Let’s all take a step back here. For the first time in nine weeks, the Eagles lost a football game that they should have won. Unforced errors, questionable penalties, and a lack of adjustments all played key roles in the Eagles’ 32-21 loss to the Washington Commanders on Monday night.
There’s a lot to look at and complain about, but there was also plenty to like about the game as well.
Here’s what key players’ stock looks like after their first loss:
Stock Up: Nick Sirianni
The loss was eventually coming. This team was not going to go 17-0. How the Eagles respond to their loss will ultimately determine their season. Do they come out flat against Indianapolis? Do they get angry and come out on fire?
There are a lot of comparisons between the 2004 squad with this current team that I think is fair. Sirianni didn’t blame the refs after the game, instead he pointed to the three turnovers as the root cause. It’s the right mindset for a coach to have that needs to have his team better prepared.
They’ll be fine with him at the helm.
Stock Down: Defensive Line
Fletcher Cox is a borderline hall-of-fame player and an all-time Eagles great. That doesn’t take away from the fact he has been atrocious since Jordan Davis went down with an injury. Cox and the entire defensive line were embarrassed on Monday night against an inferior offensive line.
It’s an ominous sign with the Colts, Packers, Titans, and Giants on the upcoming schedule. The Eagles need to do a much better job against the run in the near future or Monday won’t be the only loss coming. Expecting Jordan Davis to magically save everything when he comes back is not smart either.
Stock Up: Jalen Hurts
I am proud of Philadelphia fans for one key thing: they aren’t blindly blaming their quarterback for a loss like in the past. Jalen Hurts wasn’t spectacular on Monday night but he made the throws he needed to make for the apparent win.
Quez Watkins’ 50-yard bomb continued to show off Hurts’ improved arm strength. It’s not Hurts’ fault that Watkins then proceeded to fumble the ball. The same goes for the lone interception of the game too. People can argue he shouldn’t have thrown into double coverage, but he trusted his top receiver and actually threw a dime. Brown just couldn’t complete the catch and it resulted in a pick.
Hurts was perfectly fine on Monday and showed continued growth and the mark of a franchise quarterback. The Eagles will be fine because of this.
Stock Down: Jonathan Gannon
Monday night was Jonathan Gannon at his worst. There were no exotic blitzes or changes in his defensive scheme and it allowed Washington to outgain Philadelphia by over 200 yards, and completely own the time of possession battle.
Three turnovers by the offense is never a good thing, but it’s hard to completely fault them when they just aren’t on the field enough to get any sort of momentum. Monday’s loss falls directly into the lap of Jonathan Gannon and it really isn’t close.
Stock Up: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
Don’t be surprised if the Eagles do everything in their power to try and keep CGJ on the roster after this season. Gardner-Johnson, when he’s playing safety, is one of the best coverage safeties in the game and he recorded a key fourth-quarter interception last night as well.
Stock Down: Wide Receivers
It was a rough day for the Eagles’ receiving core. AJ Brown was clearly dealing with an injury after the first offensive series and struggled to get open throughout the game. He was clearly being used as a decoy.
Devonta Smith played well and scored a touchdown, but it was clear Washington knew they needed to bracket him. And Quez Watkins…well..let’s just say he made some nice catches but the fumble was a massive blunder.
Add in a Dallas Goedert fumble via a missed face-mask call and it’s a wonder how Jalen Hurts was able to move the ball at all.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke