Written by: Joseph Mooney
What the 17-10 defeat to the defending Super Bowl champions New England means for the Philadelphia Eagles.
1st and ten, Carson Wentz overthrows tight end, Zach Ertz. The following play, receivers couldn’t create separation downfield, Wentz overthrew his check down Nelson Agholor. On 3rd and ten, Carson Wentz had Zach Ertz opened in the middle of the field, for the first down, and Wentz under throws Ertz. Although on the next play everyone knows Nelson Agholor poorly tracks the ball and drops the game-tying catch, you can’t put the entire game on Agholor. Carson Wentz needs to play better in late-game situations.
The Eagles dominated the Patriots for the majority of the game on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defense, who was criticized all season, showed up to play. The defense was activated all night holding Brady to 216 passing yards and 0 touchdowns. The defense held the Patriots to just one touchdown the entire game, which came off a trick play where Julian Edelman found receiver Phillip Dorsett wide open for a 15-yard touchdown pass. Other than that touchdown, the Patriots were held to 3 field goals on the day and never really got their offense rolling. The trio of Jalen Mills, Advonte Maddox, and Rodney McLeod looked impressive in man coverage all night, causing Tom Brady and company to have problems all night and creating frustration on the sideline.
For the offense, this game was a disgrace. After getting up 10-0 early in the second quarter, the Eagles completely fell apart and went away from their game plan. Head Coach Doug Pederson completely abandoned the running game and solely relied on Wentz to make plays. The Eagles ran the ball only 9 times after Dallas Goedert scored his touchdown. The Eagles also lost Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson on Sunday with a concussion. Although rookie replacement Andre Dillard has shown he can play in the NFL, Dillard wasn’t ready for the challenge the Patriots presented. After losing Johnson, Carson Wentz was sacked 5 times and fumbled resulting in a Patriots score. The depleted Eagles’ offense was truly no match for the #1 defense in the NFL. Without receiver Alshon Jeffery and running back Jordan Howard, the Eagles were already handicapped before Lane Johnson, Jason Peters, and Miles Sanders all missed significant time. Without their #1 receiver, the Patriots were allowed to play star corner Stephon Gilmore on Zach Ertz for the entire game. Ertz still finished with 9 catches and 94 yards on Gilmore but without any help from the other skill positions, the result was a 17-10 loss. There are no questions that the Eagles are struggling at the receiver position but as a unit, the Eagles receivers combined for 6 catches for 75 yards, that’s just unacceptable. Whether the Eagles draft a young deep threat or sign one in the offseason, the Eagles need to make serious changes at the receiver position. Both of Wentz’s primary targets, Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor had balls bounce right out of their hands in critical moments during the game on Sunday.
Up next for the Eagles, the Seattle Seahawks come into Philadelphia for a Sunday Night Primetime game. The 8-2 Seahawks will look to continue rolling coming off a huge Thursday Night win against the San Francisco 49ers. Keys to beating the Seahawks;
There needs to be confidence in the receiver position.
The secondary needs to continue to silence the media.
Carson Wentz needs to throw a better ball.
Pederson needs to stick to his game plan.
Get healthy and run the table within the division.
While the Eagles’ are sitting 1 game behind the Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles possess one of the easiest remaining schedules in the NFL, and they need to capitalize on that. The Eagles con͏t͏r͏ol their own destiny as they have a pivotal matchup with the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16 that will most likely determine the division. I see the team rallying after this emotional game and blow out the Seahawks, who are coming off a bye week. Look for newest addition Jordan Matthews and Jay Ajayi to both find the endzone along with Alshon Jeffery.
Game Prediction: W 34-17 vs Seattle Seahawks