The Eagles were less than an inch short of the mark on Sunday night, falling to Atlanta in a 24-20 loss by the smallest of margins. It was a game riddled with setbacks and injuries, but how did the team look? It’s time to get out your whiteboards and grade last night’s loss.
It was a tale of two halves for Carson Wentz once again, who started out shaky and uncertain. After enduring a couple of hits, that shakiness suddenly turned into injury concern. Wentz looked desperate to get the ball out and with release valves being cut off one-by-one, the mechanics slipped into what we came to expect last year. Two poor interceptions and some worrying decisions left the offense faltering, but more importantly fans genuinely worried about his physical wellbeing.
To the surprise of many Wentz ran out onto the field in the second half and led the Eagles back into the game. The aggression on the spike of the ball was that of a man absolutely furious. A year of frustration, two years of injury, all pent up. Wentz came alive in the lights and surgically lifted whatever was left of the offense down the field in a clutch situation only for differing factors to let him down.
He worried fans early on, but although the box score won’t reflect it, Wentz fought back excellently.
It’s 2016 all over again, folks. The running back shape is changing on a weekly basis and it’s having mixed results. Jordan Howard failed to see the Lion’s share of carries again, while the pairing of him and Miles Sanders struggled to amass more than 2.5 yards per carry. The longest run of the night was a measly 5-yards. Establishing the run remains an issue and despite some occasional flashes from both, who weren’t helped by the offensive line, it wasn’t good enough.
Without watching the tape, it’s hard to say what happened here. But there wasn’t a lot to like here. Atlanta had their way with Philly all night long. Three sacks and ten QB hits is ugly in every sense of the word and the lack of push in the run game speaks for itself.
Losing Dallas Goedert hurt. Not in terms of production, but his blocking ability and the Eagles then inability to run 12 personnel sets, a staple of their offense. The team re-signed Alex Ellis to the practice squad, but he wasn’t promoted for gameday.
It was all on Zach Ertz, who also appeared to pick up a knock in the second half. The star TE still managed 72 yards of receiving offense which all things considered is a strong day at the office…but the failure to run a route past the sticks and push the nose of the ball over the line on the biggest play of the game was a big whiff.
Considering that DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery were sidelined, Nelson Agholor stepped up in a big way. Outside of that heartbreaking drop, Agholor was excellent, leading the team in receiving with a rare 100+ yard game, averaging 13.4 yards per reception.
It was nice to see the return of Backpack Mack, but I would’ve liked to see more from JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
Read my defensive grades on the page below.
Liam is a 24-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.
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