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October 15, 2023

What went wrong: Sloppy tackling and stagnant offense cost Eagles in loss to Jets

Lane Johnson's hurt, the secondary couldn't tackle, and the Eagles' offense stalled out and got shut out in the second half.

The Eagles finally lost, and it came by way of an upset to the Jets, 20-14, up in the Meadowlands. 

It was equal parts weird, frustrating, and baffling, but a loss regardless now. 

The Eagles are 5-1 with some notable problems to figure out.

Here's what went wrong...

Banged up

Starting with a potentially major problem for the immediate future: Lane Johnson went down in the first quarter, limped off to the blue medical tent, then was ruled questionable and later out entirely with an ankle injury.

The possibility of going without the best right tackle in the NFL (for any amount of time) is a huge concern going forward – especially since Cam Jurgens as the starting right guard is already out with injury too – but it's something we're just going to have wait to learn more about in the coming days.

The injuries go beyond Johnson as well.

Here's the full list of starters injured now after Sunday's game:

But as for what happened immediately after: Jack Driscoll filled in, the protection wasn't the same, there didn't seem to be any adjustment to account for it, and the offense on the whole suffered, going on to completely stall out in the second half (more on that below).

Sloppy Secondary

The middle of the field for the Eagles' defense has been suspect for a while now, and on Sunday, those issues covering it finally caught up to them.

Zach Wilson, Breece Hall, and Garrett Wilson were able to exploit a linebacker and safety corps that struggled, made worse by some sloppy tackling on the Eagles' part that allowed Hall and Wilson to make those second and third efforts for those few extra yards.

The Jets never truly burnt the Eagles' defense – and didn't score a touchdown until Hall's run after that late fourth-quarter interception (more on that in a second) – but they kept drives alive long enough to keep the unit on the field and got close enough consistently enough for Greg Zuerlein to keep converting on field goals.

Nine times out of 10, that probably doesn't get you by in this kind of matchup. But Sunday was that 10th time. The Eagles' offense stalled out completely in the second half, which let the Jets hang around long enough to pull through.

And the Eagles' tacklers, without breakout rookie Jalen Carter up front, couldn't do enough to stop it.

Out of Gas


That was Hurts' third interception of the game and just an absolute killer. 

Hall ran it right in for the touchdown after, and the Jets converted on the two-point try to go up 20-14, but with 1:46 still left for Hurts and the offense to figure something out.

But with the way the day had been going, you kind of just knew they weren't going to. They were shut out in the second half, and unsurprisingly, the Jets' defense stuck hard to every route on the final drive. Four downs and out. Eagles lose. 

Just a weird, frustrating, and brutally stagnant day for the Eagles.

5-1 now. No undefeated teams left.

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