WINNING this game would have been a huge emotional boost to the roster. That said, let’s not pretend that this 7 point loss to the Patriots, is somehow a mark of shame.
Our #1 RB and #1 WR were both on the shelf this week. Our #2 WR is on IR. We signed two former Eagles off of their couches this week. And still we had a shot on the final drive.
First and foremost, we need to tip our caps to DC Jim Schwartz for calling a hell of game. There were actual downs when we played some man press. I almost cried. The result was holding a well oiled offense to 17 points. Here’s hoping that this weeks lessons are remembered next week.
Our WR’s caught 6 of 17 targets, although most of the incompletions to WR Jordan Matthews (1 – 6 – 6.0 – 0) were the result of QB Carson Wentz (20/40 – 214 – 50.0 – 1 – 0) sailing the ball too tall towards the sideline. Seems like someone was missing their Alshon. Speaking of Alshon, Wentz threw TE Zach Ertz (9 – 94 – 10.4 – 0) 11 passes. Over a quarter of his attempts, for nearly half of his completions.
Wentz did hit TE Dallas Goedert (3 – 36 – 12.0 – 1) with an absolute laser, for a 5 yard score to cap a 95 yard 1st quarter drive. Other than that drive, we spent the day dead in the water on Offense. Rookie RB Miles Sanders (11 – 38 – 3.4 – 0 – 0), teamed with reserve RB Boston Scott (7 – 26 – 3.7 – 0 – 0) to produce all of 64 yards on 18 handoffs (3.5ypc). RB Jay Ajayi never sniffed the field.
Wentz was sacked either five or five hundred times. It seemed when the protection wasn’t breaking down on him, he held the ball like a WR was supposed to walk up and ask him for it. (Maybe that would have worked better than them running routes.)
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.
1) Use play-action bootlegs: Yeah, there was no attempt at this one. Head Coach Doug Pederson seemed to leave a lot of meat on the bone coaching this week, and this is one such aspect. Especially after LT Jason Peters had to exit the game. The scheme seemed to call for Carson to hang in the pocket like a side of beef. Here in Philly there’s an image that goes with that.
2) Get Brady to moonwalk: We did a brilliant job of this in the first half, and for most of the third quarter. Brady pretty much couldn’t step into his throws, and it forced them into resorting to a trick play for their only touchdown. (DONE)
3) Pry that clam open: We attacked the FS on the opening play of the game and attacked that area on the Goedert score. Otherwise we mostly threw Crossers, Outs and Curls. There wasn’t much challenging the Patriots downfield on the inside. Weird because that’s where you’d expect to see Jordan Matthews and the TE’s making their money this week. (NOT DONE)
4) Take care of the ball: Wentz lost the ball on a sack-fumble, but given the number of hits on him, especially after losing both OT’s, we did a decent job of protecting the ball. (DONE)
This week’s Four Things score is 2 of 4, bringing the season total to 19 of 40. We’ll need to be sharper than that vs a Seattle team that has had our number since Russell Wilson was drafted there.
On The Whole:
Offensively we were a nightmare. When I put Four Things out last Wednesday, WR Alshon Jeffery and RB Jordan Howard had not yet been ruled out. While that list was compiled with them in mind, it wasn’t dependent on them. That said, I have no doubt that if one one or both of those players had played, it would have changed the end result.
While you may see me as the eternal optimist, I can’t help but point out three obvious and irrefutable truths here:
1) This may be a bad team from a personnel standpoint, but they are still a good team as far as sticking together. (i.e. not throwing each other under the bus.)
2) The Front Office is pushing for results, and thus setting a tone downstream.
3) The Eagles are still in the hunt for the division crown.