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Eagles News: The Eagles are in trouble

That changed real fast.

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Eagles news and notes for 10/17

Brookover: Suddenly, the Eagles are in trouble - Inquirer

Though the final score says the Eagles were in the game until the end, the naked eye told a different story. Start with the fact that the Eagles gave up 230 rushing yards, which means they were beaten badly up front by Washington.

The offense, meanwhile, discovered how important a stud right tackle can be. Playing for the first time without the suspended Lane Johnson, the Eagles were held to a season-low 239 yards and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz was pressured early and often. Wentz completed just 11 of 22 passes for 179 yards and was sacked five times.

Scariest of all for the Eagles is the upcoming schedule. The NFL's only remaining unbeaten team comes to Lincoln Financial Field next Sunday and that's after Sam Bradford and the Minnesota Vikings have had a week off to rest.

That is followed by a trip to Texas for another divisional game against the Dallas Cowboys, who entered this week as the top rushing team in the NFL. Two weeks after that the Atlanta Falcons' high-powered offensive attack comes to town and that's followed by a trip to Seattle. The 3-0 start could turn into a losing record quickly if the Eagles do not get their act together.

Eight Things We Learned From Philadelphia’s Loss - Birds 24/7

5 – Carson Wentz needs more help

This was Wentz’s worst game of the season. The rookie quarterback only completed 11 of 22 attempts for 179 yards, zero touchdowns, and a 77.7 passer rating.

On a number of plays, Wentz struggled to make accurate passes. A number of his attempts were thrown high. This is an issue that was apparent during spring practices and training camp. Wentz also held on to the ball too long on a few occasions.

Wentz wasn’t a total disaster in this game, though. He still flashed some special ability. His amazing scramble and completion to Dorial Green-Beckham was impressive despite the fact the play got wiped out by a questionable block in the back penalty. Wentz’s deep pass to Jordan Matthews was right on the money for a 54-yard gain.

The Eagles can’t expect their 23-year-old passer to carry the offense every game. The rookie needs more help. Wentz got sacked five times. He had to deal with a number of drops yet again. Philadelphia only averaged 4.5 rushing yards against a Washington defense that had allowed a league-worst 5.1 per attempt heading into Week 6.

Getting Wentz better protection and better offensive weapons needs to be a long-term priority for the Birds.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Redskins game - PhillyVoice

The Andy Reid Award for Non-Excellence in Time Management: Doug Pederson

After Carson Wentz was sacked late in the fourth quarter, setting up a 4th and 24 with the clock ticking down, the Eagles called timeout, only to punt.

"Wanted to save the time," said Pederson. "We had discussed it prior to the play. If something negative had happened we were going to use the timeout, save the time. We'd have gotten the ball back with around 48, 49 seconds back and had a chance at the end."

Well, yeah, but if you rushed the punt team out there, punted, stopped the Redskins on three straight plays using all three of your timeouts at that time, you would have had more than 48 or 49 seconds.

Of course, the time management point became moot once the Eagles couldn't stop the Redskins from running it down their throats, as noted above.

Another loss and concerns for Eagles -

A seven-point halftime deficit felt a lot worse for an Eagles defense that gave up 285 total net yards, 17 first downs and 5-of-7 third-down conversions to a Washington offense that was almost perfect. A half later, it was a lot worse for the Eagles on a Sunday when they fell, 27-20, to Washington at FedEx Field.

“I think everybody kind of has their hand in this one. We didn’t deserve this one,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “It’s a high level of frustration. It would be different if we were just not good enough or if we didn’t feel like we were talented enough to win, but we feel like we’ve got guys. Everybody is taking turns blowing their assignments or just getting beat or with penalties. When you’re not making those plays, it’s very frustrating.”

It was a tough way to open the NFC East portion of the schedule, and the loss continued a dreary three-year run at FedEx Field, where the Eagles have lost three straight games. Two big plays – a Wendell Smallwood 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a Malcolm Jenkins interception and 64-yard return for a score that tied the game at 14-14 in second quarter kept it close for a bit, but Washington continued its offensive onslaught, driving 75 yards on 13 plays to score a touchdown at the end of the first half and then putting together a 12-play, 65-yard drive for three points to open the second half.

Jim Schwartz’s defense, so great after three dominating performances as the Eagles opened the season 3-0, has struggled since the bye week. Philadelphia allowed three successive touchdown drives in the first half in a loss to Detroit, but recovered to suffocate the Lions in the second half.

There was no such bounce back on Sunday against Washington.

Eagles’ Vaitai off to a bad start - Daily News

A HALF HOUR after the sweet merciful sound of the final gun, Halapoulivaati Vaitai was once again alone on an island, trapped inside a small circle of space that had been afforded to him by a crowd of reporters who had gathered at his locker to hear the first-person account of the manhandling that all of them had witnessed. He was wearing a black T-shirt with his number on the back and a personalized moniker above it: THE QUIET ONE, it said.

Quiet or not, there were no words, and everybody seemed to understand it. Rookies who last until the fifth round aren't typically asked to step right out of a college spread offense and into a 1-on-1 matchup with a grown man of a pass rusher the way the Eagles asked Vaitai to do on Sunday against the Redskins' Ryan Kerrigan. As expected, he'd spent much of the afternoon stumbling backward, trapped in a sort of inverted undertow created by the relentless bull rush of Kerrigan, a defensive end who tallied two of his team's five sacks while working opposite Vaitai. During the massacre, Eagles coach Doug Pederson did everything he could to limit Vaitai's exposure. Afterward, he transitioned directly into the delicate process of rebuilding the kid's confidence, insisting that he had not and would not consider looking elsewhere to fill the gaping void created by Lane Johnson's 10-game suspension.

But there is no way anybody could have watched the game and come away with a conclusion other than this: The Eagles have a huge problem at right tackle, and they'll have a huge problem on the scoreboard until they find a fix.

Bad Day - Iggles Blitz

The Eagles lost to the Skins 27-20 in game that should not have been that close. WAS dominated the line of scrimmage, rushing for 230 yards and keeping Kirk Cousins from being sacked even once. There will be a lot of talk about penalties. There will be lots of discussion about the poor play of Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The bottom line is that the Eagles overall OL and DL did not get the job done, and the supporting players didn’t help them out.

If there is a positive to take from this mess, it is the fact that the Eagles got handled but still found a way to stay within one possession. Normally it feels like the Eagles are the team that dominates someone and lets the other team hang around. For 2 weeks in a row, the Eagles clawed their way back into a game, but just couldn’t overcome double-digit deficit in the 2nd half.

Plenty of people are ripping Doug Pederson. He punted the ball on 4th/24 late in the game instead of going for it. I have no problem with what he did there. The Skins had just swarmed all over Carson Wentz for the past couple of plays. He was affected by the rush at that point. The OL was really struggling on that sequence. The idea that they are going to block well, he’s going to be patient and then make an accurate throw to convert on 4th/24 is a real longshot. Pederson counted on his defense making the stop on the ensuing series, which they did not.

The Eagles are a good team, but they do not have elite talent. This team cannot win games when they are making so many costly mistakes.

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