Just too many mistakes.
The Philadelphia Eagles lost their second straight game on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Vikings 23-21. The Birds were their own worst enemy once again, repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot.
“False starts and illegal formation calls plagued the team throughout the day…”
This team has turned the ball over at an alarming rate over the last two games. Carson Wentz committed yet another fumble, one that gave the Vikings an easy seven points and really swung the momentum in the first half. Then with a little momentum coming out of the gates in the third quarter, Jay Ajayi didn’t bother to protect the football on the goalline, coughing up another crucial opportunity for points.
Those are major swings that cost this team the game, but the issues go beyond the turnovers.
The team still struggled to protect Carson Wentz. The change at left guard from Stefen Wisniewski to Isaac Seumalo really didn’t do much to sure up the pocket.
There were still far too many silly penalties. False starts and illegal formation calls plagued the team throughout the day, putting the offense in difficult position to succeed. These are issues that just shouldn’t happen, especially at home. Doug Pederson and the coaching staff have got to do a much better job at getting this team ready to play in the coming weeks.
- Shelton Gibson finally got a look on offense, and came down with a 40-yard reception the first half. What took so long for him to get an opportunity? The guy had a great preseason, and has a skillset that this offense could use: the ability to stretch the field. Hopefully he’ll get more opportunities in the future.
- The Eagles really couldn’t get anything going on the ground. Jay Ajayi and Wendell Smallwood combined for 56 yards on 11 carries.
- The Vikings did a good job taking away Alshon Jeffery, who was held to just two receptions.
- Zach Ertz finished with a great stat line, but did most of his damage on the team’s last gasp-final drive.
- My favorite moment from this game came when Fletcher Cox got in the face of Jalen Mills during the second half. Mills had just successfully defended a play against Adam Theilen, and got in the face of the talented receiver. Mills, who previously had been having another terrible game, had no business going at it with anyone from the opposing team, especially with the team down 17 at the time. A frustrated Cox came over, and gave Mills a good shove. Great response by one of the team’s leaders to try and get an unduly arrogant Mills in line.
- Absolutely asinine roughing the passer call on Michael Bennett at the end of the first half. Bennett, who simply (and unforcefully) wrapped up Kirk Cousins for a critical sack, was flagged for one of the worst roughing calls I’ve ever seen. The call was another moment that completely swung the game. Instead of a field goal attempt, the Vikings would go on to score a touchdown to make it a 17-3 game.
- Brandon Graham picked up a sack, his first of the year, and was the only Eagle to get to Cousins and officially record a sack.
- The secondary has been terrible at tackling throughout the season, and tonight was no exception. Sidney Jones in particular took some terrible angles towards ball carriers, which helped the Vikings gain some extra ground.
- Another terrible game from Jalen Mills. Is it time to make a change on the outside? I’ve blamed Jim Schwartz more for the chunk plays than Mills, simply because of the nature of his scheme, but Mills is getting picked on week after week, its starting to bring back memories of Bradley Fletcher and Nolan Carroll. Both of those guys, kind of similar to Mills, were solid in their roles until they really got exposed by opposing offenses. Once they got figured out, it was all over for them. Mills is trending dangerously towards that territory. If Odell Beckham gets the better of Mills on Thursday night, I wouldn’t be surprised if the team finally makes a change in Week 7.
- You have to wonder if things would have been different at the end of the game if Doug Pederson had allowed Jake Elliot the opportunity to kick the 58-yarder in the fourth quarter.
No matter how you look at it, this was a bad loss to take.
The Eagles are now 2-3, and a first round bye is most likely out of the question at this point with three losses, two of which fell within the NFC.
Fortunately, the team plays within the weak NFC East, so a division title and home playoff game is still very much in the mix.
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