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5 Things we learned in the Eagles loss to the Ravens

Class is almost over

Philadelphia Eagles v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The late grind of the Eagles season continues, and once again the Eagles lost for pretty much the same reason they have lost eight other games this season: they have no play makers for Carson Wentz to throw to, so they need a rookie QB to carry them in every game, and that’s just not going to get the job done. As we’ve said before, it’s a lot of the same problems every week, which in a weird way is a good thing because it means the fixes this team needs are clear cut. But that’s not until the offseason, and we’re still in the regular season.

There are few things we learned in a loss that almost wasn’t though...

Doug Pederson is who we thought Chip Kelly was

Remember how we thought Chip Kelly would go for it a lot on fourth down and go for two a bunch, and then after his first game he did neither of these things?

This season the Eagles lead the league in fourth down attempts by a wide margin, and are third in two point attempts (and of teams (5) with at least as many attempts as the Eagles (6), only the Raiders have been more successful).

An Andy Reid disciple is the most aggressive coach in the league. Who would have thought it.

Offensive line can hold their own

Starting two backups, one a rookie who was the fifth choice at his position, and against one of the best defenses in the league, the Eagles offensive line got the job done. They opened up lanes in the running game against the top run defense, and they kept Carson Wentz relatively clean against a good pass rush. Lane Johnson’s suspension really hurt the team earlier in the year, but Jeff Stoutland and his unit have rebounded with solid play the past few weeks.

Coaching staff doesn’t value Bryce Treggs

There’s not much wrong with not trusting an undersized undrafted free agent who wasn’t very productive in college, which is what Bryce Treggs is. But then why dress him to not play him? Treggs played two snaps on Sunday, bringing his total over the last three games to seven snaps. At least he touched the ball once, gaining a first down on a reverse. This offense needs anyone who can move the chains, let alone score, they’re just wasting a game day roster spot with the way they’re using Treggs. Use him or lose him.

A healthy Ryan Mathews is a difference maker

The Eagles had their second best game on the ground this season after their 208 yard demolition of the Falcons, and it was almost entirely because Ryan Mathews had a strong game. As has been the case for his whole career, when he’s healthy, Mathews is a good running back. But the health is a huge caveat. Mathews probably won’t be on the team next year, but there’s a silver lining to be had from his performances when healthy this year: get Wentz an every down back and this offense can be balanced and functional. There should be a few to chose from in this draft.

Rebound in effort wasn’t a one week mirage

Last week the Eagles responded to questions about their effort with a strong game against the Redskins that fell short as injuries piled up. This week they got off to a bad start, but bounced back as the game went on, which was their hallmark of sorts prior to the three games that started the losing streak. It wasn’t perfect, Rodney McLeod in particular had another rough day, and losing is never encouraging, but another close loss after the team battled back gives you some hope that with a good offseason (easier said than done) this team can turn a corner.

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