Instant analysis: Eagles unable to unnerve Seattle in week 11 loss

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It was always going to be a Defensive showcase, but the Eagles 26-15 defeat against the Seahawks was anything but predictable. From a flurry of injuries to some rookie mistakes, Pete Carroll was able to outwit Doug Pederson on Sunday..but what did we learn?

Committee backfield shines:
The loss may be a tough pill to swallow, but considering that the Seahawks give up the 9th least rushing yards per game in the league..the Eagles committee effort that saw them rack up 113 yards has to be commended. Even more so due to the fact that the team were without both Sproles and Mathews for the entirety of the second half.

In the opening two quarters, every Eagles running back had at least two touches..and as a result, were able to help sustain a 7 minute drive that ended in a touchdown. The true shape of the committee backfield is something that has often been called into question this season, but it once again flashed potential on Sunday, just as it did in week 3 against the Steelers.

Without Sproles or Mathews, Pederson relied on Wendell Smallwood more than Barner. However the Eagles recent success on the ground goes hand in hand with an increased role for Smallwood and Barner, helping move the Offense a step in the right direction.

 

It’s a long way to the top:
Predictably, Carson Wentz struggled against the Seahawks. An early timeout showed that the noise was getting to the rookie, but an average of just 4.8 yards per pass is what once again hampered Wentz.

Wentz ended the day completing 23/45 passes for 218 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT and flashed potential in some places..

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..whike showing his youth in others. The rookie was picked apart by Seattle all game long. Despite an athleticism showcase, some good ideas looking to connect with Bryce Treggs (more on that later), and a late surge in production, it was apparent that Carson Wentz still has plenty to learn.

There were certainly some encouraging signs, his never-say-die attitude being one of them. But this is a Defense that the Eagles will likely have to beat somewhere down the line in the next few years if they are to reach the promised land..and we now know just how much that demands from Carson Wentz and the quarterback he is poised to become.

 

Injuries:
Monday should be fun. The Eagles lost Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews to injuries during halftime, but the problems didn’t end there. Fletcher Cox, Connor Barwin, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Leodis McKelvin had all at least spent time on the sidelines during the course of the game. It’s at this point, against a ruthless Defense where the early-Bye week really begins to haunt this team.

 

H E L P:
At halftime, the Eagles Tight ends had more catches than the rest of the Eagles receivers combined..and if it wasn’t for a late burst in an attempt to salvage the game, it would have stayed that way.

Jordan Matthews and the rest of the receiving corps were silenced until the fourth quarter. Drops, a lack of separation and short passes continued to paint the bleak picture. To put it in perspective, at the time of Russell Wilson’s receiving touchdown, he had received for more yards than all Eagles receivers combined.

The Eagles simply NEED more out of their receiving corps..especially in big games on the road. The need is becoming more and more prominent as the weeks go by, but a new focus on three-TE sets, and formations using Burton as a wide receiver show that the birds are looking elsewhere for the production they’re missing out on.

The schedule isn’t going to get any easier, but the receiving corps HAS to find a way to establish a rhythm, eliminate errors and give a rookie quarterback some help.

 

Eagles will feel the Schwartz:
Seattle’s Offensive line is hardly the most intimidating in the league..and the Eagles pass-rush was expected to run rampant as a result. Instead, Wilson was sacked just one time and hit six..while the team rushed for 152 yards. To put it simply, the Eagles front four and linebackers struggled from the first play onwards in an uncharacteristically quiet game.

This isn’t going to sit too well with Jim Schwartz, but with injuries forcing the hands of the coaching staff and poor play from every facet of the Defense..it’s going to be a long week when it comes to preparing for a clash with the Packers.

 

Chemistry:
For those still wondering why Paul Turner hasn’t been called up yet, Bryce Treggs may have given us the answer. Wentz looked to utilize his deep threat on numerous occasions against Seattle, but under-threw every time as he continues to adapt to his speed and build that bond.

Missing open receivers, making some poor decisions and some questionable passes highlight a crucial yet often overlooked aspect of this team, chemistry. Wentz will only get better with time..and as he develops a rapport with Treggs and the rest of the receiving corps, the players around him should too..but today’s game painted that as a lengthy process.

 

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

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