A putrid performance from the Eagles’ offense in a 17-9 loss to the Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, though can you blame them?
No Jordan Howard. No Alshon Jeffery. No DeSean Jackson, or Nelson Agholor, or Darren Sproles, or Corey Clement, or Lane Johnson and no Brandon Brooks for most of the game, either. The Eagles probably deserve to be graded on a curve.
And yet, even grading on a curve, the Eagles can only be excused so much. With more turnovers than points until a garbage time touchdown with 20 second left, there’s no saving this week’s report card.
Look at the list of names the offense is missing – you can’t possibly pin all the issues on one player. That said, Wentz delivered one of his worst performances as a pro. He was inaccurate, held the ball too long and generally didn’t see the field well. It didn’t help the defense was in his lap every other snap and seldom was a receiver open on any route of consequence. Regardless, 5.7 yards per pass attempt with four turnovers doesn’t get the job done in the NFL.
Sanders and Jay Ajayi combined to average a ho-hum 3.5 yards per carry in the first half, but Sanders looked electric in the second half, carrying five times for 36 yards — a 5.7 average. Too little, too late, unfortunately. The rookie also failed to record a reception until garbage time, though that’s hardly any fault of his own.
Wide receivers and tight ends
The names change, but the results largely remain the same. Greg Ward piled up a bunch of catches, but for not many yards (6 REC, 40 YDS), while anybody else not named Ertz was invisible, or worse. The rest of the receivers combined to produce five catches for 70 yards, mostly in garbage time, while Dallas Goedert’s miniscule line (7 REC, 32 YDS) was negated by a fumble. Yes, there are injuries, but bottom line, this collection of weapons isn’t good enough.
Easy to sit here and second-guess the decision to start rookie Andre Dillard at right tackle when he only previously played left — he spent the first half on roller skates and was subsequently benched. But after Brandon Brooks exited the game (illness), the Eagles were deploying a right side made entirely of backups regardless. Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Matt Pryor weren’t good, either, contributing to the unit’s overall woeful performance. Almost any sack, turnover or negative play can be traced back to one of those three up front.
Brandon Graham: 2 TKL, 1.5 SK
Great job of containing the quarterback in the pocket, which is not easy to do to Russell Wilson. Josh Sweat added a sack via a Fletcher Cox pressure, but mostly the unit held its ground at the point of attack and allowed linebackers and defensive backs to clean up. A 58-yard rushing touchdown up the gut marred an otherwise strong effort up front.
Nigel Bradham: 9 TKL, TFL
Give Nathan Gerry six tackles, a half-sack — part of six total by the defense on Seattle’s quarterback — and a fumble recovery as well. Kamu Grugier-Hill had a chance to make it seven sacks, but left Wilson slip away. Solid outing overall.
Rodney McLeod: 4 TKL, SK, INT, FF
Possibly the unit’s best performance of the season. McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins combined for three sacks, while the former’s interception on Ronald Darby’s deflection was one of three passes broken up on the back end. In the end, Wilson completed just 52.0 percent of his passes, though the weather and a couple drops helped.
Little of note here. Greg Ward replaced Boston Scott on punt returns this week, and while it did not result in more productivity, at least the kicks were fielded cleanly.
Eagles’ record: 5-6
Again, the talent isn’t there, but neither was the game plan to suit what the Eagles have. Where were the designed rollouts to move the quarterback out of the nonexistent pocket? Where was the commitment to running the football when the passing attack is clearly broken? Where were the gadget plays to misdirect their opponent – the type of trick plays that worked against the Eagles in back-to-back weeks? Doug Pederson may not have much talent at his disposal, but he sure didn’t out-scheme the defense this week, either. Nice job by Jim Schwartz, who’s completely turned around this team’s defense, but that’s about the only positive thing you can say.
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