Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Lifeless Eagles Offer No Resistance To Superior Saints
Not many expected the Philadelphia Eagles to be able to go out on the road and win on Sunday against the 8-1 Saints. But not many expected them to roll over and die without putting up any kind of fight.
The Eagles were outgained 190 yards to 15 after the first quarter alone. Their offense generated one lousy touchdown. Their defense surrendered nearly 50 points on the day.
This team is such a shell of what they once were. You’d never guess that this was a group that came together and won a Super Bowl back in February.
Jim Schwartz Needs To Be Held Accountable
Once again, I lay a lot of the blame for this team’s failures at two of Doug Pederson’s top coaches.
Jim Schwartz’s pathetic scheme was completely overmatched by Drew Brees and the efficient machine that is the New Orleans’ offense. Whatever the defense worked on this week was completely useless, and a waste of time.
I’ve read a lot of people defending Schwartz, pointing to all of the injuries as the reason this defense can’t offer any type of fight, but the problems run much deeper than that.
Was the Eagles’ defense healthy during the Super Bowl? The one element of the Championship win over the Patriots that no one ever talks about is how poor and ineffective of a gameplan Schwartz had that day for Tom Brady, where the healthy Eagles secondary was completely lit up for over 500 yards.
Imagine if the Eagles had lost that game. Instead of spending six months gushing over Nick Foles and the Philly Special, there would be riots in the streets for Schwartz to lose his job, as that defensive performance could easily have cost the team the title, if Foles and the offense wasn’t in top form.
When the Eagles’ defense was obliterated by journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, was the defense healthy? What about when they coughed up leads to the Titans and Panthers? Did the nonsense ‘picket-fence’ defense fail against the Cowboys because the defense had injuries, or because it was just an absurd playcall that was easily exploitable?
Sure, the injuries make it more difficult. But Schwartz is the real problem, and my concern is that the injuries are going to be enough to give him a pass to keep his job beyond this year.
- This was probably the worst game that Carson Wentz has played as an Eagle. Wentz generated just 156 yards, threw three interceptions with no touchdowns, finishing with an abysmal quarterback rating just over 31. Once the Eagles fell behind, they were forced to abandon the run (again), and Wentz really started pressing to try and create a spark.
- Josh Adams was the long bright spot, averaging over seven yards a carry and scoring the team’s lone score.
- Wendell Smallwood was all but phased out of the running back rotation.
- Golden Tate was the team’s leading receiver, catching five balls for 48 yards. No one else made much of an impact. Zach Ertz was a no-show for the first time all year, catching just two passes for 15 yards. Alshon Jeffery was quiet again with four grabs for 33. Nelson Agholor didn’t catch a pass. Dallas Goedert received just one target.
- I put so much of this offense’s struggles on offensive coordinator Mike Groh. This offense looks so broken, just a shell of what they once were. There’s plenty of talent to work with here, so there should be no reason for this level of inefficiency.
- The defense failed to generate a single sack on Drew Brees.
- The older members of the defensive line, the Brandon Grahams, Chris Longs, and Haloti Ngatas have been so unimpactful this year. This unit needs some fresh, younger blood.
- Fletcher Cox has looked gassed lately. Just hasn’t been nearly as disruptive as he was at the beginning of the season.
- Speaking of unimpactful, where have Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham been hiding most of the season. I don’t think Bradham has made a play since the Vikings game.
- Is Sydney Jones ever going to look a guy that should have gone in the top-10 of the draft? I haven’t been impressed with him as a whole this year.
- I’ve been disappointed with Rasul Douglas, who I thought would perform better with a chance for extended playing time.
- Cameron Johnston’s tackle may have been the only other bright spot besides the play of Josh Adams.
The Eagles are actually staring at the possibility of falling to fourth place next weekend against the New York Giants.
The Giants are actually playing some decent football, having won two straight, and just dropped 38 on the Bucs.
The Eagles have a great deal of work ahead of them if they still have any hope to salvage this season.