There’s nothing enjoyable about reviewing the film of a Philadelphia Eagles loss. That’s especially true when that loss comes against a two-win, two-score underdog Miami Dolphins. It’s even more true when the defense gets carved up in embarrassing fashion, for the second time in two years, but journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
How’d Fitzpatrick do it? Exactly like he did last year, with some extra help at the catch-point from DeVante Parker.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. the Eagles (per PFF, weekly ranks)— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) December 2, 2019
Under Pressure: 37.1% (6th)
Time-To-Throw: 2.21 (t-2nd)
Less Than 2.5s: 65.7% (2nd)
Under Pressure: 39.5% (t-10th)
Time-To-Throw: 2.31 (3rd)
Less Than 2.5s: 58.1% (2nd)
*sees one-on-one* pic.twitter.com/XDBbgJW3dl
The Eagles wasted fantastic front four performances from the likes of Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Josh Sweat, and Derek Barnett by not being able to cover in one-on-one situations. With the ball coming out quick, Fitzpatrick exploited miscommunications on the Eagles’ back-end and two corners their either couldn’t run with anybody (Jalen Mills) or play the ball in the air (Ronald Darby). Jim Schwartz tried mixing in coverages that would help like cover 3 cloud, quarters, and cover 2, but anytime Fitzpatrick sensed single coverage it was a massive green light.
Schwartz isn’t without fault at all, but eventually your cornerbacks have to win one-on-one. Darby and Mills showed a clear inability to do so on Sunday and it was the ultimately difference-maker in the upset loss. What does that mean for the future? It’s time to get new cornerbacks. Again.
Regarding the offense, there’s been a lot of carping from the peanut gallery about “balance” lately. What for the bulk of the season has been a team heavily reliant on the run transformed into a pass only offense recently.
Without Jordan Howard, the Eagles have shown to be limited in what they’re willing to do with their running concepts, despite getting improved play from Miles Sanders. How much you want the Eagles to run more largely depends on your overall philosophy, but ultimately you’re asking for more of what was less effective (-.06 EPA per play via run) if you’re arguing for less of what was very effective (+.28 EPA per play via pass).
The passing game got back on track against what is normally an abysmal Dolphins’ pass defense. Carson Wentz had more time in the pocket than in recent weeks, but the film and analytics show too many cases where the Eagles either fail to scheme receiving options open or those receiving options can’t beat their coverage. NextGen Stats ranked Carson Wentz third on the week for aggressiveness (26.1%), showing that a large amount of his throws were of the tight window variety.
Wentz also showed a sped up process on concepts/reads that had been rougher for him in the previous two weeks, where he struggled mightily. A good example of this is his full field read where he identified a bust in the coverage on his final progression, delivering a 15-yard touchdown to Miles Sanders.
The Eagles still left points on the board, whether it be due to missing Nelson Agholor streaking open, Zach Ertz dropping two key balls near or in the end zone, penalties wiping out what looked to be a cake fourth down conversion, or a missed field goal. Too many mistakes by the collective resulted in a solid, but ultimately unfulfilled offensive performance.
We discuss the good, the bad, and the holy heck how did they blow a 94% win probability on The Kist & Solak Show #153! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts? Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!