The Philadelphia Eagles were off Sunday after defeating the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football. But even though it was a day of rest, the team was still impacted. Here’s an Eagles slant to NFL Week 6 action.
1 - Sunday wasn’t very fun
Here we were, thinking Sunday could be a fun day. The Eagles were coming off a big Thursday night win and we had to chance to see some other NFC East teams lose.
But that didn’t happen.
Instead, both of the Eagles’ division rivals won.
Washington defeated the Panthers after Carolina blew a perfectly good game-winning opportunity. Frustrating. With the win, Washington is now back in first place in the NFC East.
The Cowboys also bounced back with a 40-7 blowout win over the Jaguars. Jacksonville didn’t even show up. Dallas is now second in the division standings due to a strength of victory tie-breaker over the Eagles. (If there is a silver lining to the Cowboys’ win, it’s that Jerry Jones is closer to believing Jason Garrett and Dak Prescott as long-term answers for Dallas. That’s delusional thinking and could ultimately benefit the Eagles in the long-run.)
In non-division play, Sunday Night Football featured an entertaining game, at least, but the Patriots won, so that stunk as well. Just not a very fun day of football all around.
2 - The Eagles’ next two opponents suddenly don’t look so great
If you’re an optimist, you can look at the Panthers and Jaguars losses and think: “Man, those teams sure look beatable.”
And perhaps that’s the case.
The Panthers’ offense really struggled early on as Washington jumped out to a 17-0 lead over Carolina. The Panthers ultimately fought back but Cam Newton ultimately blew Carolina’s comeback attempt with some truly terrible throws. I was also not impressed with the game management by Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.
As I said earlier, the Jaguars just failed to showed up for this game. Jacksonville didn’t score until 7:31 remaining in the third quarter. It was 24-7 at that point. Then their next two drives ended with an interception and a fumble. The Eagles will likely see a better defensive effort from the Jaguars than the Cowboys received, but Philadelphia’s defense could easily benefit from a bad Blake Bortles outing. He stinks.
3 - The Eagles’ loss to the Titans is even more frustrating
How the hell did the Eagles lose to the Titans, again?
The Titans scored three offensive touchdowns against the Eagles. Outside of that matchup, the Titans have scored two offensive touchdowns in their other five games COMBINED.
Not a good look for Jim Schwartz’s resume.
4 - The Eagles should thank the Giants for being so dumb
Sam Darnold is showing why the Giants were so dumb to pass on a franchise quarterback at No. 2.
"That stuff is not normal for a kid." -- Dan Orlovsky with a great breakdown of one of Sam Darnold's five touchdown passes over the last two weeks. Tremendous anticipation & ball placement. https://t.co/WTrnEV6FOQ— Evan Silva (@evansilva) October 15, 2018
It’s so great that the Giants are going to be constantly reminded of their mistake since Darnold plays in the same market and home stadium as they do.
And for the people saying that the Giants planned to tank in 2019, that’s just false.
No matter how things get spun, the Giants did not approach this season as a rebuild. Forget the Eli/draft decision. They used all but $2M of their cap. They traded a fourth-round pick for a 27-year-old LB with cap hits > $10M. That’s not how a rebuilding team operates.— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) October 14, 2018
It looks like the Giants will wind up with another top pick that *should* enable them to draft Eli’s successor. But don’t let anyone tell you that was the “plan.” They thought they could win this year. Total miscalculation.— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) October 14, 2018
There’s no guarantee the Giants even get the No. 1 pick. Saquon Barkley could help New York steal a game or two or three and knock New York out of prime draft positioning.
Also, this year’s crop of quarterbacks could turn out to be not as promising as the 2018 class.
The Giants have created a lot of uncertainty at a spot where they could’ve had a promising young franchise quarterback. The Eagles would much rather have to deal with Barkley in their division than Darnold.
5 - Ravens draft pick watch is not going well
The Ravens are now 4-2 after beating Tennessee on Sunday. They’re second in the AFC North. Baltimore has the same record as the division-leading Bengals but Cincinnati has a head-to-head tie-breaker over them.
Heading into this week, Football Outsiders had the Ravens ranked sixth overall in DVOA. They might be even higher in this week’s updating rankings. Baltimore owns the second best point differential in the NFL at +76, which is only two points behind the league-leading Rams at +78.
The point here is that the Ravens are not a bad team. That’s disappointing news for the Eagles, who own Baltimore’s 2019 second-round pick. Barring something unexpected, that pick will likely be in the late-middle of the second round in the best case scenario for Philly. It could easily convey towards the end of the second round.
6 - It’s hard not to be jealous of teams with big play ability
Sometimes you watch other teams and can’t help but feel jealous. For me, that’s looking at these teams who can put up a ton of points with all the explosive weapons they have.
This year’s Rams obviously fit the bill (though they “only” put up 23 in Denver). The Chiefs obviously qualify as well, especially given Tyreek Hill’s insane speed.
It’s not like the Eagles are completely devoid of offensive weapons. But they are lacking an explosive element. Philadelphia ranks 23rd in big play rate this season. It sure doesn’t help that vertical threats like Mike Wallace and Mack Hollins are injured reserve. But in general, there’s just a lack of speed on this team. And the one actually fast guy, Shelton Gibson, can’t even get on the field. Frustrating.
Some of the Eagles’ biggest plays this season have been kind of fluky. Jordan Matthews isn’t regularly going to get open deep like he did against the Titans. He can’t just rely on his defender forgetting to cover him like Malcolm Butler did. The Eagles can’t just hope Nelson Agholor is going to consistently get open on broken plays like he did against the Giants.
It’d be great to see the Eagles add a guy with big play ability prior to the NFL trade deadline. Hard to count on it, though. They might just have to wait it out until Hollins and/or Wallace is ready to return from IR.
In any case, adding speed should be a priority for this team moving forward.