Jalen Hurts’ 91-yard bomb to Quez Watkins midway through the second quarter sure looked like the beginning of something special for the Eagles’ offense Sunday.
Instead, it was the end.
Watkins’ catch was the sixth reception of the game by an Eagles wide receiver, and it was also the last one.
Eagles wide outs did not catch a ball in the final 37 minutes of the game.
The Eagles ran 31 more plays over six drives, and their fast, young fleet of homegrown wide receivers did nothing. They were targeted eight times with no catches.
Was it a matter of them not getting open? Was it Jalen Hurts just missing guys? Was it poor play calling on Nick Sirianni’s part?
A little bit of all of that. But Sirianni said Monday, a day after the Eagles’ 17-11 loss to the 49ers at the Linc, that he can’t let it happen again.
“You’ve got to think players, players, players over plays,” he said. “And I’ve got to do a better job with that.”
The Eagles’ receivers, who caught 15 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the opener in Atlanta, caught just six passes Sunday, only two for longer than 11 yards.
DeVonta Smith caught a 5-yarder and an 11-yarder in the first quarter and that was it. Jalen Reagor caught a 4-yarder and a 1-yarder in the first quarter and that was it. Watkins had a 26-yarder in the first quarter and then the 91-yarder with seven minutes to go in the second quarter.
Hurts completed just four passes for just 39 yards the rest of the game, all to tight ends and backs.
“We always want to get the ball into our playmakers’ hands, but obviously a lot of that is what they give to you and what they don’t give to you,” Sirianni said. “Some of those are designed to get the ball to the wide outs but something breaks down and he’s got to scramble.
“So it’s not always as it seems based on where the ball went. Sometimes it’s what the defense gave you. So there’s other factors that go into it, but there’s no doubt we’ve got to get our guys the ball and give them an opportunity to make plays."
Two games into the season, the Eagles only have one pass play over 30 yards, and Watkins is the only receiver with a catch of at least 25 yards.
The Eagles have all these weapons, and it’s up to Sirianni and Hurts to make sure they get the football.
“At the end of the day, when you’re struggling … we were moving the ball, I really felt we were moving the football - I think we had one 3-and-out to start the second half - but in my opinion, we were moving the football, moving the football, and then it would stall out,” Sirianni said.
“And when it’s stalling out, you’ve got to think players, players, players over plays, and I’ve got to do a better job with that. That’s my responsibility, that’s me holding myself accountable, and when we all need to do that we all need to hold ourselves accountable before we hold others accountable.”
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