The Eagles fell short of the mark against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, as their undefeated streak came to a bitter end. Aaron Rodgers carved the Eagles Defense apart in the Packers 27-13 win..and there’s plenty to talk about.
Where’s the pass rush:
For two weeks in a row, the Eagles have played wounded Offensive Lines..and two weeks in a row they’ve struggled to make any kind of impact. Aaron Rodgers was hit just two times on Monday and avoided being sacked altogether. For a pass rush that’s supposed to be among the best in the league, it’s simply unacceptable with so much money lying on that side of the ball.
Fletcher Cox generated pressure but gave away a silly penalty (we’ll touch on that later), while the Eagles DE’s simply couldn’t collapse the pocket to contain Aaron Rodgers. The Packers adapted to a much shorter passing game to counteract the pass rush early on, but found the confidence to sling it downfield way too soon.
Regardless of who’s at fault, who’s struggling or what the issues are, the Eagles cannot afford to be this quiet in an area that’s supposed to be their greatest strength.
Glaring needs emerge:
The absence of Nelson Agholor certainly hurt the Eagles last night, who were unable to generate any kind of passing momentum once Jordan Matthews had left the game with injury. Paul Turner wasn’t targeted at all and Bryce Treggs had just one reception all game..which begs the question of whether the Eagles would have been better off with Agholor in the mix. Wentz was throwing to two undrafted rookies and a former second round pick with reported character issues once Matthews had left.
On the other side of the ball, Aaron Rodgers simply carved the Secondary apart. While coverage was strong early on, a 50 yard pass to Davante Adams followed by some big plays to Jordy Nelson cut into the form of the Eagles secondary.
The offseason needs were prominent beforehand, but they’re even more glaring after last night’s loss.
Offensive Line depth shows strength:
With Brandon Brooks hospitalized, the Eagles ended up with a LEGO Offensive Line. The birds may have only managed 81 yards rushing and Wentz was sacked four times, but the Line set a physical tone early on.
Considering that the Eagles had an O-line that consisted of two declining players, two backups and one player out of position, the unit showed that even without their starters and with a bye-week so far in the rear view mirror..they can be more than capable of holding the fort. Something that just wasn’t present in previous years.
Penalties continue to haunt the Eagles:
The birds had seven penalties in last night’s loss and while that’s not as many as we’ve seen previously, it was the situations in which they occurred which stung. Jason Peters continues to rack up the holding calls while Fletcher Cox had cost his team massively in recent weeks with three “roughing the passer” penalties that if not called, would have killed the drive. Instead, all three drives resulted in touchdowns.
Discipline has been a reoccurring issue since week one and it’s showing no signs of disappearing..but what can the Eagles do to stop shooting themselves in the foot?
Wentz isn’t to blame:
Say what you want about the Offense, but Carson Wentz was playing behind a plug-n-play O-Line with sub-par receivers. Yet somehow, he was still able to complete 24/36 passes for over 250 yards, turning the ball over just once.
The pocket awareness was on show as Wentz rushed four times for 33 yards and a touchdown, while his accuracy and pre-snap audibles were as impressive as ever. It’s still a process..and one the Eagles were more than prepared for at the start of the season. However, it would be completely unfair to say that this loss..or many losses this season are on him.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports