Honestly, I was impressed with Philadelphia’s performance against Sunday. Well, offensively at the very least but definitely not defensively. Philly’s offense is what it was last year late in the season. The reliance on Travis Fulgham, yet lack of Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders is extremely baffling to me.
Also, the lack of balance offensively is concerning to me from a playcalling aspect. How do you expect certain players to play at a certain standard when you overload them or underuse them? It was a hard fought game, and I’m proud of how Philadelphia played. Just a few too many errors ultimately led to their downfall.
There’s two things Philadelphia thrives at every season it seems like:
1) Injuries are our best friend. Every season the Injury list somehow gets worse and worse. Some of that is age, but some of it is bad luck, too. Like Jalen Reagor stayed healthy all 4 years at TCU, but gets hurt with Philly. That’s just one of a few examples. This is with Philly changing their training staff throughout the last few seasons, too.
2) Finding gems, such as Practice Squad guys, guys Greg Ward, Boston Scott, and Travis Fulgham are just a few recent examples. Fulgham had 10 receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown in this game on 13 targets. Fulgham has not only earned himself a roster spot, but a role in this offense moving forward. He has the ability to take on the Alshon Jeffery role of the offense in the future.
Okay, Carson Wentz played one of the best defenses in the NFL, and he played fairly well I thought, at least when targeting Fulgham. He keeps throwing interception after interception, though. Below I’ll discuss this more in depth, but the playcalling has to be better for Wentz to succeed. The offense cannot be as pass-heavy as it currently is, with limited involvement for Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders. They need to utilize Wentz’s mobility more like they did against San Francisco.
Playcalling on both sides of the ball was questionable. For example, Doug Pederson went for 2 after Philly scored earlier in the game, but when Philly scored to make it 31-28, he elected for an extra point when another conversion would have meant 31-30. This would’ve guaranteed a one score game had Pittsburgh scored a touchdown plus extra point, like they did. Speaking of that, how does Jon Schwartz assign LB Nathan Gerry to cover Chase Claypool in the slot when he single-handedly destroyed Philly throughout the entire game. Not only that, but this occurred on a 3rd and 8 with about 2 minutes left, when Philadelphia was in a favorable position to get a stop and force a field goal. After a great Week 4 perfomance, this one was a letdown.
The offense looked rather impressive in my opinion, considering the amount of injuries this team has sustained. However, the defense is going to have to keep teams from scoring every time they touch the ball if they want to win games. 29 points is generally a winning amount, not a losing one. It doesn’t get any easier this week either, when the Eagles travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens. As long as the Eagles can contain the run and force Lamar Jackson to win the game through the air, then I like Philly’s chances to make the game competitive. I would not expect a win, though. Baltimore also has a phenomenal defense on top of their potent, high-scoring, run-heavy offensive attack.
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