Four Reasons The Eagles Lost

ryanmathewsvslions1There were quite a few factors which caused the Eagles to lose on Sunday 24-23 to the Detroit Lions.

The number one factor in the loss was the fumble by Ryan Mathews because the Eagles had the lead 23-21 with under 3 minutes to go in the game.  If he had just tucked the ball away, then been tackled on the play, the Birds would have punted the ball on the next play and backed the Detroit offense up.  The Eagles defense would not have allowed the Lions to march downfield and kick a field goal.  The Lions had shown all the well designed plays for the Eagles defense in the first half, so the Birds would have won the game with the defense standing strong, if it weren’t for the fumble.  Remember, the Eagles defense surrendered 21 points on three drives in the first half, but they hadn’t allowed a point in the second half, while shutting down the Detroit offense.

The second most important factor in the loss was the fact that the Eagles defense played poorly in the first half.  The Lions had a nice game plan with Golden Tate lining up in the backfield in a Pistol formation and running the ball as a halfback. They featured Theo Riddick in macthups with our linebackers and all the linebackers played especially poor in the first half.  That includes all of them, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendrick, Jordan Hicks and Stephen Tulloch.

Bradham played poorly in the first half versus the run.  He was taking himself out of run plays by penetrating through the wrong hole.  A number of times, he’s attacking a gap and the ball is going into another gap.  I don’t know what he was seeing, but he wasn’t reading his keys properly.

Kendricks did a poor job of playing the option route by Theo Riddick at the goalline on the first drive.   He’s got to attack Riddick on the play because he should have detected he was going to run an option route.  Instead Kendricks waited for him in the end zone and Riddick attacked him coming out of the backfield headed upfield.  Once he got Kendricks flatfooted, he planted and went outside for what should the been an easy touchdown catch, but Stafford made a low throw.  Riddick went down and caught the ball.

Oct 9, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) forces a turnover against Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (24) during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Lions win 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) forces a turnover against Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (24) during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Lions win 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Hicks was caught out of position and got cut in the open field on the touchdown throw to Theo Riddick.  He’s got to be thinking screen when he’s playing behind a defensive line that’s gaining a strong reputation for rushing the passer.  Matt Stafford faked a screen to his left Golden Tate, which sucked up all the Eagles pursuit, then he flipped the ball to his right to Riddick with a blocker in front of him.   A good linebacker is not supposed to get cut in the open field by a big slow offensive lineman.  Hicks took his eye off the blocker and focused on Riddick and that’s when the blocker cut him.   You’ve got to look at the blocker first, defeat him, then get you eyes on the ball carrier.

On the play, Riddick was tackled just short of the first down marker; but given the first down; then the mark was challenged and overturned; Kendricks and Hicks missed tackles on Riddick which gave him a chance to make the first down. You’ve got to tackle better than that if you’re going to win.

On the last scoring drive by the Lions in the first half, they ran a screen to running back Zach Zenner and Tulloch was blocked easily after seeing them run the screens against the other linebackers. The linebackers have to make plays versus the screens or they’re going to go for big yardage.

The Eagles right cornerback Nolan Carroll played poorly in the first half.  He let Marvin Jones run slant routes on him for big yardage throughout the first half.  He was called for holding on another slant route in the first half.  Ron Brooks was beaten inside by Anquan Boldin and so was Malcolm Jenkins on key third down plays.  If you’re in man-to-man coverages, you can’t get beaten inside.  I know it’s very difficult to stop somebody as strong as Boldin when he wants to go inside, but you can’t give up the inside route on man-to-man coverages.

The Eagles defensive ends lost contain on Stafford with their pass rush and was able to scramble more than ten yards for a first down, then Rodney McLeod hit Stafford in the head and added another 15 yards on top of the run.  It looked like Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox were running a game, when Cox was supposed to get contain.

Third in the list of factors which cost the Eagles the game was the fact that the officials didn’t have their best day.  On the first play of the game, Connor Barwin was held on a sweep to the right side of the Birds defense.  It wasn’t a difficult call to make because the running back went outside and Barwin was umable to turn toward the ball carrier, which makes the holding call very easy.  Players would say he got mugged because he couldn’t turn toward the play and finished the play on the ground.

On another sweep play to the other side of the defense, Vinny Curry was clearly held as the Lions running back started inside and ran back outside for big yardage.  I know it sounds like I’m crying, but I just looked at the tape this morning and it’s obvious that both of these guys were being held and any decent NFL referee could see it.  Cornerback Leodis McKelvin was caught looking inside on a sweep which got outside.  It was on the same play in which Curry was being held.

These run plays were very important because they got the Lions going.  I wouldn’t have a problem with those calls, if they don’t make a crucial holding call late in the game against the Eagles Brandon Brooks.  He was blocking downfield on a guy, who was not going to make the play.  He had his hands inside the shoulders of the defender, which is supposed to be the key with holding calls.  If it was a hold, it was subtle.  The calls early in the game on the Lions were obvious.  Barwin got tackled all the way to the ground and the hold on Curry was obvious.

The Chop Block call on 5’6″ Darren Sproles was totally ridiculous. He only comes up to the waist of most of the other players.  He can be standing straight up and only be able to hit these guys in the stomach because you have to bend over a bit in order to hit someone which with your helmet or shoulder pads.  This was a terrible call.

I don’t like to cry about referees but they played a big role in the game because the Eagles were penalized 14 times for 111 yards, while the Lions were only penalized two times.

nelsonagholorvslions1The fourth factor in the loss to the Lions was interception by Carson Wentz, which ended any chance the Birds had to win.  He had about a minute and thirty seconds to march 40 yards downfield to put themselves in position for a field goal.  Wentz should have started the drive with the mentality that he should be patient.  I would have liked to see the Birds run some intermediate routes on the first play to catch the football at least 15 yards downfield.

If there was nothing there on the play, he should have thrown it away. You wind up with it being second down and 10 with five seconds having ticked off the clock.  If you do throw that football out there, you’ve got to throw it up, so the ball is out in front of the receiver, so he can fight for it.

The ball was in back of Nelson Agholor and should have been thrown out in front of him.  Last year in the Buffalo game, Sam Bradford made a great throw to Agholor by throwing him open.  He threw the ball out in front of the receiver and Agholor caught for a touchdown.  By the way, Agholor should have been thinking like a defender once he had trouble picking it up the ball.  If you don’t catch it, you’ve got to make sure the defender doesn’t catch it.

Wentz should have been looking at an incompletion as not a terrible thing, since it would stop the clock and avoid a turnover.  It would be second and ten, if he threw the ball away, which meant three other chances to get ten yards.  You don’t have to take that big of a gamble on first down, when you only need a field goal and you’ve got a minute and thirty seconds to play.

15 thoughts on “Four Reasons The Eagles Lost

  1. I wasn’t too upset with this loss as I had a very strong feeling it was coming. No-one from the team, to the media, to the fanbase took this game seriously, and it cost the Eagles in the first half. Classic donut.

    Clearly the Eagles aren’t quite ready to deal with a game like this…they’re close, but not there yet.

    Now though….I am beginning to worry how this loss will affect their final standing. Really do need to beat these inferior teams. The rest of the sched poses problems.

    At the quarter pole 3-1. (good)

    Next 4 games @Washington, Minny, @Dallas, @NYG…What do you think?? 2-2 is a strong possibility over those 4 games.

    At the Half 5-3 (good)

    Next 4 games…uh-oh…Atlanta, @Seahawks, GB, @Cinci. Yikes. That’s a murderer’s row…..Can the Eagles go 2-2 here?? I’d have felt good about CInci at home…but its in Cinci. I will be at the GB game, and being an excellent winning record with me (say .750 in games I am at)…but I think 2-2 is very optimistic here……..

    3rd Q pole….7-5 (at best with 6-6 very likely)

    Final 4….Skins @Baltimore NYG and Dallas….I think the Eagles will have to go 3-1 down this stretch to make the playoffs. Is that possible?? 2-2 is the more likely outcome ehre.

    Final record…9-7…with Dallas at 4-1 and Wsh at 3-2, I doubt 9-7 wins the division.

    Birds needed to pocket that win yesterday.

    1. I think all of the next 4 games are winnable… 2-2 would be really brutal for our playoff chances.

      washington for sure beatable.
      minny is very beatable, they cant run well and have bradturd. just play smart against that D and grind out that game…
      dallas and the giants arent shit

  2. WTF was agholor doing??????????

    guy had inside position there and just seemed to crawl up into a ball and raise an arm? no jumping? no standing tall? no two hands up? unacceptable whatever the hell his bum ass was trying to make his body do

    1. Agholor is physically weak in his arms, upper body and legs. He is used to being able to out run people in college. His pass patterns are nor crisp his fakes are weak. He can’t break tackles or out fight a defender to the ball. He is a big disappointment.

  3. Strongly disagree with reason 4. Obviously not the best throw. But the decision was sound, single coverage 60 yards downfield with 1.25 left and no timeouts. There were plenty of options on that play but if u have single coverage in that situation you have to throw it 100 times out of 100… if its not caught more times than not its incomplete. 125, no timeouts and no go to weapons man, you take what the D gives you and they gave him 1on1 and dared agholor and wentz to beat them and wentz took the challenge and it didnt work. oh well. but one thing is certain you cant be thinking be patient and dink and dunk in that spot thats for losers thats for sam bradford.

    #4 Reason should be Head Coach Doug Pederson – FOR PLAYING TO NOT LOSE as the game was winding down.. trying to bleed the clock up 2 points with over 2 minutes left is IRRESPONSIBLE !!! that shit dont work anymore. Its not smart to give the other team the ball back with over 2 minutes regardless of who youre D is and how well they are playing. Look at how the good teams close games!! You see Pittsburgh yesterday? Good teams close out games by putting the ball in their best players hands (big ben, brady, arod…) they dont try to drain the clock

    1. Disagree. If Doug throws it in that situation and we punt away or throw a pick everyone is asking why didn’t he run the clock out with a lead.

      Coaching has been far and away better than in the past few years. Sometimes things don’t work out. I think we have to recognize that this team has a lot of youth playing with their talent and not yet refined skills.

      The only coaching decision is the Bradham vs Kendricks playtime in the first half. If coaches were sending a message the whole team sees how their behavior even away from building can effect the team. The problem is had we not gotten crushed in the first half by the lions offense the birds would have won. So that to me is the only real debate on coaching choices. It may pay off going forward if men realize they are important and need to stay out of trouble and make good choices.

    1. A Philly reporter stated during the preseason that during an interview with Agholor he stated that he did not lift weights because he felt he was fine the way he was. The reporter asked Agholor about his off season training because it was obvious Agholor did not get bigger or put on noticeable muscle.

      Agholor absolutely thinks he can get by on his given talents because he got away with it in college. He’s just average as a professional and needs to work harder at improving his game strength.

      Who cares about him buying a JUGS machine, a JUGS does not battle you at the los or 30 yards down field.

      1. If he thinks he’s fine he’s either delusional or stupid or both. If the coaches and strength trainers are not requiring him to get bigger and stronger something is wrong. I used to think Macklin was this way but he improved. Agholor will go the way of Tod (Pinky)
        Pinkston if he doesn’t wise up.

        1. At least Pinkston could track and catch the deep ball, he was just scared to go over the middle. Agholor doesn’t have Pinky’s ball tracking skills or deep speed. Agholor needs to show something this year. Honestly, I’m close to thinking what you see is what you get with Agholor..and that’s not good enough.

          1. Todd Pinkston didn’t drop nowhere near as many passes as Agholor has either. He was only 180 pounds so I can understand him not wanting to go over the middle all that much. Come to think of it I would rather have a young Pinkston here in Philly right now than Agholor.

          2. Pinky ,may have been able to track a deep pass, but he was one scared man,Sean Taylor from the Skins scared him so bad . one sunday .coming at him full speed , pinky dropped his arms , and turned away from the play, so as not to get hit. Last I heard he was now coaching young receivers , Pinkys skills were ok but the other parts of his game was not there . The Pats made him look like a very , very scared young man out there as well! Not a blue collar Philly fan favorite.

            1. The Carolina Panthers is the team that really exposed Pinky and put the fear of god in him in that NFC championship game. Pinky couldn’t run as fast because of all the poo in his pants…

              1. Eagle . your are right , it was Carolina .I run out of memory at times.Now I can see the sordid flashback , My old heart was in disrepair for a while after that mauling.

  4. Carson Wentz has won NFL Rookie of the week again. This is the 3rd time out of the 4 games he’s played. If he keeps his level of play up he will win rookie of the year and possibly get to the pro bowl.

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