. Fourth, I kind of think not having a normal offseason is hurting him the most as he has not had a bunch of time with the likes of DeSean, Reagor or Hightower. He has had time with Ward and JJAW but really Jjaw is useless. 2. Press Taylor is not good enough—When DeFilippo was the QB coach in Philadelphia, you saw that he would harp on mechanics and the small things that made QBs thrive. I cannot stress this enough, but mechanics have to consistent to win and play at the highest level. Unfortunately, since he has left, it has felt like Carson from week to week has been up and down with his accuracy, which in large part stems from his mechanics. I do not think Taylor is the guy to get it back. It feels like he is not hard enough on Carson and the team has catered too much to what Carson wants instead of what Carson needs. Press Taylor might be an innovative type of guy, but he isn’t getting through to Wentz or Wentz thinks he is a push over cause we have constantly seen the same poor and lack of consistency of mechanics. I said in the GDT, I am just speculating, but it feels like one of the major reasons DeFlilippo isn’t back is because Carson didn’t appreciate the type of no nonsense and tough love coaching. While a lot of this has to fall on Carson himself, it also falls on the Eagles for not realizing that Press Taylor might be in over his head and Carson needs a new voice. 3. Schwartz’s lousy defense—As bad as Wentz looked, the defense looked equally as bad. It is beginning to look like the end for Schwartz’s tenure here with the Eagles. The fact we have Slay and still playing off coverage on 3rd and 2 is beyond idiotic. Why make the trade if you are not going to do what he does best. The Eagles defense has continued to regress every year since 2017. The turnovers have dwindled. The Sack total outside of a JV vs. Varsity game against the Jets have dried up. Today against the Rams, Goff completed his first 13 passes of the game. He looked like a statue back there and McVay looked 5 steps ahead of Schwartz. It really felt like there was no adjustment made all game. Only two drives did the Eagles defense look like they came to play. Besides the horrible fumble by Sanders, the Eagles gave up scoring drives of 75, 80, 68, 75 and 64 yards. Last week you could blame the Eagles offense for putting the defense in a bunch of bad positions, but this week the defense was just bad. Heck the Rams on one possession managed to go 75 yards on 3 plays for a touchdown when the game was still 24-19. I do think the Eagles have some bad personnel on defense, but Schwartz need to wake up and see his front 4 rushing isn’t going to cut it. The Eagles on the game had 2 QB hits and 1 Sack. If your DL is getting dominated like that and Goff is comfortable its going to be a long game. I cannot remember a blitz being called by Schwartz to change it up. Last week, the Eagles defense was saved by the fact the offense was so horrible that it covered up for the fact they looked confused at times, couldn’t get off the field in key moments of the game and awful in the red zone. It is going to be a much more talked about thing this week. I think Schwartz had a good run with the Eagles, but the defense might need a new voice and someone that utilizes the talent they do have better than Schwartz. I am guessing the Eagles will give Schwartz time to figure this out since they had no preseason and a bunch of new faces, but I think it is time to move in another direction and find a new scheme. 4. Bent and broke red zone defense—I remember growing up with Jim Johnson as the defensive coordinator saying it is fine to give up yards as long as you don’t break inside the red zone. Unfortunately, the Eagles are really broken inside the red zone right now. The Rams made 5 trips inside the red zone against the Eagles. They were able to put up touchdowns on 4 of them. Furthermore, last week against Washington, the Eagles allowed 3 touchdowns on 4 red zone trips. And the one stop they had, Washington basically conceded it as they were up 10 with around a minute remaining in the game. So on the season, the Eagles have given up 7 touchdowns on 9 red zone trips. That is not good enough to win in this league. Frankly it might be the worst in the entire NFL. I would have to look, but it definitely got to be in the bottom five of the league. 5. Run defense gets exposed-- It wasn’t the pass defense that doomed the Eagles, their run defense was gashed up and down the field. The Rams rushed the ball 39 times for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns, which is 4.9 yards per carry. The Eagles gave up a 40 yard run when they needed a big stop. That run was capped off two plays later. The Rams running backs combined for 141 yards on 26 carries. It wasn’t just the Rams RBs who gashed the Eagles run defense. McVay had the creativity to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers on motion handoffs and end-arounds with Kupp and Woods. It felt like every single run that the Rams dialed up were using the Eagles aggressiveness to their advantage. It felt like the Eagles were over-pursuing and the Rams were getting big chunks on the ground outside of maybe a handful of plays. The Eagles are going to face some very good rush offenses over the next 4 weeks. Outside of the Bengals, the Niners, Steelers and Ravens can run the ball down your throat. If you don’t correct this issue then it will look more of the same against those three opponents. 6. Cox, Jackson, Hargrave combine for 0 QB hits and 0 sacks—The Eagles have invested a lot of money into the defensive line and particularly tackle with very little to show for it on the season. Lets start with Cox, on the season he has 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 0 sacks and 0 QB hits. We can make every excuse in the world that he is being doubled and teams are gameplanning for him. Or the last couple years he hasn’t had good DT next to him. But now he does and really he has not played very well the first two weeks of this season. Frankly we could make the case that last year he was still good, but he wasn’t the elite game-changer. I would argue outside of maybe one or two games last year, the Eagles haven’t seen the dominant Fletcher Cox since the 2018 Divisional round playoff game against the Saints. We are paying way too much money to Cox to just be a solid-good player. If this defense wants to be one of the better ones in the league then it starts with Cox. I hate saying it, but it might be that Cox’s better days are behind him. I expect him to have a good week next week as the Bengals oline is bad, but really it has been a while since Cox has lived up to his contract extension. I was listening to a podcast earlier this week, which talked about if Cox just played well and wasn’t the All Pro the Eagles paid him for that there is a chance they might have signed Hargrave to move on from Fletcher. I don’t think that is as far fetched even if the dead money is hard to swallow. I don’t see the Eagles paying him big money to be just a good player and not an impact player. I am not saying they move on from Cox, but I wouldn’t rule it out if the next 14 weeks are as underwhelming as the first two. As for Malik Jackson, I was not thrilled when the Eagles signed him to begin with. I thought they overpaid him based off his 2017 and previous seasons. His 2018 season and tape were bad. You can say it was the Jaguars and whatever, but he looked bad enough that the Jaguars benched him. At 29/29, his better days were behind him. He has been marginally better than Cox on the season. He has had 5 tackles, 2 qb hits and 0 sacks. Again for someone making big time money, he has been as underwhelming as Cox. All during training camp, we kept hearing about he was having a great camp, but in reality it might be that the Eagles oline was just not very good. Add on coming off a lis franc injury, I felt it was going to be hard for him to ever regain his Broncos form. This contract is as bad of a contract as Alshon so far. He has missed an entire season and in the first two games has really been nonexistent outside of a play or two. Finally, it is hard to tell what type of player Hargrave is going to be for the Eagles and if his pricetag was worth it. However, it has not been a good start for the big free agent signing of 2020. Hargrave didn’t register a tackle, QB hit or sack. He had the same stat line as week 1 when he didn’t play. Let that sink in for a moment. The Eagles are paying a premium to the DT position and they are proving to be the most overrated unit on the entire team. Besides the Jets game last year, I cannot remember a game where the DL in general just stepped up to the plate and dominated an opponent. 7. Eagles have no starting caliber LBs—I thought Edwards and Gerry looked capable against Washington in week one, but then you saw them against a real offense and a head coach that knew how to exploit them. Nate Gerry just looked awful out there today. There is no other way to describe his performance. Any time they Rams wanted to attack Gerry, they could and they made it look easy. Tyler Higbee really opened up a can on Gerry. Higbee had 5 catches for 54 yards, but more importantly torched Gerry for 3 touchdowns and none more impressive than his precise route that beat and left Gerry in the dust for the gamebreaking 28-yard touchdown. On the season, the Eagles have given up 4 touchdowns to the tight end position. They are basically the Cardinals defense from last year. It wasn’t just Higbee who owned the Eagles linebackers, the Rams screen game also did damage to the linebackers. Henderson had 2 receptions for 20 yards. Every time I watch Gerry he seems to be a step or two behind where he needs to be. Add on they’re times where in the run defense department he just gets engulfed by the OL. I would say the linebackers in general today managed to overpursue and take themselves out of running plays. The Eagles invested a 3rd round pick in Taylor, but coming into the draft the book was he wasn’t going to be ready to start or contribute as a rookie. We all understand the Eagles do not value the linebacker position as much as other positions, but this is straight up a horrible unit. Gerry is a backup. Edwards is also at this stage of his career likely a ST and backup (great strip on the punt). Riley is a special teams player who is being asked to play bigger roles then he really should. I will put it this way, did the Eagles have great linebackers in 2017? No, but they were good and competent. Bradham might not have been a pro bowl caliber linebacker, but he was consistent and made plays that season. Might have been the best season of his career. Add on Kendricks after Hicks went down played his best football in about 2-3 years. Eagles can devalue the LB position all they want too and give the well you got to cut costs elsewhere, but their linebackers when they won a super bowl were actually solid. These ones are nowhere close to that unit. 8. Secondary woes—I had a feeling that this secondary was going to struggle starting the season. Granted I also didn’t think this unit would be more than average once they did get on the same page besides Slay. Last week, the Eagles had some confusion on the Logan touchdown. This week they just looked awful at tackling and covering Kupp. I know everyone was excited about the NRC as he was supposedly a great slot corner. However, I do not think the Rams strictly released him due to financials. If the Rams believed he was so much better than his replacements they would’ve found a way to keep him. I think his name is bigger than his actual performance. In my opinion, you always have to ask yourself why was he released? The same question that could’ve been posed to Malik Jackson. I think NRC is an OK slot corner. I do think he is a better slot then Maddox, but great slot corners do not consistently get abused by Kupp. Yes Kupp is a good slot receiver. One of the best in the league, but his numbers could’ve easily been better if Goff didn’t misfire on a couple of throws. NRC was out of position all day and on top of it whiffed on some tackles. It isn’t just NRC, I found it crazy that people continued to say Mills would be an upgrade over Malcolm Jenkins. I didn’t think Jenkins was great anymore, but a smart veteran who was still solid for you and a leader. No offense to Mills, but learning the safety position on the fly is not an easy task. If the Eagles were going to move Mills to safety, then they should have started this experiment a couple of seasons back; not just a handful of snaps last year. You are asking Mills to change positions during a covid offseason when he hasn’t played significant snaps at the position since college. Furthermore, he seems to also be a step or two behind as I think he is adjusting to the new position. There was always going to be growing pains. This doesn’t mean he is going to be good at some point either, but you can see he is still adjusting. His counterpart in the secondary in McLeod I think is just an average safety at this point in his career. He isn’t a playmaker anymore. He is getting paid a decent amount of coin and the Eagles could get that type of performance from players who are making less than him. I got why they brought him back, but I would’ve let him walk at the price they are paying him. Lastly, I am really really REALY tired of hearing about how Maddox is a good corner. No he isn’t. He had a solid rookie season; much like Boykin his rookie year. Since then he has regressed. He was not good before Sendejo knocked him out against the Packers. Before that deathblow, he had given up the most yards and receptions in the slot in the entire NFL. That’s not good. Add on since the Bears playoff game, he has been constantly abused on the outside. He really is an average corner that gets hyped up by the Eagles and this fan base because he looked good at times his rookie season. He is solid for a 4th round pick, but he isn’t an outside corner and really I think he is a below average slot corner. Others might disagree, but I have seen the last two years and he has been less impressive each time I watch him. That said, the Eagles are basically forced to keep using him on the outside cause lack of depth and busted draft picks. 9. Lack of turnovers defense—When the Eagles traded for Slay, it was a nice addition. I didn’t love the draft capital they gave up, but I knew they needed him. I also thought he would be making some big time plays for us. Through the first two weeks of the season, the Eagles defense has created 0 turnovers. Special teams has created more turnovers then the Eagles defense has created. Over the last two seasons the Eagles have had 21 interceptions combined. They are currently on pace to finish the season with even less than that 10.5 average. Over their last 12 games, the Eagles defense has just 3 turnovers. Furthermore, the only time the Eagles have come close to a turnover on defense was Sweat’s strip sack early in the 3rd quarter against Washington. If you want to know why the Eagles defense under Schwartz seems to be regressing each year that is a good place to start. It is hard to win in this league when you cannot create turnovers and you are turning the ball over a ton yourself. Additionally, the Eagles lack elite athleticism on defense. Besides Slay they really do not have a corner or safety that is able to make big time plays against the better teams in this league. At linebacker, they do not have a big time playmaker. Along the defensive line, they are not getting to the QB enough to cause bad throws or get strip sacks. Really this unit is missing some blue chip talent. Cox used to be that. Graham was close to that. Malik Jackson years ago was that. Barnett has failed to reach that potential. Besides just moving on from Schwartz to get a change, the Eagles need to infuse athleticism and talent into the unit. Slay and Hargrave (hopefully) were nice, but they need to hit on draft picks on this unit to get it moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, it feels like the defense might need a complete overhaul, which is going to take time. 10. Roseman meet Elton and Klentak—I cannot say Roseman is as bad as Elton Brand or Colangelo cause they have royally screwed the Sixers, but Roseman’s has gone from the golden touch Super Bowl contenders to being a top 10 if not 5 draft pick. Kind of reminds me a lot of Matt Klentak over the last 2 years. A lot of bad drafting with occasional hits. Big time spending on free agents who are back said fixes. And some trades that ultimately backfired on the Eagles in time. Since the 2018 it feels like every decision Howie has made in free agency has backfired. I know not every decision has like drafting Sanders and Goedert. But a majority of them have. The restructure of Alshon has backfired. The signing of Malik Jackson is looking worse weekly. Hargrave looked dreadful this week (not all unexpected has he has missed a on of time). Bringing back DeSean has looked like a mistake as he has played one good game in an Eagle uniform. Trading for Golden Tate who was a redundancy of Agholor instead of just paying the price for Anderson. Not promising Chris Long a starting position in favor of an injury prone Barnett (got that at the time). Point is they’re a lot more I could go into over the past 2.5 years that have just been bad decisions. When you tend to miss on free agents and pay them handsomely, restructure guys who shouldn’t be here anymore and do not draft well every other year, it eventually is going to catch up to you. What we are looking at is a byproduct of the Eagles futility in the draft process and FA. One of the reasons I felt this team was a 7-8 win team besides the injuries is because we really lack elite talent on this roster. Besides Ertz, Lane, Kelce, Cox , Slay and Brooks there aren’t those young guys that are cheap and future stars besides Sanders and Goedert. It isn’t enough to sustain older players getting injured or regressing. Add on Howie has not been good in the bargain basement shopping department either. In 2017, he signed Long to a nice contract. He also found Patrick Robinson. He signed Bradham in 2016. They have yet to find good bargains in free agency since 2017 that are good fits. And his high price ones have failed to live up to expectations (Slay was a trade not a FA signing). If we are being honest, I think it is going to take 2 really good drafts and smart decisions in FA along with Wentz returning back to late 2019 and 2017 form to get this team back to being a contender. I do not see this team as remotely close. With how they are playing I would be shocked if they win 5 games. 11. Decision to go young at WR—Another bad decision by the Eagles has been the Eagles going young at WR. Now I do like what I have seen from Reagor early on. I do think he is going to be a solid player with time. He will have some rookie mistakes, but I think he is talented enough to be a playmaker as he gets more experience. However, where the heck has Hightower and JJAW been. Hightower made a brutal mistake last week but I do not even remember him being on the field this week. Jjaw wasn’t much better as he wasn’t targeted in week 1 and week 2 he was targeted but his target resulted in an INT because on replay it was a bad throw but he also didn’t run his route very well. So over the last two weeks, the two youngsters have combined for 1 catch for -2 yards. This is why this past offseason I thought it was simply idiotic to just go young at the position. DeSean at 34 is in and out of the lineup and not reliable. Alshon isn’t either. They needed to add an impact veteran cause relying on JJaw and rookies wasn’t good enough. Rookies do not always hit the ground running and you are seeing that with Hightower and Watkins. Heck Jjaw looks like Mack Hollins out there from last year where he did nothing in particular. On top of that, you are asking Wentz and the rookies who are going to have growing pains without a normal offseason of activities, preseason to just be on the same page when the season started. I think that was a foolish plan. It definitely is backfiring right now even if Wentz hasn’t been great. I am not so sure he trusts his oline or his receivers. I really do not blame him. The Eagles have basically Reagor, Desean who for some mysterious reason is missing from games for large stretches and Ward. That’s not good enough. 12. Busty Barnett— I was going to write an extensive write up about how Barnett is looking like a bust and injury prone, but I figured this would save more than any paragraph of words I could put on here: 17 career penalties and 14 career sacks. . 13. Big plays— Last week against Washington, the Eagles did a good job of taking away the big plays. McLaurin who had killed them in 2019 with 75 yard touchdowns was limited. The longest play Washington had was a 21-yard reception by McLaurin. While the Eagles couldn’t get off the field in crunch time and red zone was a disaster, they were able to limit the big plays. Against the Rams, they were giving up huge chunk yards reminiscent of last year. In today’s game, the defense gave up a 40-yard run, 24, 28, 28, 21, 20 yard receptions. Last week they had just 1 plays they gave up over 20 yards. Against the Rams, they gave up 6. Not only did they give up big chunk yards, they did it on third down twice when they had a chance to get off the field and give the Eagles decent field position. It is hard to win in the NFL when you aren’t great on third down as well as giving up big chunk plays. 14. 3rd down defense—Last week, the Eagles held Washington to just 5-for-18 on third down. However, when the game was on the line tied at 17, they gave up big time conversions on 3rd and 8 and 10. It ultimately came back and was the final nail in the coffin for the Eagles as Washington would go on and take the lead 24-17. Against the Rams, the Eagles really struggled. The Rams were 7-for-12 on third down for 58.3%. The Eagles defense didn’t help themselves to start the game as the Rams were in 3rd or 3 or less for their first 4 3rd down attempts. This made it pretty easy to convert. In fact, the Rams were 4-4 on their first four 3rd down attempts; meaning the rest of the game the Rams were 3-for-8. However, the Eagles gave up a big 12 yard reception to Kupp on 3rd and 6, which led to a field goal. Then a big 28 yard reception to Henderson to set up the final Rams touchdown. The Eagles over the last couple of years for the most part have been good on third down, but in critical moment unable to get off the field. Their performance on 3rd down today felt more like they just couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down. On the season, the Eagles 3rd down defense is 12-30 for 40%. 15. Offensive turnovers—Last week against Washington, the Eagles had 3 turnovers (2 Wentz INTs and a Wentz fumble). Against the Rams, the Eagles matched that total with 2 Wentz interceptions and a Sanders fumble. On the season, the Eagles are averaging 3 turnovers per game on offense. This reminds me a lot of the last two year under Andy Reid where Vick and the offense just made bad decisions with the ball and careless with the ball. The Sanders fumble cannot happen. The Eagles were moving the ball and he fumbles inside their own territory. With how the defense performed in short field situations last week it felt like it was inevitably going to end with a Rams touchdown, which it did. That really felt like it set the tone for the day. The Eagles were playing from behind all game. Sanders fumble was really bad, but Wentz’s INT might have sealed their fate. He just cannot throw that ball in that situation. You didn’t need to go for gold on that play. The offense was moving, the line was protecting and you seemed to get into a rhythm. That pick happens it takes at least a field goal off the board and gives the Rams all the momentum. Nevertheless, on the season the Eagles are a -5 in the turnover department. 16. Last 6 quarters And second half stats— The Eagles over the last 6 quarters have been out scored 57 to 19. In the second half of games, the Eagles have been out scored 36-3 17. 1-5 or 0-6 likely—The Bengals game should be a winnable game for the Eagles next week, but right now I do not know how you can say any game is a gimme. I watched the Bengals play the Browns. They have a poor offensive line, but if our pass rush plays like it did today then Burrow has the weapons and is a good QB that he can carve up the Eagles. Their defense isn’t great, but right now it isn’t as if the Eagles offense is humming along and shooting itself in the foot with bad turnovers. I do not think this is an easy win. Bengals are have enough offensive firepower to give the Eagles defense fits. I would say the defensive line should have a big day, but really I have thought that in the past against poorer olines and they haven’t shown up. After the Bengals game, you have at SF, at Pittsburgh and vs. the Ravens. It could get really ugly if the Eagles fail to win that Bengals game. They legitimately are likely 0-6 and 1-5 is really staring them straight in the face anyway. I am not sure the Eagles are up to recover from 0-2. I get there is a lot of football left to be played, but I think the Eagles schedule is a daunting task. Have two wins with Niners, Steelers, Ravens, Packers, Seahawks, Saints and Cardinals left on the schedule. Not sure we are the favorites in any of those 7 games. Add on still 2 games left to play against Dallas. I am not sure this team gets to the 8 wins like I thought. Might be looking at a 6-10 type of team. I am guessing at some point if it gets bad enough you’ll hear calls for Hurts. 18. Trade deadline—I do not want to look too far ahead, but if I am Howie and the Eagles I have to strongly consider trading off some veterans at the deadline if you are sitting at 3-5 or 2-6. If teams come calling about DeSean or Ertz or Alshon (unlikely) or Graham or anyone, I pick up the phone, listen and strongly consider it. It is obvious this team is not good enough to compete for a Super Bowl as currently constructed. We could use those picks to infuse much needed youth into this roster. Granted Howie and the Eagles have to be much better in drafting but the picks are more valuable to us then holding onto veterans on a team that isn’t close to competing with the big boys. Do not get caught up in making the playoffs in a bad division. You can continue to go 9-7, 9-7 and 9-7 (although unlikely imo this year) but really it feels like the Eagles are stuck in purgatory with the roster they currently have. I do not see a Giants type SB run in this team. Could they get hot? Yes, but I still think they would be eliminated by teams who’s rosters are just better than them. I think with this team you might have to begin to look at long term roster goals then short term success. 13 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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