October 18, 2020
After an extremely ugly first half performance, particularly on offense, the Philadelphia Eagles dropped to 1-4-1 after a late rally against the Baltimore Ravens fell short, 30-28. As always, win or lose, we hand out 10 awards.
By the time this game was over, the Eagles were fielding the following offensive line:
|Jordan Mailata||Nate Herbig||Jason Kelce||Jamon Brown||Brett Toth|
Just to recap, they were missing Andre Dillard, Isaac Seumalo, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Jason Peters, Matt Pryor, and Jack Driscoll. I can't say I've covered a team that was missing seven offensive linemen. Hell, Brown and Toth weren't even on the team to start the season.
At the skill positions, by the end of the game the Eagles were missing Miles Sanders, DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert.
At one point in the second half, there was a traffic jam at the trainer's table, as Greg Ward was waiting while Ertz was getting his ankle looked at.
Defensively, they were missing a bunch of linebackers and defensive backs. The injury carnage has just gotten worse and worse every season. It's unreal.
It's only a matter of time before fans begin to tire of hearing how "gritty" or "gutsy" or "grizzled" Carson Wentz played, but, I mean, he did. Wentz took six sacks (not of the "Get rid of it!" variety), he got hit 16(!) times, and he had no time to throw all day behind the practice squad offensive line in front of him.
Wentz engineered two scoring drives to put the Eagles in position to at least send the game to overtime, one of which included a 40-yard run in which he had several opportunities to slide to avoid danger. Wentz has absorbed a lot of punishment this season, and he has managed to keep the team close in each of the last two games against a pair of Super Bowl contenders, even if the end result wasn't there.
Wentz's numbers (21 of 40 for 213, 2 TDs, 0 INTs), weren't great, but he deserves credit for the way he battled in this game, and the way he has rebounded from a truly bad first quarter of the season.
It feels like dropped passes are major factors in Eagles games, year in and year out. Against the Ravens, Hightower had a chance to capitalize on a busted coverage, buuuuut...
As for Sanders, he had a chance to make a touchdown catch, and while this isn't a gimme, seeing as he had to turn back to the inside and relocate it, he should probably make this play.
🤷🏾 Miles Sanders drop in the end zone - 2nd BIG Drop by Eagles in 1st half today vs Ravens pic.twitter.com/pKTqFe6DcK— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) October 18, 2020
Hightower and Sanders weren't the only ones. There were other offenders as well.
Another game, another productive performance by Fulgham. On the day, he had six catches for 75 yards and a TD, plus he draw a 49-yard pass interference call on the Eagles' final TD drive. Fulgham had 10 targets, which frankly, wasn't enough. When the ball goes his way, good things happen, even if he's covered.
Wentz coughed up the 53rd fumble of his career, and his fifth this season. That is a huge number for a quarterback who is only six games into his fifth season, or perhaps more clearly stated, his 62nd game.
As we noted above, overall Wentz got the most out of this game, taking punishment all day, and nearly willing the Eagles to a win, but that fumble gave the Ravens a short field and led to a TD.
Philadelphia goofs on Arcega-Whiteside quite a bit, and rightfully so, since he's been a major disappointment after the Eagles selected him in the second round of the 2019 draft. But you have to at least hand it to him a little today, as he was able to recover a Miles Sanders fumble in the end zone, because he was blocking 80 yards down the field. That's the second straight week he has made a play as a blocker on a long Sanders run. He's (understatement alert) struggling as a receiver, but at least he has continued to play hard, and it paid off today.
On a side note, in addition to the fumble recovery in the end zone, Arcega-Whiteside converted on the two-point conversion, which means that he scored 8 points today without recording a reception in the stat sheet. Top THAT, DK Metcalf.
The Eagles are great at stopping actual running backs. They did a good job against the Ravens' RB trio of Mark Ingram, Gus Bradley, and JK Dobbins, holding them to 74 yards on 28 carries, or 2.6 yards per carry.
However, as we have seen, whenever opposing offenses throw in some misdirection to receivers, or in the Ravens' case, deception with QB runs, the Eagles' run defense isn't quite as good. While Lamar Jackson is a star player, he still went off for 108 rushing yards on nine carries, including this scamper right up the middle.
Not sure why Jackson is pegging the Eagles Autism Awareness sign with the football, though.
He's fun, and I mean, why not? On the lone drive in which the Eagles used Hurts extensively, they moved the ball well. I'd sure as hell rather see Hurts on the field than Richard Rodgers.
In other NFC East action, the Giants finally won a game. Of course, that was over the Washington Football team, bringing each of those teams to 1-5, which is still worse than 1-4-1. 🎉
The Cowboys are home underdogs Monday night against the Cardinals. Should they lose, the Eagles will remain just a half game out of first place in the pathetic NFC East, which has a combined record of 7-17-1, and a combined point differential of -156.
On Sunday morning, a report emerged from Jason La Canfora of CBS that the Howie Roseman is itching to be a buyer at the NFL trade deadline. That shouldn't come as a huge surprise, seeing as the team waived a promising, athletic rookie defensive end to make room for 32-year-old Vinny Curry's return from injured reserve, a ridiculously shortsighted move that makes no sense long-term, and doesn't even really help much, short-term.
The Eagles are far from Super Bowl contenders (boasting the 19th best odds of 32 teams, according to TheLines.com's consensus odds), and if they were in a division with even one good team, we'd almost be writing their obituary already. However, in this God awful division, it's going to be very easy for delusional personnel folks to be encouraged by the team only losing by two points to the 2019 AFC No. 1 seed. And so, prepare yourselves to watch the Eagles light another draft pick on fire at the deadline to acquire a mediocre veteran, like they have the last two years.