Roob's observations after Eagles squeeze out a win in Washington

Roob's observations after Eagles squeeze out a win in Washington

Box Score

LANDOVER, Md. — Another routine last-minute comeback win over a terrible team.

Exciting win. Eagles are back at .500. They have something to play for Sunday against the Cowboys.

But let’s not kid ourselves. This team has some very serious issues. In the small picture, nice comeback win. In the big picture? They are a long way from being an elite team.

Let’s take a look at the Eagles’ second-straight comeback win over a lousy team, this one 37-27 over the Redskins at FedEx Field in which the Eagles trailed with half a minute left.

1. Three opponents. Combined record of 7-30. Three monumental struggles. I honestly don’t want to talk much about the playoffs because let’s be serious, even if the Eagles do back their way to the NFC East title, then what? This is not a good football team right now. In the span of 15 days they blew a 14-point lead against a 2-10 Dolphins team, fell behind by 14 points against a 2-10 Giants team and had to scramble in the final minutes to beat a 3-10 Redskins team. With the Eagles playing for a playoff berth and the Redskins playing out the string while their owner is entertaining head coaching candidates in his private box they couldn’t go down to Landover and just beat the crap out of this team?

2.  How good is Miles Sanders? My goodness. In a game where the Eagles’ patchwork collection of wide receivers was doing nothing, Sanders was massive and really kept the Eagles in the game with big play after big play. He finished with 172 scrimmage yards, including 122 on the ground. The kid is special, and he’s not just talented but really seems to have a knack for coming up big at critical moments. He’s broken every Eagles rookie rushing and scrimmage yards record with two weeks to go. And he’s getting better every week. There’s not a lot of exciting young talent on this roster, but Sanders is a flat-out stud.

3. Carson’s final numbers look really good. He was 30-for-43 for 266 yards, three TDs, no INTs and a 109.3 passer rating. He made some incredible throws, like the TDs to Miles Sanders and Greg Ward. And two straight late comeback wins speaks volumes. But the fumbles are an enormous issue, and the Eagles got lucky because one Carson fumble was ruled an incomplete pass after a replay review and another was recovered by the Eagles. But the third one nearly cost them the game. It’s got to stop. It’s gotten to the point where every time Wentz is sacked you’re surprised if he holds onto the ball. I get that he has nobody to throw to half the time, so he’s standing in the pocket too long trying desperately to make a play. But his pocket awareness and ball security have been terrible, and that has to be a major focus of his offseason. But … he’s making plays and winning games with a skeleton cast, and he deserves a ton of credit for that.

4. Just to put this in perspective: Dwayne Haskins was making his 6th NFL start, had the lowest passer rating among the 32 current NFL starting quarterbacks, was averaging 160 passing yards per game and had thrown 3 TDs and 7 INTs. How on Earth do you let that guy throw a career-long 75-yard TD, run a career-long 22 yards to set up another TD and finish 19-for-28 for 261 yards with two TDs and no INTs with a 121.3 passer rating? Even a mediocre NFL defense harasses an overmatched kid like Haskins and blows this team out. The Eagles led him throw the ball up and down the field. Good for Avonte Maddox getting a sack on the final play of the game and forcing a fumble that Nigel Bradham returned for a touchdown. But it never should have gotten to that point. Ever.

5. Watching Greg Ward make big catch after big catch I can’t help thinking … “Nelly never would have made that play.” The Eagles still need two outside wide outs, but Ward is one heck of a slot receiver. He was 7-for-61 Sunday, including an incredible effort on the game-winning TD with 32 seconds left. The kid has 19-for-140 in four games since getting promoted from the practice squad. He’s made more plays in the last few weeks than Nelly’s made the last two years. Why did it take so long for the Eagles to realize what they had? That’s a question for another day. All I know is the kid is legit.

6. It’s a different person every time, but these big plays are just absolutely killing the Eagles. This time it was Maddox not only missing a tackle but getting in Jalen Mills’ way and letting Terry McLaurin go 75 yards in the first quarter. The Eagles have allowed a league-high SIX TD passes of 50 yards or more, TWICE what any other team had allowed coming into play Sunday and the most in franchise history. That number is ridiculous. And it's been a different guy every time.

7. I never would have dreamed the Eagles wouldn’t be able to pressure Haskins. The kid had taken 26 sacks this year on just 186 drop-backs. That’s a TON. That’s a sack every 7.2 drop-backs. Sunday he dropped back 24 times and the Eagles couldn’t get near him. Haskins was getting sacked five times a game. He wasn’t sacked. The d-line is supposed to be a strength of this team. Pass rush was supposed to be a strength of this team. How do you not even get close to a guy getting sacked every seven drop-backs?

8. The defense doesn’t give up a touchdown every time the offense scores one. It just seems like it. It happens wayyyyy too often. The only way to build up any momentum and avoid having to win games over bad teams in the final seconds is to get solid play out of both sides of the ball at the same time, and that’s just been elusive for this team. They’ve found ways to win the last two, but the way they’re playing isn’t exactly inspiring confidence.

9. It’s been a tough year for Dallas Goedert with drops and fumbles, but that diving one-handed catch he made for 20 yards down to the Redskins’ 25-yard-line was enormous. Probably the best play he’s made. On a day when Ward was the only Eagles WR to catch a pass, the backs caught 13 for 89 yards and the tight ends caught 10 for 116 yards. And the Eagles needed every one of them.

10. I really didn’t want to keep harping on J.J. Arega-Whiteside vs. Terry McLaurin, but how can you not? McLaurin again torched the Eagles. Yeah, they’re both early in their careers, blah blah blah. JJAW had a drop in the end zone — would have been a tough catch, but it was in his hands — and committed a costly penalty. McLaurin — who was on the board when the Eagles drafted Arcega-Whiteside — had 5-for-130 on top of his 5-for-125 in the opener against the Eagles. McLaurin is going to go over 1,000 yards. JJAW is averaging 9 yards per game. Whether this on Howie or Joe Douglas nobody knows. What we do know is it’s pretty clear the Eagles completely missed on this one.

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One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

It’s “easier than ever” to attend the Super Bowl, according to a Stub Hub press release.

It may also be easier than ever to go into debt doing it.

StubHub this week announced a program that allows fans to finance ticket purchases — including Super Bowl tickets — and pay for them over a period of 3, 6 or 12 months.

All at the bargain-basement price of up to 30 percent interest.

Stub Hub, in conjunction with financial firm Affirm, introduced a program this week that allows consumers to use Stub Hub to purchase tickets and during the check-out process elect to finance the purchase through Affirm. 

Although ticket buyers can use Affirm for most Stub Hub purchase, the company is rolling out this program as a way to encourage fans who can’t afford Super Bowl tickets to buy them at potentially exorbitant interest rates.

According to financial web site The Balance, the average credit card interest rate as of December was 21.26 percent.

“Just in time for the Super Bowl, consumers can purchase event tickets now and pay over time,” reads a joint press release from Affirm and Stub Hub. 

The StubHub-Affirm joint press release makes it sound like paying 30 percent interest is a financially sound idea: “With U.S. credit card debt at an all-time high and many consumers looking to kick off the new year with better financial habits, they’re demanding more transparent financial products that align with their interests.”

According to a CBS News story that examined the Stub Hub program, two lower-level end-zone tickets selling on Stub Hub for $15,760 on a 12-month, 30-percent loan would cost the buyer an additional $2,676 in interest.

The story also said that unlike credit cards, there’s no financial benefit for consumers to pay this sort of loan off early. 

Ted Rossman of creditcards.com appeared on CBS MoneyWatch and warned consumers against using this sort of financial plan to pay for tickets makes no financial sense.

"It is a huge risk to make any type of discretionary purchase with something that carries a rate of 10 percent to 30 percent,” Rossman said on the show, according to the CBS News story. "It's risky to buy it now and think you are going to pay it later."

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After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

Earlier this month, Jason Kelce called Brandon Brooks “the best offensive lineman in the NFL.” 

Turns out, ProFootballFocus agrees.

On Thursday, PFF named Brooks the winner of its annual Bruce Matthews Award, given to the best offensive lineman in the NFL. The Eagles were also named the best overall offensive line in the league. 

It’s an honor Brooks deserves after he was egregiously snubbed by voters for the Associated Press All-Pro team earlier this month. It was an absolute joke that Brooks wasn’t even named to the second team. No disrespect to Zack Martin or Marshal Yanda but Brooks was better than both of them this year. 

There’s no doubt that Brooks is the best right guard in the NFL. PFF thinks he’s the best overall OL in the league too. 

Here’s what they said about him:

“Brooks has been a perennially underrated player throughout his NFL career, whether it was playing in Houston or Philadelphia. Aside from a rookie season in which he played just 173 snaps, he has earned overall PFF grades of at least 74.0 every season since. Four of those six seasons before this one saw him top 80.0 overall, but this year he took his game to another level, earning an overall grade of 92.9. For years we have been making the case that he deserves Pro Bowl, and then All-Pro, recognition, and now he deserves to be acknowledged as the best offensive linemen in the game.”

While opinions are split on ProFootballFocus, their evaluations for offensive linemen are incredibly valuable. PFF has been able to give stats to a position that was previously stat-less. No, they don’t necessarily know assignments or the exact designs of plays, but they grade each and every play and that detailed analysis can take some of the human element out of giving these awards. 

When the All-Pro voters made their selections, they picked two guys at right guard in Martin and Yanda who have a longer history of playing at an elite level. PFF doesn’t care about that. They did their game-by-game, play-by-play evaluations and came to the conclusion that no other offensive lineman was better than Brooks this season. 

According to PFF, Brooks gave up just one sack and and 19 pressures on 647 pass snaps. That’s pretty impressive. But it’s even more impressive that Brooks was that dominant eight months after suffering a torn Achilles. 

For the start of next season, Brooks will be coming off a shoulder surgery, but there’s no doubt he should be able to return to his dominant form in 2020. 

The Eagles know what they have in Brooks. They signed the three-time Pro Bowler to a four-year extension during the season that made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL and will keep him in Philadelphia through 2024.

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