Coming off a bye week against the easiest opponent they’ll face for about a month, this was an important game for the Eagles. It was also one that saw a cluster of players returning from injury, priming the team for a big win over the Giants. What we saw instead was a monumental disappointment. Here is everything you need to know.
A lack of discipline
The Eagles gave up 11 penalties for 74 yards. Coming into this game, they actually ranked 13th in penalties, giving up an average of 5.6 per game. This was a very stark contrast.
Discipline lacked on both sides of the ball and it hurt the Eagles massively. Doug Pederson seemed incandescent with rage at halftime, at least that’s what the sideline reporter made it sound like…but it’s not like anything changed.
At the end of the game, Malik Jackson got flagged for headbutting Giants guard Will Hernandez after the play had died. Why? No idea. Probably frustration, but it sealed the game and there was absolutely no need for it.
The offensive line struggled with false starts and the unit went 0-9 on third down. 0. For. 9. That’s disgraceful against a Giants defense that isn’t exactly elite. There were several contributing factors to this, but drops played a part, along with some poor blitz-pickups, bizarre play-calling, and bad quarterbacking.
To make things worse, the Eagles defense got taken for a ride by Wayne Gallman of all people. With 2 touchdowns and 57 yards on 17 carries, Gallman made the Eagles linebackers look silly, as did Daniel Jones. Why is this filed under discipline?
The Eagles have massively struggled against dual-threat quarterbacks all season long and nothing has changed. Daniel Jones isn’t even considered a mobile QB and still put the defense on skates. It’s poor. Really poor.
Wentz struggles again but isn’t helped
This game was certainly not all on Carson Wentz. While he still struggled to complete even the simplest of passes, he didn’t turn the ball over. He did fumble twice, but recovered on both occasions. When being sacked, Wentz didn’t aimlessly try to lob the ball away in a bid to keep the play alive. Instead, he kept it close to his chest and took the hit. If you want a silver lining, that’s it.
Wentz wasn’t helped, however. Despite his consistent missed passes, he had to deal with a lack of pass-pro help due to RB miscommunications throughout the game, some bad reps from his guards, and a rare drop in from Jason Kelce.
On top of that, Pederson’s play-calls were equally head-scratching. Doug Pederson went for two early in the game. Beautiful. It worked. After scoring a touchdown that brought the Eagles within a score, he decided to double down. This was exactly what the analytics said he should do, but the Eagles had converted 36.36% of their attempts all season long, and 28.57% in their last 3 games. The decision backfired and left the Eagles were left 1 point outside of a safety net.
Jalen Hurts gets dropped into the game on 2nd & 10 to predictably run into a brick wall. Lovely.
In 4th & long at the end of the game in a do-or-die spot, Pederson draws up a curl where rookie Jalen Reagor lined up against James Bradberry (who’s having a brilliant year) and that went as expected.
Overall, there was a lot of questionable calls here. The Eagles had clearly established the run early, but despite Miles Sanders averaging close to 6 yards per carry and putting the entire offense on his back, Pederson insisted on throwing the ball, despite the game being in reaching distance throughout.
An Eagles silver-lining
Boston Scott now owns the New York Giants. Of his 7 career touchdowns, 6 have come against the G-men. He added another 63 rushing yards to his tally as well. He amassed 155 rushing yards against them in 2 games last year and has 109 this season. Rent. Free.
What comes next for the Eagles?
The Eagles will face the Cleveland Browns next week in what will be a much tougher game. However, they remain at the top of the NFC East. Somehow. Don’t ask.
This team is an absolute train-wreck waiting to happen. They had two weeks to prepare for a 2-7 Giants team and ended up playing like the New York Jets. It’s not acceptable. Something has to change…I just don’t think it will.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire