Post originally appeared on Pro Sports Notes
December 11, 2018
Featured Image: Smashdown Sports News via Flickr
Eagles lose to the Cowboys in OT: Is the season over?
Posted on December 11, 2018
Is the Eagles season over?
The Eagles had everything on the line in Dallas on Sunday. That was an absolute must win to put themselves in first place in the NFC East. Now, they’re tied with the Redskins, and a game behind the Cowboys, but is their season over? The wildcard race in the NFC is tough, with Carolina and Minnesota having records of 6-7 and 6-6-1 respectively. Depending on how the rest of the season shakes out, if the Eagles don’t get help from other teams, they lose the tiebreakers with both the Panthers and the Vikings.
The showing against the Cowboys was abysmal, but here are a few things to love and hate about it.
Thing to hate #1: What happened to starting fast?
The Eagles have scored 28 first quarter points this season TOTAL. Last season, after 13 games, the Eagles scored 92 total first quarter points. They started fast on a consistent basis, got rolling and never looked back. That is one of the huge reasons that they were winning last year. They came out and knocked defenses off balance immediately and never let them get back on track.
With the season on the line last week against the Redskins, the Eagles did just that. They started fast, came out firing, and then kept their foot on the gas pedal. If they didn’t? Season over. So, you’d assume that’s exactly what they would do against the Cowboys. That would be wrong.
Thing to hate #2: Why abandon the run game?
I really don’t understand what’s going on here. Josh Adams ran extremely well. The offensive line run-blocked well. Adams ran for 8 yards, then breaks off for 24 yards, then didn’t get another touch until the second half. In what world does that make sense? It’s season over if you don’t win this game. Keep feeding your back if it’s working. Don’t stop and let the defense stay fresh. Running the ball down their throat tires the defensive line out so fast. The Eagles offense couldn’t stay on the field so the Cowboys defense was constantly fresh and ready to go. It was the opposite for the Eagles defense.
We need another running back. Add it to the list.
Thing to hate #3: The struggles continue for Carson Wentz
I don’t necessarily want to use “hate” for this one. It’s a strong word. I’m more concerned about the way he’s missing wide open receivers, missing easy throws, taking too many sacks, and all around making some bad decisions. In a game that the team needed him to be sensational, he was not. That’s not to say he didn’t have some fantastic throws, like the one to Agholor for example.
It worries me that he’s not over the mental hurdle yet after the injury. I mean, we ARE only a year removed from when the injury happened. He’s also got 21 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions in just 11 games. The idiots who are quitting on Wentz are just that…idiots. It might be close to season over for the Eagles, but I’m more concerned about Wentz getting his accuracy back on track and more consistent.
Thing to hate #4: The injuries keep coming
First of all, I really hope Corey Clement doesn’t have a tear anywhere. I hope the kid can avoid surgery. I can’t stand this injury bug that seems to loom over the Eagles like a dark cloud.
Another injury I would like to address is that of Sidney Jones. I’m not ready to say he was a bust or anything like that. He’s only 22, coming off a torn Achilles and a hamstring injury that clearly isn’t 100%. He played because we needed him, but it was obvious when he ran that it was killing him. The Cowboys absolutely abused him on Sunday. I still have high hopes for the kid, but if you think that he should have been on the outside over Jalen Mills in the beginning of the season, you’re out of your mind.
Thing to hate #5: Jake Elliott…
Dude. You’ve got one job. Kick the ball far on kickoffs, and put it through the uprights every other time. There’s no excuse for missing an extra point. None.
Thing to hate #6: Not going for 2
The loss to the Cowboys stings. It physically hurts especially because it might mean season over for the Birds. However, what makes it so painful is the WAY the Eagles lost. The overtime games in Dallas kill me. 3 of the last 4 match-ups in Jerry World have gone to overtime and it’s brutal.
The defense played an outstanding game. After the penalty, you go for two and go for the win. THAT is the call. In that game, season on the line, you go for the win. You go for the two points and trust your defense to get the last stop. I will never understand why the math made sense to go for two last week against the Redskins but apparently not in Dallas. It’s a mystery.
Thing to hate #7: Apparently Golden Tate went missing again
You made a trade for Golden Tate. Usually, when you trade for players, it means that you plan on using them. Especially when it’s a contract year for them and they’re here on a rental basis. Everyone saw last week what happens when you utilize Tate.
Thing to hate #8: The NFL needs to fire every single one of their referees and start over
Typically, I don’t like blaming refs for losses. I think that is a sore loser move, and I think that it always comes down to the Eagles needing to play better. However, this is a different situation. I can’t see a way the Eagles lose this game with the correct calls being made.
The tone was set for the game literally from the opening kickoff. Malcolm got the ball out, and the Eagles recovered the ball. LaRoy Reynolds, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nathan Gerry, and Malcolm Jenkins were all on top of the ball. I really don’t understand how there is not a clear recovery. That was Eagles ball. There’s no way around it. Even Cowboys fans were confused by that one. From the start you knew, that’s how the game would be called.
Then there was the phantom OPI call on Dallas Goedert. That wasn’t offensive pass interference. It was within 5 yards, and if the defender is being physical you have every right to fight back. He didn’t even push off! I mean. Come on. Then a few plays later after he ACTUALLY scored, there was helmet to helmet contact that was not called. Point of emphasis this year? I call BS.
Lastly, that shot Alshon Jeffery took over the middle was a late hit on a defenseless receiver. The ball was already out of his hands, he was wrapped up, and then he took a ridiculous shot that should have been an unnecessary roughness call and added 15 yards. Unacceptable.
There’s something to be said that these blatant, game altering calls only happen in Jerry World…but that’s neither here nor there.
Thing to LOVE #1: The way the defense played
Honestly, I would have to say that is the best game our defense played all season. They kept the Eagles in that game. From the beginning when the offense couldn’t get going, the defense rose to the challenge. They finally forced some turnovers, Kamu Grugier-Hill backed up his trash talk, and Michael Bennett and Fletcher Cox were playing like men POSSESSED.
The defense played over 100 snaps. That’s about 2 full games worth and they made stands the entire time to keep the Eagles season alive.
Thing to love #2: Rasul Douglas
Rasul Douglas played a great game on Sunday. After the one mishap last week against the Redskins, he has been lockdown since. That last play was not his fault. He played the ball exactly the way he was supposed to. That bounce is just the way the season is going for the Eagles. It’s unfortunate but I hope he keeps his head up because we need him going forward. I don’t put the blame on him at all.
Is it season over for the Birds?
I don’t think so. I will hold out hope for that wildcard spot. If they somehow make it to playoffs I will be okay with the season. Not making the playoffs at all will be a huge let down. The Birds have their work cut out for them in the offseason this year, but until then, let’s keep hope alive!