WEEK IN REVIEW
The Eagles were handed another tough loss by the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night 23-17 and the game was not nearly as close as the score would indicate. A garbage time Hail Mary touchdown and two-point conversion led closed the gap from 23-9. Those who took Seattle –6.5 lost out in the final moments of the contest.
The offense for the Eagles is so flawed, it is a wonder how they even scored 17 points. Doug Pederson has lost his ability to create a game plan and understand the needs of his offense. Carson Wentz is lost on the field. Receivers rarely get open. Personnel packages have no variety. There is no aspect of this team that can be relied on. They had a total of 4 yards of offense five minutes into the fourth quarter. DK Metcalf had 10 catches for 177 yards, while the entire Eagles receiving corps had a combined 9 receptions for 46 yards.
On the contrary, the defense had their most impressive outing of the season. They limited one of the best offenses in the league to 23 points. The defensive line had tackles for losses on two early fourth down attempts, one of which was on 4th-and-goal. Darius Slay went head-to-head with DK Metcalf, and while Metcalf won more plays than Slay, it was an intense fight throughout the entire game.
NEWS OF THE WEEK
For the first time in his tenure, Head Coach Doug Pederson appeared open to the idea of giving up play calling during his press conference on Tuesday when he said it was “on the table.” Some may interpret that to mean that he is aware of discussions happening above him on the chain of command. Under Pederson’s leadership, this team has developed a reputation for starting games slowly and for not scheming receivers open. With so much focus on Carson Wentz’s struggles, not enough attention has been given to the issues in the scheme. Pederson needs to put his players in a better position to succeed if he wants to have any chance of salvaging the season.
In hopes of getting the Eagles offense back on track, the team activated Zach Ertz from Injured Reserve on Wednesday. Ertz has been the Eagles’ leading receiver since Carson Wentz took over as the franchise QB. Ertz, who was requesting a new contract from the team in the offseason, had the worst start to a season of his career prior to his ankle injury, so it is difficult to have much confidence in seeing the old Zach Ertz over the final few games of the season. If there is any aspect of Ertz’s return that can be encouraging, it would be that he is Wentz’s closest friend on the team and his most trusted receiver, so maybe there’s a chance of Ertz breaking Wentz out of his slump.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Eagles opened this week as 7.5-point road underdogs to the Green Bay Packers. The last time these two teams played each other, Philadelphia came away with an upset victory 34-27 in week 4 of 2019. The Eagles’ victory came on the backs of their two leading rushers, Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard, who combined for 187 total yards on the day. Howard led the team with three total touchdowns. Philadelphia was also spared last season when Packers’ star wide receiver Devante Adams left the game early with a toe injury while he was on pace for over 200 receiving yards for the game.
This time around, Philadelphia is in a much worse place than they were a year ago. The team has struggled to find any sort of rhythm on offense and Carson Wentz has not played well all season. Early indications are that Philadelphia will attempt to replicate their winning strategy from last season. The Eagles signed Jordan Howard to their practice squad following his release from Miami a couple of weeks ago. On Wednesday, they designated Howard as one of their four protected members of the practice squad, which shows that there is a good chance he is elevated to the active roster for game day.
The Packers have continued to struggle in rushing defense. They are, once again, one of the worst teams in the league in opponents' yards/rush. Those rushing attempts per game are down considerably because the Packers have had success getting out to early leads in most games. With opponents playing from behind, they are pressured to pass, which plays into the strength of the Packers’ defense. Aaron Rodgers leads the lead in passing touchdowns and passer rating and is well on his way to another possible MVP campaign.