Winners and losers in Eagles loss to Seahawks

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The Eagles fell short of the mark against the Seahawks yesterday in a game that highlighted the youth of the team. While some players found a rhythm early, others never seemed to find it..but who were the winners and losers in yesterday’s loss?

Winners:

Nolan Carroll:
A crucial pass breakup and heavy hit over Thomas Rawls and a team-high four tackles saw Carroll continue his recent hot streak. With injuries still plaguing the position, the Eagles are relying on Carroll more and more each week..and he’s delivering every single time.

 

Wendell Smallwood:
At halftime, every running back in the Eagles committee had rushed the ball at least twice, which was extremely promising. But with Mathews and Sproles announced as out for the rest of the game, the Eagles placed the backfield responsibilities on shoulders of the fifth round pick.

Smallwood rushed the ball 13 times for 48 yards..but more importantly didn’t turn the ball over or make rookie mistakes against a Defense that is known for forcing them.

It wasn’t the most impressive rushing game we’ll ever see from Smallwood, but after a fourth quarter fumble a few weeks ago, Smallwood did well to put the backfield on his shoulders and prove that he is capable of emerging as a lead back.
Trey Burton:
The game started with something I’ve been begging to see since the end of last season, Trey Burton lining up outside. He may have only caught one pass, but Burton was involved in 9% of Offensive plays yesterday, being targeted twice.

The Eagles lacked production from their wide receivers all day long, forcing Pederson to utilize Celek, Ertz and Burton in 3-TE sets, just as he did in the Ertz touchdown play. With Burton proving he’s more than just a TE threat and can become a reliable pair of hands, just as he did earlier in the season, it may prompt Pederson to line him up outside more often in order to help the receiving corps.

 

The Offensive Line:
The Eagles Offensive line ended up battered and bruised yesterday, with Jason Peters and Halapoulivaati Vaitai both picking up injuries. It was third round pick Isaac Seumalo and Stefen Wisniewski who were plugged into the line against one of the most aggressive pass-rushes in the league..on the road.

Wentz was only sacked twice throughout the entire game, which given that the Line became a plug-n-play position early into the game, is beyond impressive. Jason Kelce did a fantastic job of moving the pocket and opening rushing lanes early on, while Brandon Brooks did a great job of shielding the Eagles quarterback.

If there’s one thing we can take from the loss, it’s that the Eagles Offensive Line is flooded with capable starting talent..something we haven’t been able to say for a few years now.

 

Jordan Hicks:
The second year linebacker just keeps on improving, and the loss to Seattle was no exception. Hicks recorded six tackles on Sunday as he helped limit Seattles’ run game, contribute to the pass rush and more importantly cover the middle of the field efficiently.

Hicks did some great things against the Seahawks that often forced Wilson to look elsewhere or scramble outside. Hicks has really found a rhythm lately and if he can carry that into next week’s game against the Packers, then the Eagles will be well suited to deal with Aaron Rodgers.

 

Losers: 

Nelson Agholor:
The sophomore receiver struggled mightily against Seattle, suffering more drops, lining up in an illegal formation that cost the Eagles a touchdown and failing to make anything happen once the ball was in his hands.

At this point, it’s clear that Agholor is battling a mentality issue and his hard work ethic will only take him so far if as he said last night, he can’t get out of his own head. It’s sad to see and the pressure is only going to grow as the season draws on, but the future of Nelson Agholor’s starting role has been up for discussion for quite some time now..and we’re yet to see anything that would convince a doubter to become a believer.

 

Eagles pass rush:
Surprisingly, Brandon Graham was also kept quiet against the Seahawks. A candidate for Eagles Defensive MVP, Graham has had a monster year, but was limited to just two tackles and a QB hit against a weak Offensive line.

Wilson’s ability to get out of trouble certainly didn’t help here, but Graham for the first time this season failed to make a dominant impact. It’s not too much of a concern, but the Eagles hit Wilson just six times on Sunday, which played a large part on the Seahawks Offensive success.

For what seems like the 100th time this season, the question of “where is Fletcher Cox?” has presented itself. The franchise Defensive Tackle was poised to sink his teeth into a weakened Seattle Offensive Line, but instead recorded just

Cox has been beyond underwhelming this season in a year that was supposed to be one of sheer dominance. There’s still time for Cox to tap in to the rampant side we’re used to seeing and for Jim Schwartz, he needs to see it sooner rather than later.

The Eagles simply couldn’t get pressure to Russell Wilson or penetrate the trenches to stop the run, a combination which has been a rarity to see this season. This was perhaps one of the lone times that the Eagles Defenses appeared to have a considerable surface advantage over an Offensive Line, and they failed to make it pay dividends.

 

Jalen Mills:
What started with a finger wagging play, ended in a disappointing showing from Jalen Mills. After a few big games, the Eagles rookie came crashing down to earth against the Seahawks. Lacking effort against Prosise on his touchdown run before being schooled by Doug Baldwin, Mills had a tough time against Seattle.

 

Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

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