The Eagles traveled to Kansas City on Sunday to take on former coach Andy Reid. They left with their first loss of the year. For the first 40 minutes of the game, the Eagles went toe-to-toe with the AFC heavyweight. They didn’t close out the game as well and ultimately lost 27-20. Every game is a learning experience for both the players and coaching staff and there were a lot of positives to take from this one. know, I know, “there’s nothing positive about losing“, but keeping this season and future seasons in perspective, this loss wasn’t so bad. The Chiefs are a very good team who had extra rest and were coming back home after a big opening night win in New England. Here are some things to take away from week 2…
Carson Wentz is on the verge:
Carson Wentz really is on his way to being an elite quarterback. It’s not hyperbole anymore. When you watch him, you can tell that you’re watching a special talent. His completion percentage was a little low and he had the bad turnover, but Wentz threw for 333 yards and 2 TD’s. All that in spite of the team abandoning the run and allowing the Chiefs to pin their ears back and come after him. He was in a notoriously tough environment in Kansas City but was still able to carry the team and keep the Eagles in the game. That’s the sort of player that we have here. Carson is the type of leader who should make every fan feel “we can win on any given Sunday” and that’s exactly what we’ve all been waiting for.
O-Line needs to gel, not an overhaul
There were times when Carson was under heavy pressure on Sunday, but there were also instances where it seemed like he had all day in the pocket. The KC front 7 is no joke. They sacked Wentz 6 times but it’s not time to start shifting pieces. Seumalo is a young talent who had a bad day. He will get better as he gets more time on the field and develops chemistry with Kelce and Peters. We’ve seen this unit run block before and do it well. The problem is the commitment to the run. Chalk it up as a bad day, this is a good line.
Alshon Jeffery more involved
After a so-so debut the week before, this week it seemed like Doug Pederson and staff made it a point to feature AJ as the true #1 receiver in this offense. Jeffery was targeted a team high 13 times and finished with 7 catches for 92 yards and a TD. What was encouraging was the fact that Wentz would go to him even when he was covered by Pro Bowl corner Marcus Peters. The coach and QB believe in Jeffery so look for #1 WR production the rest of the way.
Ertz is new the BFF
If Ertz caught more TD’s he would be recognized on the national scene as one of the best tight ends in the game. He often gets left out of that conversation but he’s right up there with the best of them. He has taken over Jordan Matthews old role as Carsons’ security blanket. This should be his year for the Pro Bowl.
Hollins rising, Burton missing
It was nice to see Mack Hollins get involved in the offense. He ran a variety of routes which was in question whether he could do or not and he caught the ball well. It seems like his role is growing going forward. Meanwhile, Trey Burton, who was supposed to have a bigger role in the offense, has been M.I.A. through 2 games. He has just 1 catch and you wonder if he still has a place in the offense. He made a big special teams play and helped open the passing game for Jeffery, but it would be nice to see more contributions on Offense.
Defense did an excellent job of limiting Hunt and Hill
Overlook the Sportscenter highlights and fantasy scores, the Eagles did a really good job against Kareem Hunt outside of the 1 long run. Take that away and he had 28 yards on 12 carries. They also did a great job of swarming Hill and making sound tackles when he did touch the ball.
Fastballs are back
This team has a serious defensive line and they can bring the heat. Jernigan has been as advertised. His addition has had the effect it was designed to have which was to free up Fletcher Cox and have the 2 of them create havoc in the middle. The outside rushers are pressuring the quarterback and are deep enough to rotate and stay fresh. This group is so vital to the success of this team.
I see you Rasul Douglas
The rookie entered the game early after an injury to Jaylen Watkins and immediately made you wonder why he wasn’t starting in the first place. Douglas had a confidence and swagger about him even in his first game. He was Pro Football Focus’ highest rated Eagle for the game. His size and length were evident on film and Jim Schwartz must love how solid his tackling was. His play gave me hope that this secondary can withstand the injuries and be a solid unit.
Mills looks legit
Clearly he worked hard this past offseason. Mills has looked really good so far this year against 2 very good offenses. Big plays have been limited. He plays with no fear. He tackles well. He wags his finger. The “Green Goblin” is much improved and that’s great news for the Eagles defense.
Get well soon Sturgis
Any missed kick in a tight game changes things completely. Elliot missing that chip shot field goal before half time was a killer and big momentum changer. It would have been nice to have capitalized on the Ertz circus catch. Hopefully another week of practice will help the specialists get their timing right because nobody wants this rent-a-kicker costing the Eagles games.
*TAKEAWAY OF THE WEEK*
Where the hell is the run game!?
The run game was absolutely non-existent for the 2nd game in a row and now it appears to be a major problem. Remember the days of Andy Reid abandoning the run and how frustrating that was? Well whenever he would go back to it the Eagles were able to run it just fine. The problem right now is they are almost forced to abandon the run because of how lackluster it has been. There’s blame all around. Blame Doug for being pass-happy. Blame the O-Line for the terrible blocking. Blame Howie for missing on a draft full of stud runners. There’s just a lack of talent at the position. Blount is done and his time here is already running out. Smallwood is nothing special. Sproles is great in his role but he can’t be THE GUY. I would name Clement the starter and commit to running the ball so the line can get in sync, get into a rhythm and don’t look back. That might hold up for this season before another loaded running back draft in the spring. If that doesn’t work, maybe revisit those Mark Ingram trade talks?
Overall, you should be very encouraged as an Eagle fan after watching this game. The Eagles were in it the whole way. The fought, they competed, and most importantly, they looked like they belonged. It’s always the little things that make the difference between winning and losing. In this game it was the 2 turnovers which led to 10 points, the Hunt TD run, the Conley catch of a perfectly thrown Alex Smith ball and the missed field goal. Even after all that, if Vinny Curry finishes that sack late in the game on 3rd down, there could have been an entirely different finish.
It’s just one loss in a long season. The Eagles have got to put it in the rear-view and move on because the Giants are coming to the Linc on Sunday. The division games are going to be so important this year and the Giants look ripe for a whooping. Now would be a great time to establish the run and dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball to put a stamp on early control of the NFC East.
Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports