Instant takeaways: Eagles given a wake-up call in defeat to Rams

NFL: SEP 20 Rams at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 20: Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Miles Sanders (26) celebrates a touchdown with Tight End Zach Ertz (86) and Offensive Tackle Jason Peters (71) in the first half during the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles on September 20, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

For the second week in a row the Philadelphia Eagles have been weighed, measured, and have been found wanting. A 37-19 defeat to the Rams was not what many had in mind today when preparing to watch their team attempt to rebound from a tough loss to Washington. All that happened today was that more alarm bells were rung. Here are some quick thoughts following the game.

Carson Wentz has to be better

It doesn’t matter which throws we want to cherry-pick as being bad or say which ones we’d attempt differently on Twitter. We can all agree that for the second week in a row, Carson Wentz was bad. Throwing over 40 times once again, Wentz threw 0 TD, 2 INT, and completed 26/43 attempts. It was the first time since that tough loss to New Orleans in 2018 that Wentz didn’t throw a single touchdown.

We’re not used to seeing Wentz struggle and we’re certainly not used to seeing it happen in back-to-back weeks. Whether it’s leaving meat on the bone or trying to eat before it’s fully cooked, all of the flaws that Wentz had previously fixed are beginning to resurface. Something has to change. It should….and there’s no reason to believe it won’t. But if it doesn’t, Wentz may well be holding back an offense that was built to fly.

Same old story

Turnovers, mundane play-calling, and even some old defensive flaws came out to play today. Miles Sanders fumbled on the opening drive after being force fed early in the game. The Eagles stayed more committed to the run this week (barely), but there are just so many problems with this team ranging from woeful linebacker play, to miscommunications, it’s hard to know where to turn.

Defense sent back to reality

After a truly historic start to the season, the Eagles defense was sent crashing back to earth. McVay used the very formula the Eagles offense was craving and it worked to perfection. Through a lot of play-action and bootleg looks, Jared Goff completed all of his first 13 passes to give the Rams a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Rams then picked on a very young and inexperienced linebacker corps, luring them with motion, misdirection, and plenty of play action. This helped balance the offense for the running game to thrive, where 191 yards were tallied in total, embarrassing just about every Eagles defender who played a snap.

The defense didn’t adjust in the second half (shock) meaning that the Rams could just keep pounding away without a care in the world. Something has to change. The void of linebacker talent was way too clear and even the secondary looked wobbly in comparison to a very rigid week one.

This performance was about as bad as we’ve seen in this era of Eagles football.

It wasn’t all bad

Every cloud has a silver lining. For the Eagles, that silver lining came in the way of once again finding a way to neutralize Aaron Donald. The generational talent was held to a single tackle and QB hit on the day. Considering the offensive line gave up 8 sacks one week ago, surrendering 0 in week 2 and paving the way for 121 rushing yards (4.7 yards per carry) was a massive step forward.

While the play-calling was relatively tame, seeing Jalen Hurts lining up in the slot was a vibe and probably the most exciting part of the entire game…until nothing else came of it.

Special teams were on fire. T.J Edwards had a great game and Rudy Ford almost pulled off a heroic act to pin the Rams inside the one. It would’ve been the perfect game had it not been for a flag on Alex Singleton.

Overall, the Eagles have a long way to go before they can even think of competing for their division or beyond this year.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire