Fresh off a bye week, all signs were pointing towards an intense matchup against the Patriots. That turned out to be the case, but ultimately for all the wrong reasons. Here are some quick takeaways from the frustrating 17-10 loss.
Starting fast, ending slow
The Eagles had a total of 84 yards in the first quarter. A quarter filled with creative plays, pre-snap motion, and a healthy spread of the ball that resulted in a 3-0 lead. In the remaining three quarters however, the Eagles amassed just 171 total yards, a huge chunk of which came in a late offensive surge.
Wentz and the offense were just slower than usual today. The unit lost Lane Johnson early on and Jason Peters struggled in the opening few drives. Miles Sanders was sidelined for a while, Nelson Agholor was woefully inconsistent and left a scary amount of meat on the bone, while Carson Wentz had one of his more disappointing games as the face of the franchise.
There just aren’t a lot of positives to take right now offensively. Outside of the opening 20 plays or so, the play-calling grew stale, the players failed to execute, and despite constantly being bailed out by the defense, they were unable to capitalize on anything.
The Eagles shot themselves in the foot all night long and whether windy or not, Wentz completing 50% of his passes since the fifth game of his career.
Jordan Matthews was targeted six times and was able to catch just one pass, with Stephon Gilmore making sure Wentz clicking with his old friend was a harder task than he expected.
Jay Ajayi, who recently signed with the team, wasn’t used once…despite Miles Sanders being taken out of the game and examined for injury at one stage. This left former UDFA Boston Scott to carry the ball in an increased role, to varying levels of success.
The offense was even given one last shot to shoot the game into overtime and Nelson Agholor fumbled the ball out the back of the endzone. This was a play that perfectly summarized the game.
It’s really tough to look at this game, knowing the Eagles were without Jordan Howard, lost key offensive linemen, lost Miles Sanders for a stint, and of course were without Alshon Jeffery, and be overwhelmingly surprised by this performance. However, it really isn’t tough to look at this without an overwhelming sense of disappointment. The Eagles had enough to get it done. More than enough. They just didn’t.
Jimmer of Schwartzington calls a good game?!
Yep, you read that right. Jim Schwartz called arguably his best game of the season. Believe it or not, the defensive coordinator made all the adjustments fans had been pining for.
Corners pressed at the line of scrimmage, Genard Avery was used as a stand-up blitzer, Safeties were put in more helpful positions to help the corners underneath them, and Schwartz strategically sent pressure in five-man fronts to keep Brady on edge.
This was all perfect, but it wasn’t enough. Nate Gerry still proved himself to be a liability and Tom Brady had a field day finding open space over the middle of the field. But without Jim Schwartz, the Eagles would have been dead and buried in this game after two quarters.
Change has to be on the horizon
If there was ever a game that would summarize Nelson Agholor’s time in Philadelphia, it’s this one. Moments after making a huge snag on third down, he drops the potential game-winning touchdown.
To be fair, the drop-off from Johnson to Vaitai was substantial, and the Patriots amassed 5 sacks and 12 QB hits in total against a line that has handled its business very nicely against Buffalo and Chicago. But every player on offense struggled. Every. Single One….aside from maybe Dallas Goedert, but even he almost had a TD revoked.
Whether it’s Agholor, or Mike Groh, fans are going to be livid with the egg that the offense laid on Sunday, especially after a relatively positive start…and the cries for change are going to start getting substantially louder.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports