IT wasn’t a pretty win, but if it helps us win a Bye week during the playoffs, it will count just as much as any blowout. Once again, we were besieged by penalties. Some that we earned and some which are the product of referees over-calling games this year. That however, is pandemic throughout the NFL. All in all it was football game. Not a snooze-fest, but not a nail-biter either. Just the sort of grind it out win that we need out the Eagles, at least twelve more times. (There’s another game left besides those, but I won’t type that number in this paragraph.)
QB Carson Wentz (25/37 – 67.5% – 255 – 1 – 1) looked pretty good in his initial return from last year’s knee injury. He looked in full command of the Offense, and the only real hiccups were a couple of delay of game penalties in the first half. Otherwise, mentally and physically, he looked like his MVP level self.
TE Dallas Goedert (7 – 73 – 10.4 – 1) finally got to play a significant role and subsequently caught his first NFL touchdown.
In fact, TE’s accounted for 13 (I’ll type that number here) of Wentz’s 25 completions, while WR’s only accounted for 6. That’s a problem, by the way. Running the ball was a mixed bag (35 – 152 – 4.3 – 1 – 0), as the Eagles spent a good deal of the game running the ball to perimeter, instead of up the gut.
On Defense the Colts were held to 2/12 on 3rd down conversions, and their RB’s were held in check (12 – 35 – 2.9 – 0 – 0) on the ground. The Colts longest run of the day, was a 33 yarder by QB Andrew Luck (25/40 – 62.5% – 164 – 1 – 0) who spent the day getting acquainted with DE Derek Barnett (5 – 1.5 – 0 – 0 ).
CB Jalen Mills (5 – 0 – 0 – 0) gave away free yardage with a dumb 31 yard a pass interference penalty. This is only going to fan the flames for fans (like me) who’d rather see him moved inside, since his (lack of) speed on the edge is a goddamned liability.
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) Protect the QB: At no point did Wentz look rattled or unsure of himself. He was in total command of the playbook, and his adjustments. Once he got the play clock issue straightened out, he was good to go. DONE
2) Mix up coverages: Still played a great deal of Single-high, and of course a loose Prevent defense later. Gave up a completion percentage of 62.5 this week. That will get us killed vs a decent team. NOT DONE
3) Introduce a new wrinkle: While the Eagles have not been a stranger to running two TE’s sets, using them as the primary receiving options, was clearly not what the Colts had gameplanned to stop. As a result, Wentz was able to complete passes mostly in front of him, which was made easier by a run game that kept the OLB’s on the perimeter. Instead of playing inside to open outside, the Eagles flipped it. DONE
4) Come out in Rally mode: Instead of infectious energy, the Eagles looked somewhat tightly wound. Whether it was multiple dropped punts, poor snaps, or bad drops, it just seemed to be a team trying not to screw up, instead of a team trying to make things happen. NOT DONE
Close out, including that weeks score out of 4. Teaser to next match-up
Better than last week’s goose egg, this week has us going 2 of 4, bring us to 5 of 10 o n the year. Next week has us on the road, paying a visit to the Tennessee Titans, who at 2-1, lead the AFC South.
On The Whole:
While the receiving talent/options were better this week, we have got to get our WR situation fixed. Going against a former member of our coaching staff, with a two TE look, was great for this week. It was a nice wrinkle to focus on, but it won’t help us next week. Throwing the ball to the inside vs Indy, naturally kept the defense in the box, and thus made it tougher to run the ball between the Tackles. We need to find a way spread defenses out, to help us actually have a running game, going forward this season. Until we fix the WR issue, this team won’t get anywhere near it’s true potential.
Still, it’s hard not to enjoy this win, a little more than others.