Instant analysis: Eagles show heart in narrow loss to Redskins

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In what became a vicious rivalry game against the Redskins on Sunday, the Eagles fell just short of the mark, falling to Washington 27-22. From in-game Long Snapper tryouts to breakouts from key players, the Eagles certainly resurged from a blowout loss to the Bengals..but it wasn’t enough on the day.

 

Wentz shows toughness:
After a loss where Wentz attempted 60 passes and was later met with adversity, the Eagles simply had to re-balance the Offense against the Redskins..and they did. Wentz played his best game since the loss to Detroit earlier this season and found confidence in the warm environment of the Linc.

His poise, pocket presence and accuracy all returned against the Redskins, as Wentz continued to make things happen with his legs and make much trickier throws than we’ve seen in recent weeks, all without the help of his more than banged up O-Line and running backs, who both suffered setbacks in the game.

With the game on the line, Wentz marched his Offense down the field before being hit instantly by Ryan Kerrigan, who beat a third string right tackle to seal the deal. The Eagles seem to struggle in the fourth quarter when the pressure oven heats up, but Wentz surged in production against the Redskins and that has to be commended.

 

The return of Fletcher Cox:
Cox ran rampant against the Washington Defense, which leaves me with two thoughts. One, a reaffirmation of the ruthless man-dog he can be..and secondly, where has that inner man dog been hiding?!

With 1.5 sacks, 4 tackles and consistent pressure, Cox exploded on Sunday..so what’s prevented that kind of performance? Motives and effort were called into question this week and maybe, just maybe..it sparked a fire inside Fletcher Cox. Whatever the reason is, let’s hope to see more of the monster that Cox can become in coming weeks.

 

One man band:
If there’s one man who deserves an Eagles MVP of the game award, it’s Trey Burton. The third string tight end caught 7 passes for 65 yards, long-snapped a field goal, made some fantastic blocks and made an impact on special teams..is there anything he can’t do?!

As regular readers of the site will know, we’ve been backing a Burton breakout for quite sometime..and the Eagles are really beginning to see just how explosive the former Florida Gator can be, in an Offense that simply needs that kind of production. With Celek potentially injured too, Burton’s role could only increase going forward.

 

Cornerbacks cry for help:
Kirk Cousins may have been slow to heat up, but the Eagles cornerbacks struggled all game. Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll were both burned consistently against the Redskins, although DeSean Jackson simply did DeSean Jackson things against McKelvin.

A late pick-six looked to save the day, but there was definitely a cry for help at a position that continues to chain down the pass rush through a lack of consistency. Seventh round pick Jalen Mills may be carrying the entire ceiling of the position on his shoulders, but Carroll and McKelvin simply have to improve their play to extend their tenure in the City of Brotherly Love.

 

The heart of the team beats on:
A week after the team’s effort was called into question, the Eagles played with heart. Doug Pederson didn’t lose the locker room..but the locker room lost Doug Pederson, whose view shifted to the longer term plan. This week however, the team proved that they are absolutely still all-in on their Head Coach.

A sickening hit on Darren Sproles, long-snapper injuries that called for some big-time coaching decisions, risky challenge flags and injuries across the roster saw Doug Pederson and his men constantly fighting with their backs against the wall..and given the circumstance, they fought valiantly.

It may not have been a win and Doug Pederson may be 0-4 against division opponents, but the Eagles played angry on Sunday and showed a sign of what one day could be a playoff team. This is a roster that lacks stars on Offense and depth on Defense..but through every challenge faced, they gave the Redskins one hell of a game.

 

Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

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