PHILADELPHIA, PA –
The Eagles fell to 2-3 on the season after another poor outing by the offense. After suffering their first home loss this season, the losing streak has been extended to two games. Here are our likes and dislikes from week five:
1 – Wendell Smallwood deserves some credit. He’s a guy who most wanted off the team, and was nothing more than a pre-season player. Although he hasn’t had a monster game, Smallwood has kept the Eagles running game afloat while Ajayi, Clement, and Sproles have missed time. On Sunday, Smallwood averaged 9 yards a carry and scored a touchdown once again. He accounted for 71 yards on six touches.
2 – Carson Wentz in the second half looked like he was back to his old self. Now three games back from his extended recovery, he makes throws and extends plays with his feet that few can make in the league. Wentz finished with 311 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. When given time, he is dynamic.
3 – Zach Ertz is on pace to have a record year by any tight end. With 10 catches, 110 yards, and a TD in Sunday’s contest, Ertz’s production has been the brightest spot in what has been a dull season so far.
4 – The team didn’t quit. Getting booed out of their own building at halftime, the Eagles toughened up in the second half and made it a game. Although they fell short of victory, they fought to the end with a sense of urgency. Ideally, they need to start faster and work on A LOT OF ISSUES, but at least the effort is still there for 60 minutes.
1 – The Offensive Line has flipped 180° from last season. They provide the quarterback little time to see the field after the snap. In fact, they have given up the second-most hits on their quarterback this season (42) by any team this year. Wentz has been the victim of 34 of those hits through his first three games back.
2 – Say what you want about Jalen Mills, he and the secondary is getting exposed by the lack of the pass rush. What is most frustrating is his antics on the field this week. Some players need to show their swagger to play better (see Odell Beckham Jr.), and Mills is one of those players. Celebrating after a goal-line stand is fine, however, when a leader like Fletcher Cox tries to tells Mills to calm down, Jalen has to not retaliate. It was an awkward exchange, to say the least, mind you the Eagles were down 20-3 after the field goal was converted. (See Video)
3 – Costly turnovers have been an uncharacteristic trait of the Eagles team this year. They consistently won the turnover battle last year, but this season they find themselves giving teams great opportunities while not capitalizing on their own. The Wentz fumble return for a touchdown and Jay Ajayi fumble at the goal line killed major opportunities for the Eagles to get back in the game.
On the other hand, the Eagles offense was handed the ball on the Vikings 30-yard line in the fourth quarter and went backward 10 yards. That missed opportunity led to a punt that the Vikings drove the field with to add a field goal, putting the game out of reach.
4 – Play calling and decision making have not been sharp this year. The Eagles unbalanced attack has led to a rough start for the offense, who has put up just 7 points in total during the first quarter of this season’s games. The Eagles opened up with two 3-and-outs to start the game, running the ball just five times in the first half. A bad challenge cost the team a timeout late in the game. Simply put, the coaches need to step their game up as well, not just the players.
The Birds will have to quickly pull it together as they’ll head up the turnpike for a Thursday Night Football clash with the New York Giants, who fell to 1-4 this afternoon on a last second 60-yard field goal by Graham Gano of the Carolina Panthers. Stay tuned to our social media for all the coverage you need, and tune in to the Birds Informer Podcast at 7:15 live on Facebook every Wednesday.