Eagles’ Rally Falls Short
A back-and-forth battle with the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon ended with the Philadelphia Eagles suffering their fourth straight loss, falling to 5-8.
The Eagles held a 13-7 lead early in the game, but a handful of mistakes and sloppy play allowed the Redskins to to pull ahead 21-13 in the second half. A pick-six from Leodis McKelvin gave the Eagles life, and a field goal from Caleb Sturgis gave the Birds a lead in the fourth quarter.
But another late defensive meltdown put the Redskins back on top, and a last-minute drive from Carson Wentz and the offense would result in a turnover in the Washington redzone.
Carson Wentz played a much better game this week than what we’ve seen in recent weeks, but there were still issues with his game. Wentz committed two turnovers, including an interception on the team’s second drive of the game that wiped out a redzone opportunity, and a fumble on the final drive of the game.
Wentz did seem more settled in the pocket this week, and had a better command of the game. Getting both Jordan Matthews and Ryan Mathews back this week had to be some welcome relief for the young quarterback. Matthews caught eight passes for 79 yards. Mathews added 60 yards on the ground through 15 carries.
But even with some of their veterans back, this offense still just isn’t explosive enough and struggles to put more than 20 points on the board.
- With Mathews back in the fold, the younger running backs were almost completely phased out of the team’s offense. Wendell Smallwood took just three carries on the day, Kenjon Barner didn’t even suit up.
- It seems like we say this every year in December: the Eagles have finally found ways to get their tight ends involved. Zach Ertz, who does his best work when the Eagles are eliminated from contention, put up over 100 yards on 10 catches.
- Meanwhile, Trey Burton chipped in seven grabs for 65 yards. He’s become a reliable target for Wentz on third down situations.
- Nelson Agholor caught two passes for 22 yards. Not an impressive stat line, but Agholor did appear to be playing with a little more confidence than he’s had all year.
- Agholor also drew a long pass interference penalty that gave the Eagles the ball deep in Washington territory.
- Paul Turner caught just one pass this week, but was only targeted twice. It’s worth noting that Turner seems to have surpassed Bryce Treggs on the depth chart, whom I don’t recall seeing on the field once.
- For the first time in three weeks, Jim Schwartz’s scheme generated a couple of sacks.
- Fletcher Cox picked up 1.5 sacks, easily his best performance of the season.
- The other half sack went to Bennie Logan.
- DeSean Jackson always seems to have big games against the Eagles. Jackson turned the game around in Washington’s favor with an 80-yard touchdown reception.
- A wrist injury to long-snapper Jon Dorenbos cost the Eagles three points in the second half. With Dorenbos out, Brent Celek was forced to step in to the role, and on his first attempt fired a bad snapped that would lead to a turnover on downs.
- Celek would sustain an injury himself, and leave the game, resulting in a bizarre tryout on the sidelines during the game between Mychal Kendricks, Trey Burton, and others auditioning to replace Celek.
- Burton would win out, and deliver a successful snap on a field goal attempt that gave the Eagles a brief lead late in the game.
- Ridiculous that Kenjon Barner was among the team’s inactive players today. Its bizarre enough that he hasn’t received more opportunities to help the struggling offense, but if nothing else he was the team’s best return man.
Doug Pederson continues to get away from the run too easily. Not all that surprising a disciple of Andy Reid would get away from the run. The game was close through most of the day, and there really wasn’t a reason for Pederson to abandon his ground game as there had been in previous weeks.
Pederson’s offense is struggling to put up more than 14 points a game. Talented skill position players or not, that just isn’t acceptable at this level.
Carson Wentz did some positive things in this game, and although the rally ultimately fell short at the end, the hope is that he and the rest of the team can continue to show some encouraging signs as the season winds down.