You’ve got to give the Eagles defense most of the credit for the win, especially cornerback Ronald Darby for the interception and kicker Jake Elliot for the great kick. The Birds pulled out a 13-10 win over the Oakland Raiders on Monday night in front of the nation, but it wasn’t an impressive performance by the Eagles.
They did clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs with the win, but they know they will need to play better in order to win in the playoffs.
I don’t see how anyone can be confident about this team getting the job done in the playoffs after such a lackluster effort against the Raiders. I will give them credit for finding a way to win the game, but how can you feel confident about this team in the playoffs, when you know they’re going to face Super Bowl tested teams like the Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks or Atlanta Falcons. We could also be in a situation where we will need to beat good football teams like the New Orleans Saints tor Minnesota Vikings.
The Eagles offense had only two first downs in the second half. They were two for 14 on third downs in the game. That isn’t winning football, so they know they will need to make improvements.
I’m not surprised the Eagles starting quarterback Nick Foles and the offense struggled against the Raiders. Foles has been told to take care of the football and stay away from turnovers. He’s not getting the ball out of his hands quickly unless he sees somebody clearly open. It’s going to take some time for him to throw the football to Alshon Jeffery despite the fact that he has a defender climbing all over him. Jeffery does have the ability to go up and take the football away from the defender, but Foles doesn’t feel comfortable making that throw because he’s supposed to stay away from turnovers. Foles targeted tight end Zach Ertz 14 times in the game. Ertz made nine catches for 81 yards.
Jeffery isn’t the kind of receiver, who gets clear separation from the defensive back, so Nick will need to make get enough confidence in him in order to get the ball to him more often.
Foles said he didn’t think the team executed well enough on third downs and it prevented them from staying on the field. The Birds quarterback said they need to make some serious improvements in order to make the offense more productive. He said he will be watching the tape of the game tomorrow and finding out what he needs to do to play better.
Foles said he was high on a couple of throws to Ertz which should and could have been touchdown throws.
Foles was 19 of 38 for 163 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 59.4 quarterback rating.
The Eagles defense was the difference in the game. They’re the main reason the Birds won the football game. They were especially effective in the second half of the game.
In the second half of the game on Monday night, Oakland got the football five times on their 41 yard line or in better position. On those possessions, the Eagles defense held the Raiders to zero points by picking off two passes, forcing a fumble, forcing a punt and forcing a missed field goal. That was true championship football.
Numerous defensive players made big plays at the end in order for the Birds to get the win. Malcolm Jenkins made a great play by pulling a ball loose with the Raiders in position to kick the game winning field goal.
Vinny Curry had a great pass rush on the Darby interception. He got pressure in the face of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. It obstructed his vision and was one of the causes of the interception.
Eagles defensive end Chris Long got the lone sack for the Birds defense and he made a number of big plays with his pass rush pressure on Carr.
Eagles cornerback Patrick Robinson made a big interception and a good return. Robinson has made some huge plays for this team this year. He’s played well at both the slot back and cornerback positions.
On the negative side, Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills got caught looking in the backfield and not at the receiver he was covering and gave up a long Carr touchdown 63-yard TD pass to Amari Cooper. This is the second week in a row that Mills has been beaten badly because he foolishly got caught looking in the backfield and not at the receiver he was covering. It’s unacceptable to do that.
He’s letting down all his teammates, by trying to get an interception and risking an easy touchdown. They should have a long talk with him about the selfishness in that decision to risk a touchdown in going for an interception.