The new and improved Eagles' offense didn't earn many style points in its regular-season debut Sunday. Actually, Carson Wentz and company didn't rack up many points at all.
Don't let the 30-17 final score fool you. The Eagles' offense crossed the goal line only twice during the team's win over Washington on Sunday (see breakdown). Caleb Sturgis kicked three field goals and Fletcher Cox returned a fumble for a touchdown.
So more than half of the Eagles' scoring was via defense and special teams. In a sense, that's great. Those units are important, too.
From the standpoint that the Eagles invested a lot of draft picks and money in the quarterback position and offense as a whole over the past two offseasons, this was not the desired result.
"We made some plays. A lot of them were broken plays," head coach Doug Pederson said after the game of the Eagles' offense. "Just OK."
There were encouraging signs, specifically in the passing game. Wentz completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns, including a 58-yard pass to Nelson Agholor — one of those broken plays Pederson mentioned.
Washington's defense also registered two sacks and nine hits on the quarterback, as Wentz was frequently under pressure or held on to the football too long. There was no ground attack to speak of, either, with Eagles running backs averaging 2.6 yards per carry.
The Eagles totaled 356 yards on offense, but too often, drives stalled or ended in a turnover.
"We have to look at the field and make the corrections," Pederson said. "It wasn't perfect. Too many breakdowns in some crucial situations, some drive killers, whether it be a penalty or a sack. Those are things we have to take a look at, but all in all, we had some opportunities.
"There were some opportunities down the field, which is exciting, and those are things moving forward that we'll try address and we'll try to fix."
Wentz certainly tried to get his new toys involved, targeting Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith a combined 10 times, many of those deep shots. Each time, the pass was underthrown, or overthrown, more often than not turning the wide receiver into the defender.
Jeffery finished with three receptions for 38 yards with a two-point conversion in his Eagles debut. Smith had one catch for 30 yards. They were fourth and fifth on the team, respectively, in both targets and production.
"It was part of the way [Washington] played it," Wentz said. "Their defense took some things away on the outside at times.
"It was just all part of the way the offense worked today. At the same time, I'm not worried about it. Alshon and Torrey will get theirs."
There was some reason for optimism here, too. Those plays were there to be made if Wentz throws the ball a little bit farther or a little bit shorter, or if Jeffery comes up with the highlight-reel grab he tends to make look easy.
Even the mere threat of going over the top — an ability the Eagles' offense sorely lacked the last couple of seasons — can dictate the way an opponent defends.
"Coming into each game, you want to be able to do that," Pederson said. "You don't want the defense to play eight and nine in the box all the time.
"We're going to continue to look at that and find ways to get the ball down the field. We just missed on a couple today that could've been big hitters for us."
While it wasn't a big day in the box score for Jeffery or Smith, defenses still have to respect their ability, Wentz says.
"It opens things up," Wentz said. "We missed the first play of the game to Torrey. I overthrew him on another one. Nonetheless, teams see that and it will open some things up underneath."
Wentz pointed to the performance of tight end Zach Ertz — who finished with a team-high eight receptions for 93 yards Sunday — as an example of Jeffery's and Smith's presence.
"Just having those elements will continue to open things up for [running back Darren Sproles], for Ertz, for Nelson in the slot and some different things. It's a big part of our game."
The missed opportunities down the field, though, were only one aspect of the Eagles' struggles. The offensive line and running game looked out of sync in preseason action as well, and Wentz's issues with accuracy and holding on to the ball too long go back to his rookie year.
One reasonable explanation for everything is the starters played little during the preseason, and the Eagles need time to build a chemistry. Left tackle Jason Peters also exited the game with a groin injury.
Then again, maybe there's no need to make excuses at all. After all, the Eagles did win.
"We made enough plays to win," Wentz said. "Are there things that we left on the field? Totally. We made some mistakes — the turnovers, some different things here and there.
"We have to get those fixed, but we made enough plays to win, so we're going to enjoy that."
Once Pederson gets a hold of the film, something tells me the Eagles won't be enjoying this one for too long.