Eagles

Eagles

The pattern keeps repeating itself, and it’s not a healthy pattern.

A bad first half followed by a good second half.

The Eagles seem to become a different team after halftime, and that’s really been the case all year, but the disparity has been magnified the last two weeks in losses to the Lions and Redskins.

Five games into the season, the Eagles' defense has yet to allow a second-half touchdown, making them the first team since the 2010 Falcons to do that.

But they’ve allowed 21 first-half points in consecutive games for only the third time in 17 years.

Two different teams.

“We have to come out earlier with the same sense of urgency that we have in the second half,” Jordan Matthews said. “Have that in the first half.”

The Eagles allowed a punt return TD in the second half in Chicago, but the defense has allowed only 12 points in five games in the second half — four field goals.

All nine offensive TDs against the Eagles this year have been before halftime.

“We have to make sure we calm down in the beginning,” Brandon Graham said. “I think it’s more of everybody’s kind of jacked up at the beginning of games, and (bad) stuff starts to happen and then we settle in and play better after that.”

The Eagles are 3-2 heading into the teeth of their schedule — the Vikings Sunday are the first of six straight opponents that currently has a .500 or better record. The composite record of those six teams is 24-9.

 

Safe to say the Eagles need to play 60 minutes and not 30 to survive this stretch.

The Eagles the last two weeks became only the 13th team in NFL history to allow 21 or more points in a first half and six or fewer in the second half two weeks in a row.

“That sense of urgency we have late, we have to dupilicate that at the beginning of games,” Matthews said.

“A lot of guys in the league — and I know a lot of the guys in this locker room — when you challenge them, they’ll respond. Coach (Doug) Pederson has a great game plan to put us in the right position, but it’s on us and our groups and me as the leader of our receiver group that, ‘Yo, you guys, we have to come out the same way we’re ending.’ Have that same intensity in the beginning.”

In the first half this year, the Eagles have scored 59 points and allowed 59 points.

In the second half, they’ve outscored their opponents 76-19.

They are only the ninth team in NFL history — and fifth since 1967 — to get through Week 5 having scored 70 or more second-half points and allowed 20 or fewer second-half points.

So far, the Eagles have been outgained by an average of 187 yards to 152 in the first half, only to outgain their opponents by an average of 187-107 in the second half.

The Eagles didn’t give up any touchdowns in the second half in Washington, but they did allow a 57-yard run from scrimmage to Matt Jones, a play that clinched the win for the Redskins.

“We didn’t fix the mistakes in the second half,” Malcolm Jenkins said. “They still ran the ball really well in the second half. We got a stop late to give ourselves a chance and we did a little better.”

But not good enough.

“People don't know how hard it is in this league playing a whole 60 minutes,” Graham said. “You’ve got to make sure you stay together when adverse times come. We have to continue to keep grinding. Don't let the little things fade away, make sure we stay on top of those things.  

“We’ve got to eliminate the penalties and get off the field. We have to start faster than we’ve been starting. That’s pretty much it. Hopefully, we’ll stay together and make sure we get it done next week.”