Doug Pederson’s first divisional game as Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t go as expected. From yet more troubles with penalties to disjoint and inefficiencies across the board, there was little the Eagles could do to stop Kirk Cousins and the Redskins controlling the game on Sunday, in a game that ended 20-27. So where did it all go wrong?
The Offensive line:
“Big V” was destined to receive a baptism of fire against Ryan Kerrigan, but allowing 3 sacks inside 16 minutes of play took the definition to an entirely new level. The Eagles O-line looked like a shadow of its former self without Lane Johnson holding down the right side and allowed a total of 5 sacks on Carson Wentz, while struggling to open up holes for the running game.
The Redskins were consistently able to get pressure to Carson Wentz, forcing some inaccurate throws and incompletions. The Eagles thrive when their offense can control the game..but the Offensive line made it difficult to establish any kind of momentum, be it on the ground or through the air..until the latter stages of the game.
Always look on the bright side of life:
For the first time this season, the Eagles backfield was held to under 100 yards rushing..but it wasn’t due to the flaws that have kept the unit chained down in recent weeks. In fact, all four of the Eagles running backs received carries at FedExField..a direct contrast to what we saw a week ago.
It may not have been the performance we had hoped to see, but it’s great to finally see all four backs being rotated in and out of the Offense..it’s now just a case of finding the efficiency needed to build a threatening committee backfield.
The Eagles Run D has been phenomenal this season….has been. Against the Redskins, the unit allowed 230 rushing yards against the Redskins and a staggering 7 yards per carry. It almost seemed alien, watching the Eagles struggle against the run as much as they had under Billy Davis in 2015..and once the floodgates had opened, the water didn’t stop coming.
Another game, another tally of double digit penalties. The Eagles seem to lack discipline on both sides of the ball, as they continue to squander opportunities through penalties. The worst part is that the problem is only intensifying..
EAGLES PENALTIES BY WEEK
1 – 7 (46)
2 – 7 (60)
3 – 10 (99)
5 – 14 (111)
6 – 13 (114)
TOTAL: 51 for 430
Gotta be more disciplined.
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 16, 2016
When things start to go wrong, the impact of these penalties becomes so much more detrimental..and the team simply have to find a way to cut out the fixable mistakes.
They’re back, they sting and when occurring in the same game as a Redskins receiving unit running rampant..they highlight just how raw the Eagles receivers really are. There were some great receptions and huge plays..but all were overshadowed by the fact that the Eagles receivers continue to be plagued by drops in crucial situations.
Out of lifelines:
The Eagles cornerbacks were skating on thin ice last week..but without Leodis McKelvin against such a polished group of receivers..were always going to have their work cut out. A non-existent pass rush meant that the corners were relied on for a change on Sunday..and the result was 263 yards of passing Offense and two touchdowns. We will be looking at this much closer in our weekly cornerback analysis article..but it wasn’t pretty.
For the first time this season, the Eagles failed to sack the quarterback. Kirk Cousins was able to run his ruthless Redskins Offense with ease as the Eagles continued to get frustrated behind the Redskins O-Line. Some great plays from the likes of Logan and Graham were forgotten almost instantly as a run for a big gain would completely change the situation.
The Eagles only hit Cousins twice throughout the entire game, in comparison to the ELEVEN hits sustained by Wentz..the contrast is frightening on several levels.
After such a productive opening few weeks, many expected the same level of play against the Redskins..but like the rest of the team, the Eagles strongest unit just simply didn’t show up when it mattered most.
Wentz shows strength:
Taking eleven hits and five sacks can be considered a tough day at the office..but Wentz was still able to manage the game clock to some degree, complete 50% of his passes and avoid turning the ball over while averaging over 8 yards per pass.
Whenever he was knocked down, Wentz got back up and rallied his Offense. He may not have found the endzone..and he may have shown the same flaws he did throughout Training camp, but it’s easy to forget that he’s still a rookie..and when you take everything into account including how the rest of the team was playing…Wentz did brilliantly.