Eagles

One play that has to be haunting Eagles from blowout loss

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NFL

One play that has to be haunting Eagles from blowout loss

In a 48-7 loss, it’s probably unfair to pinpoint just one play, but I can’t seem to get over this one.

We’re getting pretty late in the second quarter and the Eagles are still alive in this thing. Earlier in the quarter, Josh Adams ran in a 28-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 10 points (17-7). And then the Eagles’ defense got a quick (and rare) 3-and-out. 

So now the Eagles have the ball back and they’re marching down the field, threatening to turn a 17-point deficit into a 3-point deficit. And they’re actually moving the ball. They’ve picked up two first downs to get the ball into Saints territory. 

It’s 3rd-and-3 from the New Orleans 46-yard line. The one thing the Eagles can’t afford to do here is to take a sack. If they’re faced with a 4th-and-3, they at least have a decent shot to get it on fourth down. But, instead, Wentz gets sacked for a 10-yard loss to bring up 4th-and-13 and the Eagles punt the ball away. 

“Yeah, it was just an eight-man protection, and we just missed on a call up front, so there was quick pressure in Carson's face, and he couldn't reload,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “Zach (Ertz) was coming open in the middle of the field.”

On the ensuing possession, the Saints rip off an 84-yard touchdown drive to put them up 24-7 and the route is on. 

So this 3rd-down play the Eagles ruined was huge. Let’s take a closer look: 

At the snap, Pederson is right. The Saints have eight in the box with just one safety deep. This is going to give Zach Ertz plenty of space with a 1-on-1 matchup in the middle of the field. But remember, the Eagles need just three yards to get the first down. Is this the best way to get it? 

That’s a pretty deep drop that takes a long time. Remember, the Eagles snapped the ball under center from the 46-yard line. Wentz dropped nine yards after a play-action look. 

But as he plants his back leg at the Eagles’ 45-yard line, Ertz does have a ton of field in front of him in single coverage. It’s good coverage here, but the Eagles will be happy to give Ertz a chance to make a play. 

The problem, of course, is that Sheldon Rankings ends up coming free and takes down Wentz for a sack. Ertz was starting to get open as Wentz gets brought down.

If the protection was better, Wentz might have delivered the ball to Ertz for a 10- or 15-yard gain and the Eagles move the chains and maybe make this a game. But you have to ask yourself if a long-developing play to pick up 10-15 yards is what the Eagles needed on 3rd-and-3 from inside enemy territory. 

So how did Rankins come so free? 

Well, you can see it better from this view. The Eagles, at the snap, look like they have good protection. 

 

But then Stefen Wisniewski, who was in for Jason Kelce at center, seemed to let Rankins run free. Not sure exactly what happened here. Perhaps he expected a stunt and was passing Rankins off and the stunt never game. Near the end, a hip check from Wisniewski nearly throws Rankins off, but he was able to fight through it and get the sack. 

At the very end of the video, you’ll see Wisniewski ask Seumalo what the heck happened. Maybe Seumalo was supposed to pick that man up. Either way, that confusion or blown assignment up front ruined the play. 

Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh confirmed Tuesday that there was a “miscommunication with the protection.” 

If this play works, it’s a big first down and the Eagles move the chains. But it’s fair to question the play call. This was a slow-developing play in a situation where they absolutely couldn’t afford to take a sack. If it’s 4th-and-3, you can bet the Eagles would have gone for it, but this failure took that opportunity away from them. 

In a 48-7 game, there are plenty of things that went wrong. This is one that should be haunting the Eagles. 

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2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles don’t get a receiver in the first round

2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles don’t get a receiver in the first round

Everyone knows the Eagles are in need of receivers, but what happens if the top guys are all off the board? 

In his latest mock draft, Andrew Kulp explores that possibility. He has the top four receivers in the class going in the top 20, which leaves the Eagles to find a new strategy. 

So the Birds don’t get a top-notch receiver but they do get an athletic and versatile player at a clear position of need. 

Here’s the latest mock draft from Kulp: 

2020 NFL Mock Draft: Eagles miss out on first-round receiver 

 

Terrell Owens makes it clear there’s no reconciliation coming with Donovan McNabb

Terrell Owens makes it clear there’s no reconciliation coming with Donovan McNabb

As a bunch of people try to figure out ways to stay in shape during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens offered his driveway sit-up routine that he made famous back in 2005. 

In a tweet on Monday, Owens tagged a bunch of celebrities in the post and included NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark, which lead to a lengthy interview on Tuesday. 

Of course, Clark had to bring up Owens’ response to one fan who asked why he didn’t tag Donovan McNabb in the workout tweet. 

Yeah, the gloves are off, but they’ve been off for a while. 

Here’s what Owens had to say: 

I’m just trying to have fun with the situation. I think everybody is aware of how … I wouldn’t say toxic, our relationship is, but at this point, it is what it is. I really considered him a friend, a teammate at one point in time. Over the years, I think the relationship has deteriorated to the point to where right now, I just don’t care anymore. I’ve tried to be the bigger person in a situation but then recent events, he came out and did an interview and started bringing up and rehashing certain things. In the back of my mind, I’m like ’this is what he really kind of thought about me the whole entire time.’ Now I’m like ‘the hell with it.’ I’m just gonna go with whatever flows at this point.

Owens, 46, brought up an interview McNabb gave a couple months ago to Bleacher Report in which he said Owens’ antics were a “major distraction” for the team.

When Clark brought up the idea that maybe he could get the two together on a Zoom call to hash all this out, Owens said, “Absolutely not.” 

So there you have it. 

Anyway, Owens shared his workout plan on Monday and then got into a little detail about the original driveway press conference during his interview with Clark: 

“I just tried to make light of a situation, especially being sent home from Lehigh where I was in training camp,” Owens said. “Andy Reid and I, we kind of bumped heads and we clashed a little bit and we had a disagreement about something. He told me to go home and then when he told me that, he goes, ‘make sure you stay in shape.’ So that was really the reason behind me bringing the ab bench out.”

Owens said he didn’t expect to arrive to his Moorestown, New Jersey, home and see a bunch of media members. But he thought about a way to poke fun of the situation and the impromptu press conference with his then-agent Drew Rosenhaus came to mind. 

And now 15 years later, it’s providing a little levity during a tough time. 

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