Post originally appeared on Pro Sports Notes
October 22, 2018
Image: Andrew Kenney via Flickr
Eagles lose to Panthers: Seven things to love and hate after week 7
Posted on October 22, 2018
Eagles lose a true heartbreaker
Well. This one hurt, Eagles fans. This was a huge disappointment. There’s no way around it, this was downright embarrassing. Watching the Eagles lose is never easy, but in the fashion, they lost Sunday? Forget it. Here are seven things to love and hate after watching the Eagles lose in week seven.
Thing to hate #1: ANOTHER 4th and long
After the god awful 4th &15 mishap in Nashville a few weeks back, I didn’t think I’d see anything worse. Today, that changed. The Eagles HAD Cam Newton wrapped up and somehow he got the pass off to none other than Torrey Smith. Not only that, the play went for 35 yards. So instead of stopping the Panthers on 4th & 10, they had another first down.
There is absolutely NO reason to give up 10+ yards on fourth downs. Ever. ESPECIALLY when they cost you the game. That’s unacceptable from a defense with as much talent as the Eagles. I never thought I’d see the Eagles lose twice in that same way.
Thing to hate #2: Why isn’t Jim Schwartz blitzing EVER?
This is my biggest question after watching the Eagles lose. The defense was playing aggressively in the first half. For some reason in the second half that ended. I can’t understand why Schwartz isn’t calling blitzes. Why are we only rushing four? We can’t get to the quarterback if they only rush four every time. It’s just not going to happen. I can’t figure it out and I need some adjustments to be made.
There’s simply no reason why the Eagles should lose after building a 17 point lead. There’s no excuse. Yes, the offense should have continued to put up points. However, the defense should be able to protect that large of a lead. They stopped playing aggressive defense and it cost them the game.
Thing to hate #3: Carson Wentz’s poor decision making on the last drive
Wentz had a great game until the last quarter. The only reason the Eagles were close to scoring was because of a 48-yard penalty. There was not one completion on that final drive. Usually, Wentz makes pretty good decisions and is smart with the football. Today, the Eagles needed two yards for a first down. Instead, they decided to just take shots for the end zone.
Wentz had Smallwood wide open for the check-down pass to get the first down. No one was covering him. Instead, he decided to throw to Alshon Jeffery in double coverage. And it wasn’t like Jeffery was OPEN in double coverage. He was very much covered in double coverage. Instead of losing the game on the spot, that would have given the Eagles at least four more chances to not lose.
Final drive of the game. On 3rd-and-2, Wentz seems look off Smallwood in the flat and decides to go for Alshon in the EZ. A QB being aggressive is one thing. Throwing into double coverage is not ideal. #Eagles789:33 AM – Oct 22, 201845 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy
Thing to hate #4: The coaches are calling plays and the players are playing like rookies instead of Super Bowl Champions
This might be my biggest problem. I don’t see that they’re still hungry. I don’t see the fire. There is no drive and hunger behind their play or Doug Pederson’s play-calling. Aggressive has gone out the window. What happened? On one of the Eagles first drives, they went for it on 4th & short twice. They get down the field, where the wind is swirling, and on another 4th and short, they let their kicker try for a field goal instead of going for it again. Why? Jake Elliott has not been nearly as solid this year as he was in 2017, so why would you not go for it again and potentially give yourself an even BIGGER cushion throughout the game?
In the NFC Championship game, we saw Pederson put his foot on the gas and never take it off. He was aggressive and he was going for the jugular, not just trying to squeak out a win. He wanted to stop all over the Vikings and that’s exactly what he did. The Eagles don’t have that same mentality anymore and I think as a fan, that’s what bums me out the most.
Thing to LOVE #1: Our tight ends are savages
I will say, that in all of this ridiculousness and messy play, Zach Ertz is on pace for a career season. His best season in terms of yards was in 2015. Ertz recorded 75 catches for 853 yards and two touchdowns. Last season, he notched 74 catches for 824 yards. So far this year (seven games in) Ertz has 57 catches for 618 yards. The Eagles still have nine games to play.
Eagles all-time receptions leaders
1 – Harold Carmichael (589)
2 – Pete Retzlaff (452)
3 – Brian Westbrook (426)
4 – Brent Celek (398)
5 – Zach Ertz (378)
Ertz turns 28 in November. He has a real chance to eventually take over the top spot here.4326:00 PM – Oct 21, 2018Twitter Ads info and privacy67 people are talking about this
On another note regarding the tight-ends, the Eagles finally got Dallas Goedert more involved in the offense yesterday. Yesterday, Goedert had four catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. This is his most involved game since week three against the Colts where he recorded seven catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. I like getting Goedert involved. He is just another weapon defenses need to worry about defending. And he is a big boy who is not easy to bring down.
Thing to love #2: Eliminating the dumb penalties on defense
Instead of getting three neutral zone infraction penalties, a few holding calls, and a pass interference, as far as I can remember, the Eagles were squeaky clean from a penalty standpoint on defense. They played a mistake-free game from a penalties perspective which is a change for them. Let’s hope that continues.
Thing to love #3: Jeffery is worth EVERY penny
I was listening to the radio after the game yesterday, and some buffoon called in to say the Eagles shouldn’t have paid Jeffery and he isn’t worth it. Well, I’m not quite sure what game he was watching yesterday, but from the game that I saw, Jeffery is worth every penny and we’re extremely lucky that he is here for the next three years. The Eagles lose that game much earlier if it wasn’t for Jeffery.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. He is a TRUE number one wide receiver. We haven’t had a true number one receiver since T.O. THAT WAS 14 YEARS AGO PEOPLE! Jeffery is a threat all over the field, he has extremely reliable hands, and he is constantly making great catches and plays. The 4th & 5 which was a high pass that Jeffery hauled in and got both feet down? A catch where he broke tackles for a first down? Yeah, I’ll take having Alshon Jeffery on my team any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
4th-and-5. Slightly high pass. Jeffery makes the catch, keeps his feet inbounds. Great play. #Eagles
Jeffery played like a No. 1 receiver in the first half yesterday. Made a number of plays that weren’t easy. Breaks tackles here to turn a short gain into a first down. #Eagles199:18 AM – Oct 22, 2018Twitter Ads info and privacySee Eliot Shorr-Parks’s other Tweets
Where do the Eagles go from here?
Listen, the “things to love” aren’t here to make us feel all warm and fuzzy. They’re not going to change the embarrassment of yesterday’s loss. The Eagles haven’t blown a lead like that since the ’80s. But they are there to remind us that it isn’t all bad. We still have talent and we can still go places.
I am not the kind of person or fan that likes to watch the game and point fingers at players that lost us the game. I don’t like saying “if Ertz would have caught that ball we would have won. That lost us the game.” I hate that because it’s not necessarily true. I think if you HAVE to place blame on someone it should be the coaches. I think the coaching lost the Eagles that game. And several others so far this season. I don’t think the Eagles have the fire they need this year. They might be able to still make something happen within the division. The NFC East is still wide open. But when it comes to the postseason? They don’t have it this year. I would LOVE for them to prove me wrong, but I don’t think we’ll have the same success in 2018.
When the Eagles lose, it ruins the rest of my week. I will still ride or die for my Eagles. I’ll sit at every cold home game and I will be locked in on the tv for every away game. That will never change. I just hope they get this stuff figured out and turned around. Jacksonville is another team really struggling and in desperate need for a win. It will be an interesting game at 9:30 on Sunday morning.