Eagles

Roob's observations after Eagles are booed off the field for ugly Week 12 loss to Seahawks

Roob's observations after Eagles are booed off the field for ugly Week 12 loss to Seahawks

BOX SCORE

If you shut the TV off in disgust, I don't blame you.

This was about as bad as it gets.

The Eagles suffered their second straight lifeless home loss Sunday, dropping a 17-9 decision to the Seahawks at the Linc.

The Eagles committed five turnovers for the first time since 2013, didn't score a touchdown until the final 20 seconds when it didn't matter and just sputtered their way to a 5-6 record.

The score doesn't even begin to express how bad this was.

Here ya go with our 10 instant observations. And go 76ers!!!

1. There are plenty of excuses. No Lane Johnson. No Brandon Brooks. No wide receivers. No running game. No pass protection. The offense is a mess all around. But right now Carson Wentz is just as much a part of that problem as anybody. Missing open guys. Fumbling. Taking sacks when he could throw the ball away. Throwing hard-to-believe interceptions. I have no idea what’s going on with him. Maybe he’s hurt. Maybe it’s coaching, although he had the same coaches last year when he played at a much higher level even with a broken back.

I get that he’s not getting any help from the people around him, and that makes it tough to function, but the fumbles, missing open guys, turnovers … absolutely no excuse. Wentz and his coaches have to figure this out soon because he's not going anywhere.

2. That said, you can’t bench Wentz. You can’t. For a 40-year-old journeyman who’s won 23 of 76 career starts? If the Eagles are going to go anywhere or do anything this year — and for the next few years — it’s going to be with No. 11 at QB. They need to get him rolling again, not riding the bench.

3. Big picture? The Eagles are 5-6 with five games left, and I don’t want to hear about how easy the schedule is the rest of the way because if the Eagles can’t beat the Cowboys, then beating the Dolphins, Redskins and Giants a couple times won’t matter. And yes the Eagles will get some guys back, but from what I’ve seen the last couple weeks — and really what I’ve seen all year from this team — I don’t have a lot of faith in the Eagles beating the Cowboys on Dec. 22.

Honestly? Right now? I don’t have a whole lot of faith in them going 4-0 against the Dolphins, Giants and Redskins.

4. That 58-yard Rashaad Penny TD run was ugly — as was Ronald Darby’s attempt to tackle Penny — but the defense was really good again, holding the Seahawks to 17 points — eight below their average — forcing two turnovers, recording three sacks. You hold Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to 17 points in your own stadium, you should win that game. And that's four straight games the Eagles have allowed 17 or fewer points, the first time they've done that in one season since 2009.

5. I was surprised Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor didn’t at least try to play. As the week went on, the Eagles seemed to think both would be available Sunday.

“They’re both trending in the right direction,” Doug Pederson said Friday.

That was after the last practice of the week. What changed? Why weren’t they out there? Their absence left the Eagles with one wide receiver who hasn’t caught a ball in two months, one who came in with zero career catches, one who just got here a few weeks ago and one with three career receptions.

I know Jeffery and Agholor have had terrible seasons, but if they could walk — and if they indeed were trending in the right direction — they should have been out there. They should have at least tried to gut it out.

6. That said, someone needs to explain to me why Greg Ward has been rotting on the practice squad all year when it was clear by the end of the first quarter that he’s a legit NFL player. Ward’s been here for most of the last three years. How could Pederson and Howie Roseman not see that he could help? As bad as the Eagles’ wide receivers have been? How do you have him here and watch him every day at practice and not see it?

Ward had 6 for 40 Sunday and while those aren’t exactly mind-blowing numbers, the Eagles hadn't had a wide receiver catch six passes in a game since Week 6. Agholor hasn’t since Week 3. Mack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside never have. Looks to me like Ward should have been playing all year.

7. It was kind of shocking to learn that Brooks had left the game because he was sick. This is a guy who is so tough he started the opener 7½ months after blowing out his Achilles in New Orleans. The guy literally never misses a snap. I don’t know what the issue was, but one thing I’m absoutely certain of is that if he were at all able to play, he would have played.

8. OK, that goofy delayed handoff Pederson called in the third quarter that resulted in a fumble when Wentz was trying to get the ball to Miles Sanders … I hated that play. Here’s why: The Eagles were finally moving the ball for the first time in the game. They had driven 47 yards and had a 3rd-and-3, and that was a situation where they didn’t need to be clever. That was a pivotal play in a one-possession game. Just run the offense.

9. I'm trying to find a positive here, and it does look like Arcega-Whiteside is at least showing some signs of life. He had a couple catches for 43 yards but did have a drop — tough catch but a drop — on a late fourth down. I still think JJAW is going to be a player. It's just taking a while to show it.

10. Someone in the Eagles’ front office has to figure out why injuries have become such an epidemic on this roster the last couple years. Not just injuries but slow recovery times. We thought 2017 was bad with those six key guys missing for the Super Bowl run. That was the healthiest Eagles have been lately. I’d love to see what kind of team this would be at something near full strength, but it never is. One guy comes back, two more get hurt.

Every team has injuries, but this has been just an almost bizarre stretch. Everybody gets hurt. Maybe it’s just a huge coincidence. Bad luck. Probably not.

The Eagles need to take a close look at the way they handle conditioning, nutrition, sleep, lifting, rehab — all that stuff — and really take a hard look at their medical, training and strength and conditioning personnel. Because you just can’t function as an NFL team when your whole team is always hurt.

 

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Eagles' new coach thinks team's WR corps is underrated, can be among NFL's best

Eagles' new coach thinks team's WR corps is underrated, can be among NFL's best

They're tired of being known as the worst group of wide receivers in the league.

And they may finally have a coach who can help them get rid of that tag.

"We have an expectation to be one of the top groups in the league," new Eagles receivers coach Aaron Moorehead said Thursday. "That's what we expect. This group is coming out with a little bit of a chip on its shoulder I think because of last year, and that's a good thing."

Eagles receivers last year combined for just 137 passes for 1,488 yards and nine touchdowns, the worst WR numbers in the league.

It was the fewest yards by an Eagles receiving corps since 2000, when Charles Johnson, Torrance Small and Friends had 1,481.

For the first time since 1966 no Eagles wide receiver even had 500 yards.

Out with Carson Walch, in with Moorehead, the Eagles' fifth receivers coach in five years under Doug Pederson.

It doesn't take much time with Moorehead – even on a Zoom call – to sense his confidence, passion, dedication and communication skills.

And he's already instilled a hunger in this wide receiving group to go from one of the worst in the league to one of the best.

"At the end of the day, a little added extra motivation (doesn't hurt)," he said. "In this day and age (with) social media, you can try to ignore it, but people hear what (critics) say, and I think guys understand that we do have something to prove, and that's OK. There's nothing wrong with that, and I enjoy a good challenge and I enjoy coaching a group that has something to prove."

DeSean Jackson is 33 and managed one healthy game last year. Alshon Jeffery struggled then got hurt and has been largely disappointing since he signed here. Second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had a miserable rookie year. And rookie Jalen Reagor keeps hearing how the Eagles should have taken Justin Jefferson instead.

You can understand why this group feels disrespected.

"I think that's good," Moorehead said. "I've coached groups that people believed were the best [...] and I've coached groups that people disrespected and felt like they weren't very good, so it's not anything new to me. I think we have a really good group. I know we have a really good group. It's just up to us to stay healthy and prove it week in and week out."

The Eagles haven't had a wide receiver with back-to-back 100-yard games since Jordan Matthews in 2015.

They haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jeremy Maclin in 2014.

On paper they should be better. How can they not be?

Their goal isn't just to be better. It’s to be among the best.

"So far they've taken the approach that [they're] ready to go out there and prove every day why we should be one of the top groups in the NFL," Moorehead said.

You have to love Moorehead's approach and his personality.

If his receivers can match his confidence and swagger, the Eagles just might finally have a receiving corps to get excited about.

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Eagle Eye podcast: Is Zach Ertz next in line for a contract extension?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Is Zach Ertz next in line for a contract extension?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro take a look at Zach Ertz’s contract situation after George Kittle and Travis Kelce got huge extensions. 

The guys pick some things they would have watched in the preseason opener, talk about Doug Pederson’s structure for practice and give their first impressions on a couple of new Eagles coaches. 

Plus, remembering the great Howard Mudd, who died at 78 this week. 

  • (1:02) — What Travis Kelce and George Kittle's contract mean for Zach Ertz.
  • (16:45) — Things we would have watched tonight in preseason opener.
  • (23:08) — Doug Pederson details Eagles’ 2020 training camp structure
  • (28:45) — Aaron Moorehead and Matt Burke speak on their roles. 
  • (36:54) — Remembering Howard Mudd
     

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

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.

More on the Eagles