The Eagles flew into Baltimore knowing that a fifth consecutive loss would see them drop out of playoff contention. While that may have been the case in the 27-26 loss, the birds were able to give Baltimore a real scare and show that they are by no means a walkover. Here’s what we learned from Sunday’s game.
Eagles finally adapt after another Slow start:
The Eagles started the game in a predictable fashion. Some bad decisions by Carson Wentz followed by a lack of production and a complete lack of balance with the run game. But that all changed in the second half.
After opening the game with 2 passes and 7 rushes, the Eagles combined for 169 yards and a touchdown on 38 attempts. Ryan Mathews recorded his second game of the season against one of the league’s elite run Defenses. Despite losing Kenjon Barner to injury, the Eagles limited backfield and wounded O-Line paved the way for an Offensive resurgence and gave Wentz room to breathe against a pass rush that looked to make life difficult.
Despite falling behind, the Eagles for the first time this season didn’t get complacent..and that’s something that comes with play-calling experience. Pederson stuck to his plan and ground out a successful rushing attack despite all the odds being stacked against him.
Carson Wentz flashes franchise potential:
It wasn’t the prettiest game and it wasn’t his most statistically impressive, but Carson Wentz flashed signs of becoming the quarterback Philly pines for. Whether it was leading his receivers into the right place and making clutch plays in the fourth quarter, or simply making the right choices in throwing the ball away early when needed, Wentz shined in Baltimore.
There were some questionable decisions and a reversed INT that he would have loved to get back, but for the first time this season, down by a score with 2 minutes to go, Carson Wentz found the endzone. The celebration that followed his rushing touchdown said it all. Passion, heart and determination all showed in the scream of Carson Wentz and even though the choice to go for two was unsuccessful, the fact that he led the team down the field against such a dominant Defense is beyond impressive.
It’s all a learning process, but Wentz is getting better week by week.
Jalen Mills carries cornerbacks:
The Eagles cornerback corps has been inconsistent at best this season and the same can be said for this week’s effort..but even though he allowed a crucial touchdown with 9 seconds left in the first half, Mills emerged as a solid cornerback for the birds on Sunday.
From impressive pass deflections to excellent coverage, Mills showed yet more signs of promise as he aimed to thwart Joe Flacco’s Offense. Mills had his best game of the season against the Ravens, which inspires hope at a position of need for the Eagles.
Run Defense continues to struggle:
The Ravens may have ranked 27th in in total rushing yards this season, but that didn’t stop them from putting up 151 yards against the Eagles.
Terrence West sliced through the Eagles Defense for Baltimore’s longest rush of the season while the big plays continued to send streaks of life into the Ravens rushing game. The Defensive Line may have looked impressive in hampering Joe Flacco, but they simply could not stop what was a very patient and defining rushing effort. Something that has to be addressed in the offseason.
Pederson made the right call:
I’m going to have a full article on this later, but the clear controversy after the loss was Doug’s decision to go for two after a late touchdown from Carson Wentz. The decision is a no-brainer. Playoffs are out of the equation, there are two games left and for Carson Wentz..this is a situation that in five years time could well send him to his first NFC Championship..and he has to be ready. It’s a clutch play and not only does it show trust in his Offense, but reaffirms that making sure Wentz has that kind of experience under his belt early is imperative for the team’s development. A win against Baltimore is meaningless in the long run, just as this loss is. The loss, as well as the Vikings loss certainly helps the bigger picture on the other hand..and Carson Wentz has one more “franchise” experience to build on.
Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports