(Disclaimer: I did not see the 4th quarter. I was stuck on 676, and then the 30th Street Station exit, trying to get a loved one to their bus back to D.C. )
DISCLAIMER aside, I saw quite enough during the three quarters that I did see. I saw a Defense that still can’t cover legit deep threats. I saw a Defense that still doesn’t think it needs to make adjustments. I saw our Defense get SHELLED by two players essentially playing catch all day.
There was a point this year, where we won games if the Offense could score 30+ points. Now we’re at a point where even 31 points isn’t enough against a team like the Dolphins. The longer DC Jim Schwartz is in Philadelphia, the further we will get from ever seeing another deep playoff run.
I don’t want to hear people blaming QB Carson Wentz (28/46 – 60.8% – 310 – 3 – 1) for this mess. He was by no means awesome, but he was the main reason we scored 31 points. WR’s Alshon Jeffery (9 – 137 – 15.2 – 1) and Nelson Agholor (3 – 41 – 13.6 – 0) did what was expected of them and reminded us of what we’ve lacked, for the last two weeks.
We also got a solid effort from RB Miles Sanders (17 – 83 – 4.8 – 0 – 0 / 5 – 22 – 4.4 – 1) who had a very Brian Westbrook sort of day. He was productive both with and without the football. However, you could still feel the absence of RB Jordan Howard. We haven’t won since he left the line-up.
The Defense thinking that the game opening interception was enough, packed up and went to the beach after the opening drive. Jim Schwartz wasn’t so much out-coached, as he was more shown that his scheme is an obsolete, propped up gimmick, that even bad teams can beat, because it’s more philosophy than well thought out concept.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Show up and show out: The Offense showed up. Alshon reminded people that when he’s not gimpy, he’s still very much a problem. Agholor showed us a little of what he can do with the ball in his hands. Sanders displayed a promising amount of poise and stability for this Offense today. My hat is off to those guys and those efforts.
By and large though, everyone else either did their job merely adequately, or didn’t show up at all. (NOT DONE)
2) Shut down the pass: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! (NOT DONE)
3) Show ‘em something new: Wentz threw a checkdown TD, and the staff got him out on more bootlegs this week. Aside from that, we more or less ran the same stuff we always run. (NOT DONE)
4) 1-2-3 THROW!: Wentz didn’t hold the ball too long for the most part. I was most impressed by an early throw to WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside (1 – 15 – 15.0 – 1) that fell incomplete because JJAW didn’t get open soon enough. Wentz put the ball on him anyway, and that sort of said to the kid “Get your ass open early.” (DONE)
That brings our Four Things score for the week to 1 of 4, and the yearly tally to 23 of 48. Next week the giants visit the Linc, and I can’t wait to see what sort of weird, trick play, touchdown we get beat for in that one! (My money is on a Sweep and lateral to the Center.)
On The Whole:
Let’s not insult our own intelligence on this. There is no way a team like the Dolphins should score 37 points. Anyone looking beyond that, is trying to ignore a fire in their lap.
The Eagles lost because our Defense can’t stop the pass. Not couldn’t, as in “just this game”. Can’t, as in “this has been an ongoing problem for three years now”.
I keep writing paragraphs and cutting them out, because they’re less about this game and more about the over-arching problem here. I’m left stunned that the problem was so simple, and yet no one could figure out a way to counter it.