Five Things We Learned
This team ain’t dead
All week leading up to the game, media and fans criticized the effort of the Eagles during their losing streak. Some of it was warranted, such as Zach Ertz not even trying to block Vontaze Burfict. Some of it wasn’t, such as Fletcher Cox going eight games without a sack when it was clear he was drawing a lot of double teams and Wentz seen as regressing after a hot start. When Doug Pederson defended then criticized his players in the same press conference, it could have been a bad turning point for him and his players. Instead, the Eagles rallied. The players accused of poor play or poor effort had strong games, with Ertz, Cox and Wentz having their best statistical games of the season. They silenced the critics, at least for a week.
Playoff chances are dead though
The Eagles are now 5-8. 8-8 is not going to make the playoffs. It’s play the spoiler (Ravens and Giants are the next two games) and give the young kids an audition from here on out.
Doug Pederson appears to have altered his 4th down approach
In the beginning of the season, Doug Pederson went for it without hesitation on fourth down. In the middle of the season, he inconsistently went for it, either being too timid and possibly costing his team a win against the Cowboys or being really aggressive and costing his team a win over the Giants. He’s improved since then, using his gambling tendency to his advantage. Twice on Sunday he put his offense on the field, didn’t like what he saw and pulled them off and kicked a field goal. And twice they liked what they saw and gained the first down. He also did this against the Falcons a month ago at the end of the game. With Pederson unafraid to go for it, teams have to assume the Eagles aren’t just going out there to try to draw them offsides and then take a timeout, which should increase the chances of them actually jumping. Coaches don’t get a lot of chances to choose to take fourth down attempts, but if this is now Pederson’s approach, it’s a wise one and a sign that he can adapt as a strategist.
Trey Burton can do it all
Special teams stud. Pass catcher. In college, runner and touchdown machine. And now in the pros, emergency long snapper. Like riding a bike. Trey Burton is a “football player”—that guy who can do whatever you ask of him. Get the man more playing time, he’s earned it.
Point some blame at Lane Johnson
Ryan Kerrigan had 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble against the Eagles this year, all against Halapoulivaati Vaitai in his first game, Allen Barbre and Matt Tobin off the bench. What could have been this season if Johnson, who was having a strong season, wasn’t suspended.
Five Things We Re-Learned
Carson Wentz needs help
It’s the same thing every week, and it’s tiresome. Carson Wentz is the best player on offense, and while that’s what you want from your QB, it’s a handicap when that QB is a rookie. A dependable ground game would open up so much for this offense. As would an every down wide receiver who stretch the field, and a stable offensive line. He was nearly flawless and that wasn’t good enough. That’s a huge hurdle for any player, just look at the 5-8 Saints who need a great game from Drew Brees in order to win, let alone a rookie.
Yep, Zach Ertz loves December
10 catches, a season high. 112 yards, a season high. The man loves the holiday season.
Fletcher Cox is a beast
Eagles fans and media know that while Fletcher Cox’s statistical season has been disappointing, he’s been having a really good season that’s gone under the radar from all the double teams he’s drawn. But national media hasn’t paid attention and one of the story lines entering the game was his lack of sacks. 1.5 sacks should put a stop to that.
DeSean Jackson still kills the Eagles
5 games, 20 catches, 440 yards, 2 TDs in his career against the Eagles.
Wonder how that conversation went.
Bennie Logan hates the Redskins
Logan had some after the whistle business he dealt out to the Redskins. This wasn’t the first time we’ve seen that.
He seems to just hate the Redskins.