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Gannon knows Eagles can’t lose TOP battle like that again


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Gannon knows Eagles can’t lose TOP battle like that again


In some ways Jonathan Gannon is just like you.

He didn’t like watching his team get doubled up in time of possession in Monday night’s loss. He didn’t like seeing Fletcher Cox play 70 snaps. He didn’t like watching Jalen Hurts and the offense patiently waiting on the bench.

The only difference is that Gannon has the power to fix it.

And he’d better.

Because the defensive formula on Monday night left a lot to be desired.

"The amount of plays and the time of possession, if felt like that really hurt our team,” Gannon said on Thursday, speaking for the first time since Monday’s 32-21 loss to the Commanders. "Because we’re on the field for a long time and when you do that, then they have the opportunity score points. And on the flip side of that, our offense is sitting on the bench. I don’t like that.”

The Eagles on Monday night played an outrageous 83 defensive snaps. And they lost the time-of-possession battle 40:24-19:36. It was the most defensive snaps the Eagles have played in a regulation game since 2017 and it was the most lopsided TOP game since the Chip Kelly days.

Why did it happen?

Well, the Eagles simply couldn’t get off the field, surrendering 12 3rd-down conversions, the most they’ve ever given up. The Eagles eventually hunkered down later in the game but the Commanders converted 12 of their first 15 opportunities on 3rd down.

While the Eagles did give up a few longer conversions, the Commanders needed just 1 or 2 yards on 8 of their 12 conversions on 3rd-down.

Even though the Commanders averaged just 3.1 yards per rushing attempt on Monday, they seemed happy to methodically drive down the field with the run to create 3rd-and-shorts to stay on the field. The Eagles desperately want their opponents to face 3rd-and-longs and they allowed the Commanders to get into way too many 3rd-and-short/manageables.

"I don't know the yards per carry and where we are and all that stuff, but if a team is going to run the ball on first and second down, first and second down, first and second down, and try to get it to third and short, we have to do something to combat that,” Gannon said. "That's what we're working on and that's what we'll do.”

Not only did the way Monday unfold force the Eagles’ defense to stay on the field way too long, it forced Hurts and the offense to stay on the sideline too much too.

The Eagles’ offense had just 50 snaps to Washington’s 83 on Monday. Those 50 snaps are the fewest the Eagles have had in a game in the Nick Sirianni Era and the fewest for the franchise since they had 46 against the Seahawks on Dec. 7, 2014 (a 24-14 loss).

"We just have to be ready to combat how people are doing that and don’t let our offense … that’s what I don’t like,” Gannon said. "I don’t like when our offense is sitting on the bench for 10 minutes, guys. I don’t even care if you make them kick a field goal because it’s all about points. But we’ve gotta get our offense the ball back. That’s what we’ll work on this week.”

The offense squandered some opportunities but was still able to put up 21 points with limited possessions. Still, the defense definitely put the offense in a disadvantageous situation.

Sitting on the bench wasn’t great for Hurts either.

"It is not the best feeling,” Hurts said. "You have different teams that have different approaches how they want to go about the game. They did an excellent job on offense and executed at a high level.”

The Eagles this week added Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh, who will join the rotation, presumably as replacements for Jordan Davis and Marlon Tuiuplotu, who are both injured. Joseph and Suh are in their 30s and haven’t played all season so it might take them a while to get back into football shape. But it should help the rotation down the stretch.

And it might prevent Cox from playing 70 snaps and Javon Hargrave from playing 66 like they did on Monday night.

Both Cox and Hargrave admitted they were pretty sore after their huge workloads against the Commanders. The reason the Eagles have a rotation is to keep those guys fresh, but that’s hard to do when you can’t get off the field.

“[Cox] played a lot of snaps, so did Hargrave, so did all those guys,” Gannon said. "I don’t like that. He’s played extremely well. He’s one of our best box defenders you could ever ask for and he’s super versatile. He’s playing good football for us. And when you ask those big guys to play that many snaps, it’s hard duty on everybody. Hopefully he’ll get his body ready to go for this week but I do not want to see that.”


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9 hours ago, PoconoDon said:

He who runs well and stops the run, controls the clock. Joseph and Suh should help them stop the run. Let's see how Gannon uses them to that effect.

I mean on paper yeah sure Joseph and Suh should help. But they were on the street and we shouldn't overlook that. I like the signings because it gives us depth and options but I'm not expecting a huge amount. 

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