Well, that was a train wreck, but not in the way that many of us thought it would be. After yet another dismal offensive showing in which the Eagles scored 3 first-half points, Doug Pederson turned it over to Jalen Hurts. What followed is going to cause week-long debates.
The big Eagles news
It’s hard to say exactly what changed. Jalen Hurts entered the game and within two impromptu attempts was already leading the team in rushing. A 34-yard bomb to Reagor kicked off his shift and a series of methodical checkdowns would later follow. Hurts scored his first NFL touchdown on a beautiful pass to Greg Ward Jr. and all of a sudden, the Eagles were not only moving the chains, but scoring points.
Things slowed down after Jalen Reagor’s punt-return touchdown and the game drew to a close with hopes of a late comeback being abolished with an interception that was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
If there’s one thing we learned it’s that the play-calling didn’t change. The offensive line was still absolutely terrible, and execution was still poor. But Hurts completing check-downs and being confidently conservative with the ball in his hands as any rookie would, gave the Eagles a sign of life. He was far more accurate than Wentz and it showed.
Prior to the benching, Carson Wentz looked livid. At the coaches on the sidelines, at the players on the field, the starting QB has finally seen enough. He was sacked another 4 times, had players slipping and sliding all over the field, and after a confusingly positive opening series of play-calling, ended up dealing with the same old barrel of expired meat. Yuck.
It’s going to be a long week, folks.
A change of heart
I don’t know what sparked it and if you take away Hurts and his 5 rushing attempts then the numbers are still a little skewed, but there was initially more of a plan to run the ball tonight and to do so creatively. Jalen Reagor was used on an end-around that went 11 yards, Jordan Howard was somehow averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and Miles Sanders was still the lead back. The problem is, once again, things deviated. Sanders touched the ball 10 times as a running back. That’s not enough.
I was hoping Darius Slay and Jim Schwartz would’ve learned their lesson from last week – set their egos aside and accept that facing top-5 wideouts should always encourage an extra pair of hands to help. They didn’t. Davante Adams racked up 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns and made it look effortless.
Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox then picked up injuries, meaning that the Eagles have literally no outside cornerbacks aside from UDFA Michael Jacquett and practice squad signings. That’s what happens when every CB acquisition is 6’0 or below.
What’s on the horizon for the Eagles?
The Eagles will face the Saints next week. As for who will be playing quarterback, that’s anyone’s guess. The offensive line will still be a shambles, the secondary might be down to bare bones (fun!!) and the Eagles will probably end up being one bad loss away from a snowball of change rolling down the Mountain. Buckle up, kiddo’s!
hoto by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire