The Eagles fell short of the mark in Tennessee as the Titans rose to overcome a deficit in overtime to seal a week 4 win. It wasn’t the game many expected. So what went wrong?
The boys are back in town:
Jay Ajayi and Alshon Jeffery both returned to the Eagles offense today and oh was it ever obvious? Alshon notched a 100 yard game in his first matchup since Super Bowl 52, hauling in some beautiful catches including a highlight reel level touchdown, while Ajayi was sprinkled in throughout the game to pick up 70 yards on 15 carries, leading the Birds in rushing. Not only that, but let’s not forget that Carson Wentz, who was beaten to a pulp in this game, avoided throwing an interception and threw for 348 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The offense is so close to full health, but just as the Eagles are close to a fresh chapter, there are some new problems beginning to crawl out of the woodwork.
Offensive line struggles:
The Eagles offensive front was disastrous today. The Titans were able to get constant pressure on Carson Wentz, hitting him 11 time. The pass-rush played a blinding game, but the Eagles offensive front was leaking pressure all day long in performance that would usually be uncharacteristic. Instead, it’s becoming the season norm. It’s not the first time this has happened and the penalties rained down for the fourth week in a row. There are clearly some kinks to be worked out as this O-line does not look like the elite unit that decimated opponents en-route to a Super Bowl.
Let’s talk about discipline:
8 penalties. The Eagles continue to sting themselves by creating their own demise. The opening to this year’s schedule was the easiest possible start (barring Atlanta) for a defending Champion to take on and every game has come down to a nail biting finish because the Eagles are unable to seal the coffin. Whether it’s shoddy cornerback play, dropped passes, injuries causing some breakdowns or just a lack of execution, this team has struggled for four weeks now to get the job done. Fingers are eventually going to be pointed at the top, but this was a very winnable game thrown away by poor decisions and a lack of discipline.
The Eagles defense did what they set out to do, to begin with. Holding the Titans rushing efforts, they made Marcus Mariota throw the ball. The problem is that involves relying on your corners to hold their end of the bargain. Spoiler alert, they didn’t. Jalen Mills struggled (unsurprisingly) again and Sidney Jones was given a rude awakening on a Sharpe touchdown reception. The defense hit overtime and through a mix of odd errors, poor mistakes and strange decisions, the Titans were given lifeline after lifeline and somehow clung on to steal a win. It was a dismal display by what should be an elite defense.
There were some strange play calls from Doug Pederson as time began to tick away and let’s be honest, it’s not the first time that such a comment has been made .On a 4th and short at their own 42 with all three timeouts, Pederson punts the ball away which is a decision that ultimately came back to bite them in the rear. You can’t expect a quarterback returning from an ACL injury to throw 50 times and win a game, not with a weakened offense that’s also recovering with him. Unfortunately, that was the case today and the result followed suit.
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports