Eagles

Saints 48, Eagles 7: An embarrassing effort in the Superdome

Saints 48, Eagles 7: An embarrassing effort in the Superdome

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NEW ORLEANS — They were outgained by nearly 400 yards. They were outscored by 41 points. They were humiliated and embarrassed in a way that a defending Super Bowl champion never should be.

This looked like the last days of the Chip Kelly Era.

It was that bad.

In a game that makes you question just about everything about the franchise just nine months after Super Bowl LII, the Eagles lost 48-7 to the Saints Sunday at the Superdome.

Hang on, here we go.

1. How is it possible to be this unprepared week after week after week after week after week? The first quarter has been a horror show for the Eagles all year, but this was their worst. Outgained 190-15? I don’t know if the offense was worse or the defense was worse. I do know this is all on Doug Pederson and his staff. The Eagles were facing a crucial game against an elite team, and they came out with zero fire, zero intensity, zero urgency. How do you not have your team prepared? How do you not have your team ready? How do you come out every freaking week looking utterly lost on both sides of the ball? Embarrassing. Pitiful. Inexcusable. The Eagles have been blanked in eight of their 10 first quarters so far. They haven’t scored a first-quarter point since the Giants game, for crying out loud. Against a bad team, maybe you can dig out of a hole like that. Against the Saints? In their own building? Come on.

2. The Eagles are now 4-6 and have lost five of their last seven games, and it’s time to start thinking about peoples’ jobs. Doug isn’t going anywhere. He won the Super Bowl last year. He’s been terrible, but he gets at least next year and probably 2020. When you win a Super Bowl you earn some time to figure the thing out. Jim Schwartz? He’s not going anywhere, either. The Eagles went into Sunday sixth in the NFL in scoring defense, and considering all the injuries and considering the job he did last year, I just don’t see it. Now Mike Groh? I’m starting to wonder. The Eagles’ inability to score points has reached epic proportions, and Groh just seems overmatched. When you watch the Colts piling up points under Frank Reich you can’t help think that the offense lost its heart when the Eagles lost Reich. The Colts are averaging 36 points in their last five games. The Eagles have scored more than 24 once all year. Groh deserves the rest of the season, but this offense is legit terrible right now, and it shouldn’t be.

3. As for Carson Wentz, the first sign that it wasn’t his day was when he threw that ill-advised bomb into double coverage late in the first quarter. It was still just 10-0. Things weren’t going well, but it reeked of desperation or panic. You can’t just heave the ball up for grabs. Carson keeps showing this inclination of trying to do too much early on, trying to be Superman, instead of taking what’s there. Wentz has 25 career interceptions and 11 of them — nearly half — have been in the first quarter. He needs to find a way to stay within himself early on. You’re just giving away a possession against the sixth-highest-scoring offense in NFL history. And of course the Saints took the ball and drove down the field for a 17-0 lead. It keeps happening and it has to stop.

4. I feel like Wentz should be beyond a game like this three-interception monstrosity. Especially against the NFL’s 31st-ranked pass defense. For the first time in two years he was just terrible. He’s in his third year. His numbers have been really good, but the team is 4-6 and the offense looks lifeless. He sure isn’t the biggest problem on this team, but there are times an elite quarterback needs to raise his team up and Wentz hasn’t done that. And remember, Donovan McNabb got to the NFC Championship Game his third year.

5. Everybody is going to focus on the Eagles’ cornerbacks struggling Sunday, and that’s fair. But don’t let the defensive line off the hook. They’re supposed to be the heart and soul of the defense. They’re certainly the highest-paid unit on the team. The corners are a bunch of young inexperienced kids who’ve barely played any NFL football and let’s face it you probably haven’t heard of most of the guys who were out there by the end of the game. The pass rushers are Brandon Graham, Chris Long and Michael Bennett, and they are all big-name, high-paid veteran guys, and they never came close to Drew Brees. You’ve got Cre’Von LeBlanc, De’Vante Bausby and Chandon Sullivan in coverage against one of the hottest QBs in NFL history. By the end of the game, the Eagles didn’t even have a cornerback available who was on the roster three weeks ago. Without pressure, even the best corners in the league don’t stand a chance against Brees. These guys? Come on.

6. Two games in and Golden Tate has six catches for 58 yards. If anything, it seems like the offense has less rhythm than before he got here. Yeah, the Eagles will get compensation if they lose him, but this is not what they had in mind when they gave up a third-round pick for the veteran receiver. He hasn’t been a difference maker. It’s only two games, but you knew you were only getting him for eight games and a playoff run. So much for that.

7. It’s probably not a good sign when your punter has your best tackle of the game.

8. If you’re looking for a positive, let’s talk Josh Adams. Kid looks like a player. Had 7-for-43 rushing with a 28-yard TD before Doug abandoned the running game and even caught a few short passes for 19 yards. He’s now 34-for-197 this year, which is 5.8 yards a pop. That’s all I got.

9. This was the first time I’ve ever thought to myself, “I wonder if Doug should get Nick in there.” Honestly, I would have been fine with it. When things are this bad? Andy benched Donovan for Kevin Kolb at halftime of that Ravens game in 2008 — 10 years ago this week — then went right back to Donovan the next week, and the Eagles got to the NFC Championship Game. Maybe getting Carson out of there for a few drives and letting him catch his breath and see things from a different perspective would have helped.

10. Let’s close with this. There are five games left. The next two are at the Linc, where the Eagles have lost three straight. I don’t care who’s in uniform. I don’t care who the opponent is. I don’t care what’s at stake. I don’t care how many practice squad dudes are in the secondary. All I want to see is this football team play with some pride. Play like it means something to wear that Eagles uniform. Everybody on the roster should be embarrassed right now. Go do something about it.

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Eagles release popular special teamer Chris Maragos

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Eagles release popular special teamer Chris Maragos

Chris Maragos, the popular special teams ace whose career has been derailed by a serious knee injury, was released Friday by the Eagles.

Maragos, 32, played in 47 of 48 games from 2014 through 2016, mainly on special teams but a significant amount at safety in 2015. But he suffered a career-threatening knee injury against the Panthers in Charlotte on Oct. 12, 2017, and hasn’t played since.

Maragos, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks in 2013 in addition to one with the Eagles in 2017, made all the road trips with the Eagles this past season even though he had no chance of playing simply because he was so respected in the locker room and such an effective leader.

“I’m really more of a coach and cheerleader these days than anything else,” he said with a smile before one game this past season.

Maragos went undrafted out of Wisconsin in 2010 and after a season with the 49ers played three years with the Seahawks before signing with the Eagles before the 2014 season.

He was signed through 2019 and will count $250,000 in dead money against the Eagles’ salary cap, which gives the Eagles a $2 million cap savings.

Maragos earned over $10 million in his career, including over $7 million from the Eagles, according to Spotrac. His career earnings high of $2.5 million came in 2016.

Maragos has had two knee operations since originally getting hurt against the Panthers, most recently this past fall. 

Even healthy, Maragos probably wouldn’t have fit in the Eagles’ plans this coming season.

Since re-signing Rodney McLeod to a contract restructure that lowered his 2019 cap figure from $.9 million to $4.84 million, the Eagles have safeties Malcolm Jenkins, McLeod and Tre’ Sullivan under contract, along with Avonte Maddox, who can play either safety or cornerback. 

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Eagles sign Jake Elliott and Rick Lovato to one-year deals

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Eagles sign Jake Elliott and Rick Lovato to one-year deals

The Eagles will have all three of their specialists back for the 2019 season. 

On Friday afternoon, the Eagles announced they signed kicker Jake Elliott and long snapper Rick Lovato to one-year deals that will take them through the next NFL season. 

Both players were set to become exclusive rights free agents, so the Eagles basically controlled their rights. It should have been a no-brainer to bring both back. 

The deals are just one-year contracts similar to what the exclusive rights deals would have been, according to league sources. 

Punter Cameron Johnston was already under contract for the 2019 season, so the trio of specialists will be intact for at least one more year. 

Elliott, 23, joined the Eagles in Week 2 of the 2017 season when Caleb Sturgis was injured. The Eagles signed him off the Bengals’ practice squad; the Bengals had drafted him in the fifth round. With the Eagles, Elliott went on to have a really good rookie season, highlighted by the 61-yard game-winner against the Giants in Week 3. He also hit a 42-yarder and a 46-yarder in Super Bowl LII. 

In both of his first two seasons with the Eagles, Elliott has made 26 of 31 field goal attempts. He is 7 of 11 from 50-plus during his first two NFL seasons. 

Lovato, 26, joined the Eagles in Week 15 of the 2016 season after Jon Dorenbos broke his wrist. The next year, Lovato beat out Dorenbos for the long snapper job. When Lovato was signed during 2016, he had been working at his family’s restaurant in New Jersey. 

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