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Eagles News: Jonathan Gannon took too long to get aggressive

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/15/22.

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Washington Commanders v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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2022 NFL season, Week 10: What We Learned from Commanders’ win over Eagles on Monday night -
Philadelphia’s defensive hesitancy burns the Eagles. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is going to want to use this tape as a teaching tool for himself. The Eagles avoided dialing up blitzes in the first half, trusting their front four to generate pressure organically, which allowed both phases of Washington’s offense to find just enough success to keep drives moving. Instead of getting aggressive with the intention of forcing Taylor Heinicke to make mistakes, the Eagles opted to play coverage, and it gave Washington just enough space to pick up tough yards on the ground and allow Heinicke to find open targets downfield. Throughout the first two quarters, Washington receivers appeared to be constantly open on key downs, and it showed in the Commanders’ 20-14 lead. Gannon eventually became more aggressive, boosting the Eagles’ blitz rate from 22.7% in the first half to 50 in the second, but the timing didn’t favor the Eagles and their comeback hopes. Instead of operating with a killer instinct, Philadelphia gave Washington too much room to operate, and the Commanders fully capitalized.

Undefeated No More - Iggles Blitz
Gannon did make some adjustments at halftime. The Eagles only gave up 95 yards and 6 points in the second half. Still, you can’t have a half of football like the Eagles did in the first half. That was brutal. Gannon has to change his personnel or call things more aggressively. He’s always going to be conservative because that’s his nature. I’m fine with that. But when you can’t get the other team off the field, something has to change. The defense could have used some help from the offense, but they didn’t get it in the second quarter. The Eagles normally own that period, but only had 7 plays for 25 yards. They kept putting the defense right back on the field. This was a team loss. And you know they say when it rains, it pours. Not only did the Eagles play poorly, they had some tough breaks with the officials. The refs missed a blatant facemask penalty on a play where Dallas Goedert fumbled to end a promising drive. Instead of the Eagles having the ball at midfield, Washington had it in FG range.

5 reasons to still feel great after the Eagles’ first loss of the season - BGN
The Hurts interception came on a perfect throw to a double-covered A.J. Brown, who has made similar catches during the first half of the season. However, after rolling his ankle early in the game, Brown clearly was not the same player, and had the ball taken away from him as he fell to the ground. Nice play by the Commanders, and unlucky for the Birds. The two lost fumbles were especially frustrating. Dallas Goedert’s fourth quarter fumble with the team trailing 26-21 only occurred because his facemask was being yanked off his helmet by a Washington defender. It was blatant, and yet it was not called. Goedert fumbled as a result, right into the arms of a second Commanders defender. Scoring drive halted. Quez Watkins’ fumble was even more heart-breaking. After a gorgeous 50-yard reception from Hurts and stumbling to the ground after hauling it in, Watkins was stripped from behind on a really nice hustle play by Benjamin St. Juste. Devonta Smith nearly dove on the ball far downfield, but it was picked up by Washington for the play of the game. Scoring drive halted. If the Watkins play is done over again 100 times, he hauls it in and is down inside the 25 yard line 99 times, and the Birds go on to pull away. On this night, in all three instances, the turnover luck that had gone the Eagles’ direction through their first eight games went against them. It just wasn’t their night.

BGN Instant Reaction Show: Eagles-Commanders, Week 10 - BGN Radio
Jess and Shane break down the weird Monday Night that was in their recap of the Eagles upset loss to the Commanders.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Commanders game - PhillyVoice
3) The ‘Right Thing To Blame’ Award ️: The Eagles’ third down defense. Of course, once the Eagles got the Commanders into third-down situations, they could not close. The Commanders finished 12 of 21 on third down on the night, at one point during the game they were 12 of 16. The Eagles’ defense was often passive on those third-down conversions, as the corners played a lot of off coverage, and it felt like Jonathan Gannon rarely sent blitzes. They waited for Taylor Heinicke to make mistakes, which he eventually did, but after a lot of the damage was already done. Terry McLaurin abused the Eagles in high-leverage situations, catching 8 passes for 128 yards.

Roob’s Obs: Problems in trenches, Sirianni’s mistakes, and more - NBCSP
8. Fletcher Cox has had a fabulous career and got off to a pretty hot start this year, but he’s really faded the last few weeks and we’re just not seeing much at all in the way of playmaking, run defense or pass pressure from the six-time Pro Bowler. Cox worked hard this offseason to bounce back after a lackluster 2021 season, and for a while he looked rejuvenated. But not lately. He really got pushed around Monday night, and it was tough to watch. Javon Hargrave is very good, but Marlon Tuipulotu and Milton Williams, the young depth guys, just aren’t giving the Eagles a whole lot, and what we thought would be a position of strength hasn’t been.

Eagles undone by ‘uncharacteristic mistakes’ in turnover-laced first loss of season - The Athletic
“Very uncharacteristic mistakes,” quarterback Jalen Hurts said. Each turnover told its own story. Excluding the end-of-game turnover, there was an interception by Hurts on a deep pass to A.J. Brown in the second quarter; a fumble by Dallas Goedert while he was yanked to the ground by his face mask in the fourth quarter; and a fumble by Quez Watkins after a big gain on the next drive. Start with the Watkins fumble, because that’s the one that was most problematic. The Eagles trailed by five points with the clock dipping under six minutes when Hurts found Watkins deep downfield for 50 yards. Watkins wasn’t touched when he rolled to the ground at the Commanders’ 25-yard line, so he popped to his feet and tried running for extra yards. Except he didn’t grasp the ball as securely as the signs in the auditorium suggested. “Honestly, I was just trying to make a play,” Watkins said. “I know I didn’t get touched and I knew I had left him behind, so I just wanted to get up and get some extra yards. Honestly, I didn’t have good ball security. It is always taught and I didn’t have it and it cost us.”

NFL Week 10 takeaways: Lessons, big questions for every game - ESPN
What to know: The Eagles were on the wrong end of at least one critical call — a clear facemask on tight end Dallas Goedert factored into a game-changing fumble — but they were too sloppy in their play and saw their undefeated streak come to an end. Philadelphia turned the ball over four times, marking the first time this season they didn’t win the turnover battle. How big of an issue is the run defense? The Eagles’ rush defense continues to be a problem in the absence of rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who is on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain. The Commanders rushed 29 times for 100 yards in the first half alone, gobbling up 23:49 in time of possession in the process. Philadelphia’s 6:11 on possession was its shortest since Week 6 of 2001 against the New York Giants and the lowest by any team in the first half of a game in the last five seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. They need to get things corrected quick with Jonathan Taylor and the Colts on deck.

Eagles’ A.J. Brown makes a promise after ‘humbling’ loss to Commanders -
“I don’t want to make any excuses,” Brown said. “They played better than us. That happens sometimes. It’s all about how you respond. I know there are some guys with long faces, but me, personally, of course I want to win, but now all of that 17-0 (crap) is over with. It’s time to wake up. “How are you going to respond? Sometimes you get hit in the mouth. How are you going to respond? I hope we get back up and start fighting back, and I feel like we will. We have good teammates in this locker room, a lot of vets. I had one catch for seven yards. That (crap) is a part of it. How are you going to respond? I know how I’m going to respond.”

Spadaro: Eagles stray from winning formula in ‘eye-opening’ first loss -
Washington executed a ground-based, keep-the-Eagles-offense-on-the-sidelines strategy following the early Eagles’ takeaway and touchdown, sticking to the running game and mixing in some play-action passing and giving the offense makeable third downs. In running 51 offensive plays in the first half, Washington converted 9 of 12 third downs, ran for 100 yards on 29 carries, and, other than the first possession, gave quarterback Taylor Heinicke time to complete 12 of 21 passes for 145 yards, with 6 of those completions and 76 of those yards to wide receiver Terry McLaurin (he finished with 8 catches for 128 yards on 11 targets) to lead 20-14 at the half. In its lone third quarter possession and its fifth straight scoring drive, Washington drove 71 yards on 14 plays, consuming 8 minutes, 23 seconds off the clock, to up the advantage to 23-14. This is the formula, and the Eagles know it: Run, run, run, and then use play-action passing. Get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quickly. Try not to turn the ball over – Heinicke had one interception but otherwise kept it simple on a 17-of-29 night on which he passed for 211 yards. “That’s what teams are going to do,” defensive end Brandon Graham said. “They are going to run until we stop it. We’ve got to fix our issues. It ain’t about nobody else but us. People can run all they want to run but we have to do our part, too.”

Dak Prescott Paying Off in Fantasy Football - Football Outsiders
Philadelphia Eagles: It was always unlikely that the Eagles could go undefeated through the regular season, despite having such an easy schedule on their side. In previous weeks we have wondered whether the Eagles can be pushed enough to hit their fantasy ceilings, and it was a little disappointing to see Miles Sanders finish outside the top 30 running backs, both A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith outside the top 30 wide receivers, and Dallas Goedert as the TE15 on the week. Jalen Hurts hasn’t rushed for more than 28 rushing yards in four straight games, and whilst he’s still scoring over 20 fantasy points a week, the floor is lowered slightly when he doesn’t reach 50 or more. In Week 11 the Eagles play the Colts, who defend the run better than the pass, so it might set up well for the pass-catchers to get back on track. The Colts rank 29th against WR1s, which is good news for Brown, coming off a season-low in targets (four), receptions (one), and yards (7) and a disappointing 1.7 fantasy points.

The Commanders stun the Eagles, and both teams are left with some questions to answer - SB Nation
As for the Eagles, the biggest question might be this: They faced their first true test of adversity, and could not complete the comeback. How do they respond? Philadelphia still has a favorable schedule over the next few weeks. They take on the Jeff Saturday-led Indianapolis Colts next weekend, and the Green Bay Packers the weekend after that. But the next four games after those might tell us whether the Eagles really are the team we thought they were, or if their start was more of a mirage. Because their four games in December are a home date with the Tennessee Titans — and the idea of Derrick Henry against the Philadelphia run defense might cause some Eagles’ fans heartburn, especially if Jordan Davis is not back in the lineup — and then three-straight road games against the New York Giants, the Chicago Bears, and the Dallas Cowboys. That could be a tough, and a physical, stretch of football.

Commanders dominate clock, scoreboard and box scores in Monday night victory over previously unbeaten Eagles - Hogs Haven
Washington sits a half-game behind the Niners at 5-5. It is worth noting that the two teams will play one another in Week 16. Washington holds a lead in both win-loss and head-to-head tie-breakers with the Bears and Packers, and will play the Falcons in Week 12.

Dallas Cowboys Playoffs Tracker: What the Philadelphia Eagles loss means for state of the NFC East - Blogging The Boys
While the Cowboys enter Week 11 in third place behind the Eagles and New York Giants, they will see the G-Men next Thursday for a chance to sweep them on the season. What’s more is that a win against the Giants keeps the Cowboys with only one loss in the division with the loss in question happening in Philadelphia. With the Eagles now having lost to a non-Cowboys team within the division, if Dallas is able to beat them on Christmas Eve they will have the upper hand as far as the divisional tiebreaker is concerned. More simply, the Cowboys only need the Eagles to lose one more game for Dallas to completely control their own fate against them. Seeing as how the Eagles still have to play the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants twice, and the Tennessee Titans, it is very possible that they drop another. All of that is only good if the Cowboys can get back on the winning track and don’t drop games along the way. It is always a good day when the Eagle lose. That day has finally come this season.

Giants-Texans ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review: Plenty of heroes for 7-2 Giants - Big Blue View
Saquon Barkley — Sunday was not flashy Saquon. This was workman-like, get the job done Saquon. I’m not sure Barkley would have a game like this back in 2018 when it was home run or bust. Remember that criticism that Barkley didn’t get north and south often enough and that he didn’t even really know how to play running back? He has made that look silly all season, never more than he did against the Texans. It’s fun watching Barkley break big runs and make defenders tackle nothing but air. Personally, though, I have even more of an appreciation for what he did Sunday, shouldering the load with a career-high 35 carries for 152 yards. Darius Slayton — Slayton’s 54-yard catch-and-run touchdown, taking advantage of a missed tackle and then using speed and determination to get into the end zone, was a play that finally gave the Giants a bit of much-needed breathing room. He finished with three catches for 95 yards. Slayton now has 19 receptions for a team-leading 327 yards, despite not making his first catch until Week 4.

Report: Zach Ertz suffered season-ending knee injury - PFT
Ertz had to exit the contest in the first quarter after making a 12-yard catch over the middle. Ertz was visibly distraught as he made his way to the sideline and the locker room. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that Ertz’s ACL was intact. But apparently, the tight end’s knee injury was still severe enough to sideline him for the rest of 2022. [BLG Note: Tough break for an Eagles legend.]

Monday Football Monday #114: Vikings OT win over the Bills + NFL Week 10 action recap - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney share their thoughts on the absolutely bananas Week 10 contest between the Vikings and the Bills. We’re joined by Christopher Gates from the Daily Norseman to discuss the 8-1 Vikings. After that, we recap the rest of the action from Week 10 of the NFL season.


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