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Philadelphia Eagles v. New Orleans Saints: 14 winners, losers, and I dunnos

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I dunno why winners is in the title. I tried to get rid of it.

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Winners

The New Orleans Saints

BY A LOT!

Doug Pederson

Lest we forget, Doug went 3-0 against Saints HC Sean Payton this year.

In golf, that is.

That’s the reason Philadelphia was wearing their home jerseys in the Superdome when the Saints — decked in their fresh all-white roadies — absolutely whooped ‘em.

Not Doug Pederson

Who lost the football game. BY A LOT!

Jalen Mills

Is there any doubt remaining that Mills will not have a starting job on the outside for Philly in 2019? It’s the last year of his deal, but despite our frustrations with Mills, nobody from the current ranks is rising up to supplant him.

Even if Ronald Darby is retained as a free agent in this offseason, Rasul Douglas has hardly flashed any starting ability in his two games of action in Mills’ absence, and Sidney Jones can’t seem to stay healthy long enough to make a lasting impression.

Philadelphia will be in play for a Round 1 corner — and rightfully so — when the 2019 NFL Draft rolls around — but unless they hit on that pick and retain Darby, Mills ain’t losing his job anytime soon.

Jason Kelce

Speaking of players benefitting from their own absences, today was a stark reminder regarding how stellar of a player Jason Kelce is. Philadelphia’s protections didn’t have a shot with Kelce out, both in terms of full line integrity and simply interior pass protection. A hampered Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, and reserve Stefen Wisniewski spelt trouble for Carson Wentz all game.

Cameron Johnston

He had that one good tackle. Good punter, generally. Great accent. I dunno, I’m going after straws here, guys.

Losers

The Philadelphia Eagles

BY A LOT!

Carson Wentz

This was Carson’s worst game of the season. I know Troy Aikman was peppering the broadcast with notes on Carson’s accuracy from the Dallas game — which wasn’t good — but this game was clearly worse than last Sunday against the Cowboys.

Carson was in full push mood from the moment the Eagles went down early, and you could see him missing easy throws, minimizing YAC, and hanging in the pocket to force downfield attempts when he had escape routes and extension options. He double-pumped a ton and was unable to test man coverage. Just nothing to write home about.

I think this offense and Carson need to mature together — it’s neither the play designer nor executor’s fault, but rather both have to develop. I think Carson could be asked to do more in this offense, and I also think Carson must do better when he’s asked to do more: making post-snap adjustments, improvising and directing the offense, checking out of plays pre-snap. There is no synchronicity at this time.

Doug Pederson

I’m not going to criticize an opening script that saw things like an unblocked TFL, a half-yard short 3rd-down play, and an uncalled defensive holding — especially when the criticisms of Pederson’s scripted plays generally hinges on the claim that “they didn’t work!” which can be explained by a wide variety of agents beyond “the scripted plays must be bad!”

Philadelphia’s first quarter struggles are well-documented and improved scripts would certainly help those; but so would improved execution, defense/special teams, and a bit of momentum. The Eagles have none of that right now.

Pederson gets the L today because his fourth-down unwillingness seems to indicate he didn’t view the Eagles’ offensive possession as desperately as the general observer did: the Eagles needed points. This, coupled with the Golden Tate trade, which also seems a bit lacking in self-awareness, paint a picture of an Eagles coaching staff that at least believes this team could be much better; but isn’t yet acknowledging that they simply aren’t this year.

Howie Roseman

If we’re gonna go for two of the big three, might as well complete the set. It’s tough to find a high impact player from the past three draft classes for Philadelphia besides Carson Wentz. The jury is certainly still out on players like Derek Barnett, Sidney Jones, and Dallas Goedert — but some high-impact youth would give the Eagles a bright spot in a dark season, and we’re left scratching our heads in that regards.

Roseman deserves credit as an excellent trader (the Tate deal notwithstanding) and cap manager, and was put a bit in the woods re: draft capital given the Carson Wentz trade, as well as some other net positive moves. But with Carson Wentz’s second contract looming, it sure would be nice if, say, third-rounder Rasul Douglas could provide quality snaps on a rookie contract; fourth-rounder Donnel Pumphrey could add some juice to a depleted backfield; third-rounder Isaac Seumalo wasn’t the weakest starter on the healthy OL.

Rasul Douglas

Tough ask, to deal with Michael Thomas — nobody in the league is playing better than MT13 right now. Amari Cooper makes for a tough back-to-back, but that’s the nature of the NFL: the WRs are, uh, good. Douglas has gotten toasted as much as many of us expected, but his calling card in college — the interceptions, the playmaking — they haven’t shown up.

And as such, Douglas has been a net negative for an Eagles defense rife with them.

I dunnos

Jim Schwartz

I can’t, and won’t, evaluate a defensive coordinator playing with Corey Graham, Tre Sullivan, DeVante Bausby, Cre’von LeBlanc, and Chandon Sullivan. Just can’t be done.

I don’t think Schwartz is fired after this season, by the way. Who are you replacing him with?

Golden Tate

Tate is objectively a good player. He’s ran some nice routes, run tough with the ball in his hands. I just...don’t know what the plan was! It can’t have been “Take all of Alshon’s short targets, give ‘em to Tate, and don’t give Alshon any new deep targets.” Yet that’s what we’re currently seeing. It can’t have been “We need to run more WR screens.” Yet that’s what we’re seeing.

I’m flummoxed.

I believed that making a trade like this — aggressive, high-risk — was indicative of a clear, measured plan to make it work. I don’t think Philadelphia thought tossing Tate into the offense would magically solve everything on its own, but Tate is currently a target-gobbler — at a low depth, too! — in an effete passing attack. Nothin’ brewin’.