TOO many missteps.
EAGLES 11 – 49ers 17
New categories include an EXCLUSIVE weekly Offensive Line Report* (Rushing TD’s + 3rd and 4th downs converted:missed of 2 yards or less – sacks allowed); as well as Drive Killer (Int – FR – 4th down Tackles – FF – TD).
Passing: (S) QB Jalen Hurts (12/23 – 52.1 – 190 – 0 – 0)
Rushing: (S) QB Jalen Hurts (10 – 82 – 8.2 – 1 – 0)
Receiving: (B) WR Quez Watkins (2 – 2 – 117 – 58.5 – 0)
Offensive Line Report: (1 + 1:2 – 2)
Drive Killer: No Qualifier
Sack Leader: No Qualifier
* (Formula adjusted after Week 1)
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these Four Things articles. It’s to point out what we need to address BEFORE the game. Then AFTER the game, there’s a no-bullshit assessment of whether or not the Eagles did any of what they needed to do, to ensure the win.
So how much of what I mentioned in Four Things: 49ers did the Eagles actually get around to doing? Well let’s see:
1) Take Away the Edges: The Defense did a great job of this, rendering the 49ers run game anything but explosive. There were a number of runs that ended up as tackles for losses. Screen plays were blown up early. Pitches were compromised. Unfortunately, the defense couldn’t get off the field and ended up both gassed and losing the field position battle. Still, they held those edges. (DONE)
2) Next Level Tackling: For the most part (especially in the first half), the tackling was sharp. No one was getting dragged, or dilly-dallying with the ball carriers. They just got the man on the ground. Tackles were still being made later in the game, but a secure tackle after a 15 yard completion on 3rd and 7, or a 5 yard completion on 3rd and 3, doesn’t really help the cause. But the tackling was solid, so we’ll credit that. (DONE)
3) Get the Ball Downfield: Hurts took 4 deep shots down the field. There was the 91 yarder to Watkins. There was the recalled touchdown to WR Jalen Reagor (5 – 2 – 5 – 2.5 – 0) where Reagor stepped out of bounds twice on one route, drawing a penalty instead. Finally, there were two deep shots to WR Devonta Smith (7 – 2 – 16 – 8.0 – 0).
Even if all four had doinked harmlessly on the ground, teams now will realize that we will air it out. The fact that Hurts connected on two of them (defenses studying film won’t care about the penalty), will provide room for him to operate underneath in coming weeks. This didn’t result in a win, but today’s game will bear fruit all year long. (DONE)
4) Screen Sanders: RB Miles Sanders (13 – 55 – 4.2 – 0 – 0) was split out wide a few times, but unless I blinked and missed it, I didn’t see a single Screen thrown to him. In fact, the RB/TE thing that I talked about in FT, was a total non-factor. Amazingly, Sanders and both TE’s totaled just 6 targets.
I specifically said they should NOT lean on rookie RB Kenneth Gainswell (6 – 14 – 2.3 – 0 – 0) and now you see why. He’s a neat toy, but he’s not yet an NFL caliber RB. (NOT DONE)
We nailed 3 of Four Things, but it wasn’t enough. Next week we head down to Jerry World to give Head Coach Nick Sirianni his first NFC East victory.
On The Whole:
While no loss is good (talking to YOU, Cowboys fans), this one could benefit Sirianni for the rest of his career. He got too cute, and it bit us in the ass. There were too many fundamentals that we didn’t adhere to, and it cost us the game.
Let’s start with our passing game. Reagor had a score called back due to stepping out of bounds, but even on Watkins 91 yarder, and a couple of Smith’s incompletions, you saw our WR’s pinned against the sideline.
This is because they were running their routes to the outside of defenders. That works against the receiver, because the sideline is a 100 yard long defender. That’s not even football 101. That’s 098 type stuff. It’s remedial. With Sirianni being a former WR, you’d think his concepts would all involve avoiding the sideline.
We got 4 shots from the one yard line, and decided not to take 4 downs and hammer that fucker in. Instead, Sirianni dialed up “Silly Silly” and for whatever reason WR Greg Ward (no stat line) threw the ball out of bounds. ON 4th DOWN! Somewhere out there, Doug Pederson is playing that on a loop and jerking off, while laughing like a maniac.
This was a bad loss. It was the worst kind of loss. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it was entirely self-inflicted. Here’s hoping we’re smarter next week.