Halftime analysis: Mental mistakes stinging the Eagles in close playoff encounter


The score may suggest a close game, but it shouldn’t. The Eagles have endured a first half of fumbles, falls and mental mistakes that have chained their offense against an Atlanta team that’s beginning to pick up heat. Here is all you need to know from the first half that holds an Atlanta 10-9 Eagles scoreline.


The mistakes:
Jay Ajayi fumbled on the very first carry of the game, turning the ball over after the Eagles were thrust into enemy territory due to a PI call. He wasn’t the only one to have a lapse of concentration however. LeGarrette Blount, Nick Foles and even a special teams fumble have seen the Eagles make mistake after mistake. Nick Foles has been less than competent, Jalen Mills gave up a poor holding call and Malcolm Jenkins jumped off his assignment, opening up a Freeman touchdown. The Eagles are playing scrappy Football and it HAS to change in the second half.


The Jay-Train:
Despite his first carry woes, Ajayi has been red-hot for the Eagles. The Jay-Train heads into the half with 50 yards on 8 carries. For some reason, the Birds insisted on giving Blount the ball on that heartbreaking final offensive drive of the first half but all traffic has to go through Ajayi. The Brit has been relentless, making something out of nothing and pounding through defenders on a regular basis, keeping this offense alive.


Foles needs to be competent:
Saved by a flag one minute and overthrowing Ertz in the flat the next, Foles has struggled this evening. He doesn’t have to be perfect, just competent. Overthrowing a wide open Trey Burton wasn’t a good look on third down. The Eagles need to do all they can to help Foles, who looked like a Deer in headlights for the opening few drives.


Fletcher Cox has been a man on a mission. Stepping up to the mark and making his money, Cox has been relentless against the run and has made some terrific plays to spark some life into the Philadelphia team. Run defense as a whole has been impressive, with the team giving up just 50 yards going into the half. This Eagles defense has been nothing short of dominant…as expected and as they have to be.


Side note:
Jake Elliott is the G.O.A.T.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports