Well, that was a shambles. Here’s everything you need to know from a heartbreaking loss to the Seahawks.
The offense was shorthanded…
Yes, the Eagles offense was shorthanded and it showed. Andre Dillard, who started at right tackle, was pulled from the game in favor of Halapoulivaati Vaitai, while fellow TCU product Matt Pryor stood in for Brandon Brooks who left the game due to illness. The offensive line struggled massively in the first half and the decision to start Dillard in a position he had never played before, panned out as expected.
At wide receiver, the Eagles were without their entire starting group and separation came few and far between. Greg Ward Jr. flashed some production, registering his first NFL catch after being called up yesterday and then going on to post 40-yards on 6 catches, but it was ultimately the tight end and running backs who predictably had to carry the load.
Zach Ertz dominated receptions (as expected), being targeted 14 times in total, but the offense was suffocated by a total lack of execution by everyone involved, a sporadic run-game, and a gameplan that really struggled to do anything to help take the weight off of Wentz’s shoulders outside of a plethora of screen passes.
It was just ugly. The defense did nothing but put the group in a position to win the game over and over, saving the team from a total collapse. Sacks, turnovers, three and outs, there’s not much more the defense could’ve done. The offense continued to squander the opportunity to the point where it became routine.
Carson Wentz had a horrible game. Absolutely horrible. There’s no hiding from it, no excuses that can cover it up, no denial. A good quarterback had a horrifyingly poor game.
If you take every other excuse out of the equation, you’re left with a quarterback who spent most of the game trying to needlessly force the ball downfield, had an empty bucket of pocket awareness, and took way too many hits, and sacks.
On the surface, going 33/45 for 256 yards, 1TD and 1 INT doesn’t seem overwhelmingly concerning, but the context is key. The two fumbles, close-call fumbles, missed throws, missed reads, awful awareness, all fed into what may be one of the worst games we’ve seen from Carson Wentz since being drafted in 2016.
The offense was bad, but none of the excuses can account for the terrible QB play we saw.
Shoutout to the Defense
Aside from a few secondary burns and PI calls (and a Ronald Darby missed tackle I won’t mention…oh, I mentioned it), the defense played blindingly again. This was really the game that would show us how dominant this unit could be. Was their resurgence down to playing woeful offenses and an aging QB, or has Schwartz turned the ship around?
While there’s no definite proof just yet, the answer is certainly veering towards the latter. 9 QB hits, 3 sacks and 6 TFL highlight a game where the defense just didn’t give up. The likes of Brandon Graham, Malcolm Jenkins, and Rodney McLeod continued to hustle throughout, despite all hope being sucked out of the stadium by the offense time and time again.
Sure, the run defense may have faltered, the corners struggled at times, but they did everything in their power to give the offense a shot at winning the game. If every cloud has a silver lining, the defense keeping that same intensity from the first whistle until the last, is absolutely it.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports