Here are some thoughts from the game in podcast form:
And here are some more thoughts from the game in blog form.
1 - Doug Pederson lied
The Eagles did not go down to Dallas and beat the Cowboys.
Two weeks in a row where the Eagles showed some bravado before the game and they didn’t back it up ... at all.
Really just adds to the embarrassment.
2 - The Eagles showed up incredibly small in an incredibly big spot
This was the biggest game of the entire 2019 NFL season in terms of playoff leverage. Here’s what was at stake:
In the weekly Football Outsiders playoff simulation, the Eagles make the postseason 79% of the time when they win this game but only 41% of the time if they lose. The Cowboys make the postseason 63% of the time in simulations where they win this game but only 25% of the time if they lose.
The Eagles are now down to 41% while the Cowboys are at 63%. It’s not an insurmountable lead. In theory, at least. But the Eagles could’ve made it so much easier on themselves and they didn’t. Huge missed opportunity.
If they can’t get up for THIS game ... a high-stakes matchup against a divisional rival on national television ... what game can they get up for?
The Eagles are now 0-4 in their last four matchups against the Cowboys, by the way. The streak could reach 0-5 if they don’t figure out how to beat Dallas later this season.
3 - This was a complete team loss
The most disheartening part about this Eagles loss is that it’s not like there was one thing that went wrong. No simple fixes here. The Eagles failed at every level on Sunday evening.
COACHING - It sucked. The Eagles got off to ANOTHER slow start. Just didn’t look ready to play, once again. Dallas Goedert fumble. Lane Johnson failing to hold up against DeMarcus Lawrence and allowing Carson Wentz to get strip-sacked. Already down 14-0 with 8:56 remaining in the first quarter. The sequence where the Eagles defense forced a stop and the offense had the ball down 14 to 7 with a chance to tie was so frustrating. Doug Pederson called three straight runs instead of giving Carson Wentz — who had just looked good on the Eagles’ first touchdown drive — a chance to throw the ball. Defensively, Jim Schwartz’s unit continues to struggle in a big way. The Eagles have allowed 75 points over the last two weeks.
The Eagles are the only team in the NFL to allow 20+ points in the first half in 5 games.— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) October 21, 2019
First half points allowed by the Eagles defense, by week:
Week 1: 20
Week 2: 10
Week 3: 20
Week 4: 20
Week 5: 0*
Week 6: 24
Week 7: 27
*vs Luke Falk
OFFENSE - Wentz failed to get much help, which has been par for the course, but he wasn’t at his best regardless. It was a huge game and the Eagles needed more from No. 11. Jordan Howard continues to be a rare bright spot but it’s not like he’s not a dynamic threat. Pederson said Miles Sanders missed the hole on the 3rd-and-4 on when the Eagles were down just 14 to 7.
The wide receivers are giving this team nothing. Nelson Agholor is getting paid like one of the league’s best receivers to perform like one of the league’s worst.
Last four Eagles games— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 21, 2019
Alshon Jeffery: 230 snaps, 21 recs, 204 yards (9.7 average), 2 TD
Nelson Agholor: 230 snaps, 7 recs, 86 yards (12.3 average), 0 TD, 1 fumble
Mack Hollins: 139 snaps, 1 recs, 13 yards, 0 TD
JJ Arcega-Whiteside: 25 snaps, 0 recs, 0 yards, 0 TD
The guy cannot track a deep ball to save his life.
One more time...WTH!?!?!?? pic.twitter.com/AYJjeQ84RH— Marc Farzetta (@MarcFarzetta) October 21, 2019
According to PFF, Nelson Agholor has caught the lowest percentage of catchable deep balls out of any wide receiver in the league (20%). Free agent after 2019.— Cody Swartz (@cbswartz5) October 21, 2019
Goedert’s fumble was a killer. Zach Ertz wasn’t really involved until the game was out of reach. The offensive line wasn’t great as Wentz had to deal with a lot of pressure. Andre Dillard had some predictable rookie struggles but it wasn’t like that was the only weak spot.
DEFENSE - We already knew this team can’t defend the pass. Now they can’t defend the run, either. Dallas had 36 rushing attempts for 189 yards (5.25 average) and three scores. The tackling was truly awful across the board. Or, as Nathan Gerry more aptly described it: “shitty.” The pass rush did manage to sack Dak Prescott three times and hit him four times but it wasn’t good enough as he often had plenty of time to throw down the field.
SPECIAL TEAMS - Sanders made a dumb decision to take the ball out of the end zone to set the Eagles up as their own 13 instead of their 25 early in the game. Rudy Ford committed an unnecessary special teams penalty for the second week in a row that only served to hurt the Eagles’ field positioning.
FRONT OFFICE - We thought this was one of the most talented rosters in the NFL but that clearly just isn’t the case. The lack of talent on this squad is now much more apparent. Too many aging, ineffective players and not enough young studs. 2019 second-round pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside can’t get on the field while the other wide receivers are struggling to produce. As we wrote about last week, Howie Roseman has built a very slow, plodding offense. Defensively, 2017 second-round pick Sidney Jones has clearly lost the trust of the coaching staff as he was behind even Craig James on the depth chart.
So, Sidney Jones is the Eagles’ sixth cornerback once Ronald Darby is healthy enough to play.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 21, 2019
Mills, Darby, Douglas, Scandrick (street free agent signing), and James (practice squad call up) all ahead of the 2017 second-round pick.
LEADERSHIP - No sense of urgency. No resiliency. After the game, Johnson talked about some players have been late to weekly meetings and letting things slide. The team wasn’t focused ahead of a critical game. Alarming.
The question on my mind is: what’s one positive thing that this Eagles team does well?
4 - The Eagles shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking they’re one piece away
The Eagles shouldn’t be trading draft picks away for rental players (see: last year’s Golden Tate deal). If Roseman can swing a trade for a long-term piece ahead of the 2019 NFL trade deadline, sure, go for it. But the Eagles shouldn’t be going all in on this season. There are too many issues for one in-season trade to fix.
This isn’t to say the Eagles need to be sellers prior to the trade deadline, though, that feeling could shift if they drop to 3-5 ahead of Tuesday, October 29.
5 - The Eagles need to beat the Bills
The Eagles travel to Buffalo for the third and final game on their three game road trip. The Bills are 5-1. Their offense isn’t overly threatening at first glance but John Brown could easily find a way to torch this secondary. Buffalo’s defense under Sean McDermott, meanwhile, is one tough nut to crack.
How the Eagles respond to what’s arguably the worst loss of the Pederson era will be very telling. Doug’s teams have bounced back from ugly losses in the past.
Will they do it again?
Or is this year really going to end up being a disaster?