Alex Kielar | September 23rd, 2019
The title of this article has a double meaning, as the Eagles not only dropped the game, but one the main causes of the loss was a total of seven dropped passes from Carson Wentz. Yes, I said seven. SEVEN. Now let’s get into all the culprits of the heartbreaking 27-24 defeat by the hands of the Lions, as the Eagles now fall to 1-2. Here are five takeaways from yesterday’s loss.
1. Wentz Doing it all himself
As I said in the introduction, the Eagles dropped a total of seven passes from Wentz. He looked like the only player on the offense who wanted to win. He got out of pressure and found open targets with ease, but his receivers let him down. The seven drops came from Nelson Agholor (two), Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, Mack Hollins, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Jordan Howard. This made it look like Wentz’s day wasn’t as good as it really was and could have been. Had the seven drops been caught, he would have completed 26 of 36 passes and thrown for three touchdowns. No blame can be put on Wentz for the loss, he simply didn’t have anyone reliable to throw to.
With under a minute the play, following a key field goal block by Malcolm Jenkins to give the Eagles a shot, Wentz found an open Arcega-Whiteside deep toward the goal line, but it bounced off his hands and fell to the ground. It probably would have led to six and even if it didn’t, it would have given the Eagles a chance to score the game-winner or at least have a chance to tie with seconds left.
2. Ball Security
The Eagles also couldn’t hold onto the ball, as they coughed up three fumbles, and lost two of them which led to Detroit scores. Two were by Miles Sanders, the rookie running back from Penn State, as he lost one of them, and another from Agholor (had two of the drops) when the Eagles looked to be driving. Agholor did have two touchdown catches on the day, but his fumble was pretty much the difference in the game, with the Eagles losing by three. His drops were also pretty key, and he also dropped the potential game-winning touchdown last week at the end of the Eagles loss in Atlanta.
3. Injury Riddled
Coming into the game, the Eagles were down their top two receivers in DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, which didn’t help Wentz. Had they, or one of them, played, the game could have been a different story. There could have been a couple fewer drops, with other receivers not having to be thrown into the mix. Jackson and Jeffrey hope to return in week five against the Jets. The Eagles were also had several injuries during their Super Bowl run in 2017, as they used the “Next Man Up” mentality, so this is hopefully just a setback for the ultimate comeback. As they say, “Sometimes you gotta lose the battles to win the war.”
4. Unreliable on the Run Game
With the injuries in their receiving core, the Eagles should have relied more on their run game, but this wasn’t the case. Howard should have gotten going more, as he came up with his first Eagles touchdown, but only got the ball 11 times, with Sanders getting it 13 times and coughing it up twice. He broke tackles like crazy, and if the Eagles got him going more, this could have opened up more room in the passing game. Howard was traded to Philadelphia this offseason, so the fact he hasn’t gotten too many carries so far is a little bit mind-boggling.
5. Secondary An Issue, as Per Usual
Every single year, we are saying the same thing about the Eagles and their secondary. It always needs improvement, and they get burned more often than not. Jenkins is the leader and one of the few top players in the secondary, as he has been so consistent over the years. Which is often the case every game, the Eagles allowed a 100 yard game from a receiver, this game it was Marvin Jones with 101 yards on six catches and a touchdown.
They allowed for Matthew Stafford to throw for 201 total yards and one touchdown. It such a glaring and obvious issue, as it has been for years. Jalen Ramsey of the Jaguars requested a trade last week, and this would be a huge pickup for the Eagles’ secondary. However, the Jaguars seem more likely to hold onto Ramsey, so the Eagles will just to look at in-house options there and try to improve.
The Eagles have a quick turnaround and don’t have an easy task on Thursday Night against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The secondary will have to be much better as Rodgers is an even more of a deep pass threat and better overall quarterback than Stafford. The Packers are 3-0 and if the Eagles are gonna win they will have to get the run game going much stronger and limit Rodgers in the passing game.
I try to keep a positive attitude, but after yesterday’s game, I don’t know what to expect from them after such a quick turnaround. I see the matchup being a high-scoring and close matchup. Catching passes and not putting the ball on the turf will be very important. Doug Pederson might have to put velcro on all his receivers gloves.
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Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images