From the opening kickoff to the final touchdown the ball refused to bounce for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. That game was one of the most heart-breaking losses I’ve ever witnessed in my eagles fandom career. Talk about a Rip your heart out and stomp on it type of game. A horrific offensive first half, a gritty comeback in the second half, and a bad bounce in overtime all took place. Let’s take a look at what went on in Dallas.
Lack of Rushing Attack
The Cowboys were able to dominate the Eagles in all areas of the game. The Eagles were only able to win the turnover battle, which still wasn’t enough to almost pull off the upset. Getting doubled up in almost yards, plays ran, and time of possession and STILL almost won the game. I said it last week, that the Eagles need to establish the run early to set up the offense and what do you know! The offense abandoned the run early and only rushed for 34 yards on 14 carriers. A ton of questionable runs took place. Having Carson run the read option and the speed option were awful designs. Giving Smallwood one carry in the red zone was a head scratcher when you have two other backs. Doug looked like his former head coach Andy Reid with the play calling. 2.4 YPC is so damn embarrassing it hurts.
Dougy P Loves to Pass
So they couldn’t run the ball, that mean they probable threw the ball great then right? Well….Wentz was sacked two times and was bailed out by a nice roughing the passer make up call (we’ll look at that later). Carson had his usual fumble that has been addressed since he first came in the league. In 40 career games, Carson has 32 total fumbles. Hes lost half of them. Take care of the little things that can help complete the big things. The Eagles were on their only productive drive of the first half when he fumbled. Jason Peters got beat like a drum off the edge which isn’t the first time in 2018.
Wentz threw for 222 yards, 69% completion, 3 TD’s and got 7 different receivers involved. It was awesome to see Goedert get a few balls thrown his way. The pass interference call on him will go down as one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen, but they were able to score later on the possession. Alshon is going to wish he had a few of those drops back, while Golden Tate has been lost in the shuffle since coming over. Ertz continues to be the go to guy, but I think every other receiver needs to raise their level of play if they want to be playing in January.
Defense Almost Wins Games?
The defense is going to get torched on the stat sheet but I do not care. They were on the field for 99 plays. 99 plays is a disgusting amount of plays and they did step up when they had to. Rasual Douglas made plays throughout the game and my heart aches for him on the last play. If it was a good throw its a pick, and he still makes a play and again an unlucky bounce. Amari Cooper abused the Eagles secondary in the second half while scoring on the 75 yard TD. Corey Graham took an poor angle and De’Vante Bausby looked like he had a trailer on his back. No play on the ball, awful speed, and proved why he is a back up on this team. Sydney Jones might need to go into hiding after this game. CLEARLY tweaked his hamstring again when Cooper burned him like a bad English muffin on the touchdown over the top.
Michael Bennett and Fletcher Cox were fantastic all game long. Getting to Dak at key points and stopping the run on big 3rd downs is where they showed their true value. Jenkins had a solid game is clearly one of the most important players on this team. The injury bug is something that this team hasn’t been able to overcome this season. The injuries at corner have proven to be the back breakers of the season. Anytime there is a deep ball thrown I immediately think its either big gain or pass interference. This area needs to be a priority in the off season.
Dak’s Stats Don’t Tell the Whole Story
Dak’s stats are going to look like pro bowl numbers, but if you watched this game through you know that he kept the Eagles in it. Two interceptions that were very poorly under thrown and overthrown to go on top of a bad fumble all kept the Eagles alive and in the game. The Cowboys were able to convert on third downs and extend drives while the Eagles were going 3 and out. The most underlying part of the game is the kicking department. If Jake Elliot makes the extra point, it puts the eagle up 10-9. Dallas scores to make it 15-10. Would Dallas have went for 2 when they scored again? Would the eagles have won 24-23? I hate to blame a kicker for that because Dallas also missed a kick, but they also drilled a 62 yarder. Jake Elliot…you are indoors, no wind, DO YOUR JOB!
So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance?
So now what? What do the birds do now. At 6-7 and 2 games back of Dallas for division title they are going to most likely need a wild card spot to make the playoffs. The Seahawks and Vikings play tonight as both of them are wildcard teams now. Seattle needs to win out and the Vikings and Panthers to keep losing. Going to LA next week to play the Rams after they were just embarrassed by Chicago is promising, the Texans at home, and wrapping up with the wounded warriors of Washington.
It is going to get crazy down the stretch and the Eagles don’t control their own destiny. This season has been a heart breaker as well as a teaser 13 weeks in. Anything can happen in the NFL, but its safe to say that the Eagles are going to need the football Gods to shine the light on them down the stretch.
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth