The Atlanta Falcons
Despite Matt Ryan’s best efforts
I want to take a God-awful first half and put it to the side — not forget about it, but make it an ancillary point. Because, after such a terrible display, for Wentz to come out in hostile territory with a depleted receiving corps and a struggling offensive line and just gut out, play after play after play, he deserves commendation.
Wentz was as Philly as Philly gets and as North Dakota as North Dakota gets last night. He was red in the face and frustrated with his struggles. He was a titan against pressure and never said die, not once, no sir. There was a lot packed into that touchdown spike when the Eagles took the lead, and I will remember that as the main takeaway of this weird, deflating loss: Wentz’s resiliency shined.
Is back and healthy? Hollins looked better on Sunday night than we’ve seen him look in years, in that he was, you know, playing and stuff.
Excited for Jalen Mills to come back?!
The Philadelphia Eagles
Despite Carson Wentz’s best efforts
That man really struggled on Sunday night — and I’m a Ryan supporter, so this one guts me a bit. Ryan missed multiple touchdown throws — don’t worry; Ronald Darby got him back pretty quickly — and threw two interceptions in the face of pressure before his true magnum opus: the worst INT I have ever seen to Nate Gerry at the goal line.
As QBs go, teams go, and Ryan has looked shaky to start the year for a talented Falcons team. That OL could use some help.
Eagles pass rush
This is a two-fold loser, as it seems Timmy Jernigan broke his foot and will be out, if not for the entire season, then for a decent period of time. Given the Malik Jackson injury earlier, the Eagles are really lacking for push opposite Fletcher Cox at the DT position.
But even with a healthy Jernigan in the first quarter, the Eagles’ front-four again faced an offensive line that they measured up to nicely on paper; and again, they were quiet early. The dichotomy between pass-rush and coverage, in regards to time to throw/time in pocket, still warrants consideration. But the Eagles could use more quick one-on-one wins from their top rushers.
I wrote a while ago on here that I didn’t think Agholor’s game was worth the $9.4M spent to retain him, though I understood why the decision was made. That said, it’s tough to watch a game in which Agholor was the only remaining starting wide receiver, and failed in such a crucial opportunity late.
September 16, 2019
Agholor did get a make-up catch on a 4th and 14 prayer, and has largely responded well to a horrible beginning of his career in terms of dropped passes. Every WR drops passes, but few do it so egregiously in such key scenarios, and it serves as a reminder of Agholor’s inconsistency as the Eagles’ WR3.
The rule book
If you’ve followed the pod or my work, you know I’m not much one for complaining about refs — it’s more interesting and productive to discuss the rules the refs are enforcing. In this case, the idea that a player diving headfirst is “giving himself up” is fascinatingly unaware of typical plays in goal line situations, where players often dive for the line to gain.
In #PHIvsATL, Philadelphia QB Carson Wentz was ruled short of the goal line, here’s why: pic.twitter.com/6XsrJzOEwr— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) September 16, 2019
Furthermore, if the headfirst dive is being characterized as a “giving yourself up” play, then it seems logical to follow that unnecessary roughness would be called for the hit on Wentz at the goal line. Had it been a foot-first slide, it certainly would have been.
I think the referees on the field called the play correctly, given the information the league has given about the context. I just think the context makes no sense. Keep it in mind that a successful 2-pt try puts the Eagles at 14-17, which puts their subsequent lead at 21-17, which puts the Falcons subsequent lead at 24-21, which means the Eagles — who lost the game trying to score a TD in field goal range — could have tied the game with a field goal attempt.
The worst part about Zach Ertz’s mistake is that he knows how boneheaded it was.
The Tide commercial
What in the name of righteousness was that
Eagles medical staff
The Eagles had three players get injured in pregame warmups. Four total players were pulled into the concussion protocol. Jernigan and Clement both went down with injury for the second season in a row.
I don’t know anything about how a medical staff is organized, how it does what it does, what the review process is. I even believe things like the concussion protocol insistence for players like Jones and Agholor was a good sign — though again, I don’t even know who instigated the reviews.
Injuries happen, and last night was highly weird. But I’m not positive how much blame to assign to the Eagles’ medical staff, because I have no information at all outside of what I saw with my own eyes last night. So I’m reserving judgement for now.