This one was especially painful, because the Eagles put themselves in terrific position Sunday over the hated Patriots, building an early 10-0 lead before just collapsing.
The Patriots came into the Linc and handed the Eagles an excruciatingly ugly 17-10 loss, dropping the Eagles back to 5-5.
The Eagles were terrific on defense, holding the Patriots to one touchdown and fewer than 300 yards. But when the offense is this hapless? Doesn’t matter.
And the Seahawks are up next.
Let’s get going with our 10 instant observations.
1. As much as we all said that the Eagles could afford to lose to the Patriots and Seahawks and still win the NFC East as long as they take care of business the rest of the year … it’s hard to think about that after the way the Eagles played the last 42 minutes of this one, getting outscored 17-0. When you have a 10-0 lead at home, I don’t care how many Super Bowls the team on the other sideline has won, you find a way to finish. That’s on Doug Pederson. I know the offense is undermanned, they’re banged up, they’re missing a lot of guys. But the Eagles failed to score on their last 10 drives. And they really only moved the ball on one of them. Pederson had to come up with answers, and he just couldn’t.
2. What happened? Obviously, the Eagles missed Lane Johnson, who left the game in the second quarter with a concussion. Carson Wentz missed some guys. The running game really slowed down. There were drops, penalties and a turnover. But really it comes down to one thing. Howie Roseman left this roster with no firepower. Yeah, injuries, blah, blah, blah. Who cares. Everybody has injuries. How do you go play football with no wide receivers? There’s plenty of blame to go around, but Roseman put this roster together. He took the bows when the Eagles won the Super Bowl. This team has no functional wide receivers, and that’s on the GM.
3. That first half was the worst pocket presence we’ve seen from Wentz. He took four sacks — the first time in his career he’s been sacked four times in a first half — and fumbled on one of them deep in Eagles territory, leading to a Patriots field goal. Fair to say at least three of the sacks were avoidable. I understand Wentz always wants to make a play, but he’s got to be smarter with his decision making. He was better in the second half. And it’s important to remember the Patriots’ pass defense is 2nd-best in the NFL over the last 20 years. But it’s definitely something Wentz has to be better at.
4. I don’t get the kid gloves with Miles Sanders. Splitting the carries with Jordan Howard is one thing. But with Boston Scott? After what I’ve seen from him over the last month and a half, I figured Sanders would get 18 to 22 touches. He had 13 and only four in the second half. With no DeSean Jackson, no Alshon Jeffery, no Jordan Howard. Four touches in the second half. The same number as Scott. That's just a terrible job by Pederson.
5. It felt like once the Patriots took that 17-10 lead early in the third quarter they were just content to run a few plays, punt the ball deep and let Boston Scott either let the ball roll inside the 10 or return it a few yards. Bill Belichick used field position as a weapon. He knows the Eagles can’t make plays down the field, and he was perfectly fine just giving them the ball and letting them do pretty much nothing. He wanted them to have the ball. His plan worked, which is a pretty sad statement about the Eagles’ offense.
6. I just can’t take Nelson Agholor mistiming or misjudging or misplaying a deep ball. It’s just tough to watch him right now. They’re not going to cut him, but sometimes I feel like it might be best for everyone if they do.
7. I can’t even imagine where the Eagles would be without Zach Ertz. He was 9-for-94 Sunday and is having another big year. On a day when all the wide receivers combined had 75 yards, Ertz was huge. Dallas Goedert had three awful drops (one negated by a penalty), but Ertz has been very good. There are times it feels like he’s their only weapon.
8. That missed tackle by Nate Gerry on Mohamad Sanu was one of the worst plays we’ve seen this year by an Eagles defender. Gerry was in perfect position to stop Sanu for a one-yard gain but just flat-out whiffed, and Sanu turned what should have been a nothing play into a 30-yard gain — the Patriots’ longest play of the game. Five plays later, the Patriots scored their only touchdown and took the lead for good. Just inexcusable.
9. In all, though, really a terrific effort by the defense. They’ve now allowed just 44 points in their last three games, and that’s a huge improvement from earlier in the year. I still think the Eagles win the NFC East, but they definitely have some things to figure out on the other side of the ball.
10. I’ll tell you what — Jalen Mills has played really, really well since he came back. This defense is so much sounder with Mills and Ronald Darby than it’s been in a long time.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.