The end of the line for Jason Peters? What if Carson Wentz never snaps out of it? The greatest 4th-quarter comeback ever?
All that and lots more in today’s edition of Roob’s 10 Random Eagles Observations!
1. I still believe Carson Wentz is going to figure this out and get back to being the player we’re used to seeing. There just isn’t any precedent for a player of Wentz’s caliber suddenly just losing it in the prime of his career. Watch his first half vs. Washington or even the game-tying drive Sunday against the Bengals. He can still make plays. We’ve seen it sporadically. Just not consistently. But I have to admit with each passing game a little more doubt creeps in. What if he never does figure it out? It would cripple the Eagles for the next several years from a competitive standpoint and a financial standpoint. In the span of three years they’ve gone from having an MVP candidate they believed they could ride for the next decade to the lowest-rated QB in the league. If that doesn’t change, this franchise is in deep, deep trouble.
2. I’m not going to sit here and say the Eagles' defense has played well, because it hasn’t. But keep in mind that eight of the 16 scoring drives against the Eagles have gone less than 50 yards. Only six teams have allowed fewer scoring drives over 50 yards than the Eagles, and those six teams are 13-5. This isn’t a great defense right now, but it's getting zero help from an offense that keeps giving the other team the ball inside the 50.
3. Since DeSean Jackson had TD catches of 51 and 53 yards against Washington in last year’s opener, no Eagles WR has a touchdown catch of 30 yards or more. Greg Ward’s 29-yarder last Sunday against the Bengals and a 20-yarder by Nelson Agholor against the Lions in Week 3 last year are the only TD catches over 15 yards by Eagles WRs in the last 19 games. That's mind-boggling.
4. Before his current stretch of three straight games with two INTs, Wentz had thrown two INTs three times in his last 45 games.
5. I wonder if Jason Peter has played the last snap of his career. Kind of hope so. Right now, he’s just damaging his legacy every time he goes out there. We don’t know how serious this latest injury is, but at this point even if J.P. gets healthy, I’d rather see Jordan Mailata or Jack Driscoll out there the rest of the year. Heck, I think I'd rather see Antone Davis out there at this point. It’s been sad to watch his decline.
6. One thing that’s hamstrung the Eagles’ offense has been a lack of production in the running game from Boston Scott and Corey Clement. They haven’t had a ton of work but neither has really gotten untracked when they have gotten chances. Scott’s averaging just 3.7 yards on 16 carries and Clement is at 3.0 yards on 9 carries. As gifted as Miles Sander has been, he could use some help in the ground attack. Sanders is averaging 5.0 yards per carry. The Eagles’ other backs are averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Not good enough.
7. Here’s what still baffles me about the sequence at the end of the Bengals game that resulted in Doug Pederson punting instead of trying to gain 12 yards, get a first down, stop the clock and try a game-winning field goal: Why were none of his assistants in his ear telling him NOT TO PUNT? It’s bad enough that Pederson had a case of brain lock in the closing seconds of overtime and bungled that whole sequence. But he’s got 5,000 offensive assistant coaches. Why didn't any of them say, “Doug??? NO!!!”
8. Whenever the Eagles play the 49ers I’m reminded of the greatest fourth quarter performance I ever saw. In 1989, the Eagles took a 21-10 lead over the 49ers at the Vet 10 seconds into the fourth quarter. Joe Montana then proceeded to go 11-for-12 for 227 yards with four touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone to lead the 49ers to a 38-28 win. The crazy thing is just a week earlier Randall Cunningham threw three TD passes in the fourth quarter at RFK as the Eagles came back from a 16-point deficit in Washington. Two of the greatest 4th-quarter comebacks the Eagles have ever been involved in, and they were a week apart.
9. Miles Sanders is one of only 10 NFL players in the last 50 years with 1,000 rushing yards, 50 catches and a rushing average of 4.7 or higher in his first 18 career games. He’s the Eagles’ best player.
10. I think Jack Driscoll and Nate Herbig are going to be pretty good.