Thoughts From Eagles-BengalsBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Sunday, December 4th, 2016
Eagles Embarrassed In Humiliating Loss
The Eagles picked up a couple of garbage time touchdowns in the second half, and the Bengals did what bad teams do and made some horrendously silly calls that provided some false hope, but make no mistake, Doug Pederson’s Philadelphia Eagles were never in this game.
Doug Pederson looks absolutely clueless these days. He continues to call an exceptionally poor game, and his his players just don’t look ready to play every week. Carson Wentz has stopped making strides in his development. He’s been indecisive, and a lot of his throws have been off. His accuracy is gone. His mechanics are off. His worst moment came missing a wide open Dorial-Green Beckham in the second half that killed one of the team’s drives.
And the head coach is doing nothing to help his young quarterback.
The Bengals came into the game ranked near the bottom of the league against the run, and the Eagles didn’t stick to the run. Wendell Smallwood received just eight touches on the day.
And it doesn’t get much better on the other side of the ball.
Jim Schwartz Has Been Terrible
At the end of the first half, it looked as though the Eagles had already quit and given up.
Cincinnati’s march over 90 yards down the field with just over two minutes remaining in the game was a pathetic showing by Jim Schwartz and the Eagles’ defense.
The Birds’ defense offered absolutely no resistance, allowing Andy Dalton and his depleted group of receivers to move the ball at will, resulting in a touchdown to put the Bengals up 19-0.
A performance like the one the defense had on Monday night against a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers and his potent offense is forgivable. But an effort against the 3-7-1 Bengals, with a mistake-prone quarterback in Dalton missing his elite wide receiver in A.J. Green? There’s just excuse for the defense to perform at such a woeful level.
The Eagles didn’t earn a defensive stop until the second half after they were already down by four scores. The game was well out of hand when moronic Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis did all he could to blow his lead by running inexperienced Rex Burkhead or calling pass plays for his offensive lineman.
But when the game mattered, Andy Dalton just picked this defense apart. The defensive line once again failed to generate a sack. The already suspect secondary suffered even more because of it. And much like Pederson, Schwartz appears to have no answers.
What’s even worse about this situation is that the defense has been healthy for most of the season. With the exception of Leodis McKelvin’s ever-nagging hamstring, and Ron Brooks’ season-ending injury, Schwartz has had his best players available all season. There’s no reason this defense should be this bad, this inept, this ineffective.
- I’ve been among the crowd that has been kicking and screaming for Paul Turner to get an opportunity ever since his preseason success. Turner finally got some looks today, and led the team with six catches for 60 yards. Turner had a 41-yard catch-and-run early in the third quarter that gave the Eagles a scoring opportunity in Bengal territory.
- I don’t know what Turner is at the NFL level, but given the quality of receivers on this roster, its ridiculous that its taken until this point of the season for him to get a shot.
- Trey Burton had nice game with five grabs for 53 yards, and was consistently a target for Wentz on third down.
- Zach Ertz piled up the garbage time stats with nine receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown.
- One of the biggest goats in this game has got to be Jaylen Watkins. Watkins had two more horrendous moments that hurt the team this week.
- The first came on Cincinnati’s opening drive, where Watkins dropped an easy interception that would have wiped the Bengals’ first field goal off of the board. A play like that early in the game is potentially momentum changing, and Watkins was unable to make it.
- Later in the game, Watkins delivered a silly helmet-to-helmet hit on Rex Burkhead on a third down that would have ended a drive. Burkhead was already wrapped up on the play, and Watkins delivered an obvious blow to the head that drew the flag. Cincinnati would end up scoring a touchdown on the drive.
- So at the end of the day, Watkins cost the Eagles 10 points.
- Unbelievable that this defense was unable to come up with a sack again.
- Nigel Bradham committed two silly penalties of his own that contributed to Cincinnati scoring drives, but he did make a nice play to cause a fumble in the second half and at least give the team a shot.
- Caleb Sturgis missed his only field goal attempt.
Today’s loss was disturbing on a number of levels.
For the first time all year, the Eagles looked like they quit and stopped fighting. The defense just looked so lifeless on the two touchdown drives at the end of the first half and the start of the third quarter. This shouldn’t happen.
Following this loss to a pitiful 4-7-1 Bengal team with a lame-duck head coach and a number of key guys injured, its hard to look at Doug Pederson and feel good about what he’s doing and the direction he’s taking this team in as the head coach.
Confidence in Jim Schwartz as a defensive coordinator is at an all-time low, given his inability to have his unit prepared and somewhat effective.
Worst of all, doubt is starting to creep up about Carson Wentz. By no means is anyone writing him off, but even though the coaching has been terrible and the skill positions have been a disaster, plain and simple he just hasn’t shown much since September.
The Eagles may not win another game this season.
Follow Denny Basens on Twitter, @DennyBasens
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