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September 19, 2017

Eagles need to strongly consider replacing Isaac Seumalo, with gifs and stuff

In the Philadelphia Eagles' loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Carson Wentz was sacked six times. Left guard Isaac Seumalo was responsible for four of them.

Seumalo was beaten by the Chiefs with speed and with power, by a variety of Chiefs defenders. In his Monday press conference, Doug Pederson did not want to place the blame on any individual players.

"Experienced backups are great to have, but at the same time, I don't want to push any panic buttons at this time," Pederson said, when asked if he was considering a switch in personnel. "We've got to make sure these guys understand our game plans.

"Isaac has done an outstanding job, really, in his short time to start last year, this year and the position versatility. So we'll evaluate the whole thing. It's not just one guy. If you're going to point the finger too, you can point it at me; I'm part of the pie, too. We'll evaluate it and we'll keep evaluating it."

If Isaac was 'outstanding' on Sunday, then Winston Justice was 'terrific' against the Giants a decade ago. 

Let's take a look at the four sacks Seumalo allowed, as well as some other plays:

1) Sack No. 1: Seumalo is beaten early when Chris Jones (95) is able to swipe Seumalo's hands to the outside, and then Seumalo is helpless as Jones cruises right by him to the inside.

2) Sack No. 2: Seumalo looks completely disadvantaged against speed rusher Dee Ford (55). 

3) Sack No. 3: I'm not sure if Seumalo was expecting help inside from Jason Kelce on this sack, but it's bad regardless.

4) Sack No. 4: This one is a little more slow-developing, but Seumalo doesn't offer much in the way of resistance on this Bennie Logan (96) sack.

5) Seumalo didn't allow a sack here, but my goodness...

6) It wasn't just pass protection where Seumalo was bad. The following was his most alarming play of the day. On a run play to Seumalo's side, Chris Jones (95) is two-gapping, meaning that he is responsible for the gap on each side of Seumalo. When Jones thinks LeGarrette Blount is running inside, he pushes Seumalo like a rag doll to the outside. When Blount tries the gap outside of Seumalo, Jones violently pulls Seumalo back to the inside and swallows up Blount.

That was an absolute man-handling of Seumalo by Jones.

7) And finally, early in the game, the Eagles looked like they might have numbers on the perimeter on a screen to Wendell Smallwood, but Seumalo missed a block on linebacker Ramik Wilson (53), who blew up the play.

During a press conference after 53-man cutdowns, Howie Roseman stated that he felt that the Eagles had eight starting-caliber offensive linemen.

"We think we have eight starters on the offensive line," he said. "So not only [Chance Warmack], but in Wiz [Stefen Wisniewski] and V [Halapoulivaati Vaitai], we think those guys are all starters in the National Football League."

Seumalo was a third-round pick in 2016 that the team was high on in camp, so much so that Roseman was willing to *release veteran Allen Barbre to clear the way for Seumalo to start. In hindsight, that move appears to have been unwise.

The Eagles still do have options. They are as follows:

  1. Just leave Seumalo at LG, and allow him to work through some adversity early in his career.
  2. Activate Warmack on game day and insert him into the starting lineup, keeping Wisniewski as the primary reserve at all three interior offensive line spots.
  3. Simply insert Wisniewski into the starting lineup at LG.

The Eagles' next opponent is the New York Giants, who have a strong defensive line. With the Giants starting 0-2, the Eagles have a chance to all but end their season, putting them in an 0-3 hole with two losses in the division. 

They will have to decide if they can allow Seumalo to grow from a bad experience against the Chiefs, or take a chance he will play as poorly as he did last Sunday, and potentially wrecking the game.

*The Eagles got a trade offer from Denver for Barbre after they announced his release.

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