Another good effort isn’t enough
The Eagles came down to the wire against Baltimore in a loss that was inches away from being a win. Let’s take stock of who had a game to remember and a game to forget.
Mathews looked great against the best run defense in the league. His 128 yards were his most since his 2013 regular season finale with the Chargers. His 20 attempts were a season high as well. In his last four games played, Mathews has 328 yards on 61 carries, a 5.4 average. Perhaps the Eagles can get a late round pick for him in the offseason as the rebuild continues.
A tackle for loss on a terrific read of a play and then an interception to get the Eagles back into the game. Fan voting has ended, but he strengthened his case to players and coaches for a Pro Bowl spot today.
Three fourth down attempts, and the decision to go for two rather than head to overtime was the right call. As Herm Edwards infamously said, you play to win the game. There was no downside to losing a game you were expected to lose and spent most of the game trailing as a 5-8 team. Going to OT would have given the Eagles a chance at having a chance to win the game, going for two was an actual opportunity to win the game. David didn’t win playing Goliath’s game.
Pederson did almost win through playing the balanced game he has sought for weeks. Prior to the final drive, which requires any team to throw exclusively or almost exclusively, the Eagles had 35 pass plays and 38 rushing plays. Some of Pederson’s player usage and play calls were questionable, but his aggression and balance nearly got his struggling team an upset on the road.
Semualo got his first start at right tackle and spent the entire game without the announcers mentioning him beyond noting that he was getting his first start. For a rookie playing out of position with one week of practice, that’s good enough.
Vikings 1st round pick
The Vikings got blown out 34-6 to fall to 7-7, and with it are on the verge of missing the playoffs, which would guarantee the Eagles a top 20 pick in exchange for Sam Bradford. It’s
The Ravens came into the game with one of the worst rushing attacks, and left it with 151 yards on 6.3 yards per carry. Michael Campanaro moved the Ravens into Eagles territory on the team’s longest run of the year, 39 years. Then Terrance West did the same with a 41 yard run.
Agholor again did not look like an NFL caliber player. His reverse on fourth down was poor running, taking it too wide and stepping out of bounds a yard short. Doug Pederson deserves some criticism for choosing that play with that player in that situation though. After Kenjon Barner left the game with an injury he took over as the punt return and stood around doing nothing, drawing criticism on the broadcast. He had one catch for nine yards on four targets. In fairness, he was robbed of a chance to catch a touchdown by a penalty by Tavon Young.
First quarter starts
From the 2nd quarter on, the Eagles won 23-17. But there was the first quarter, and the Eagles once again played a poor one and lost a close game. With the lack of talent on offense and depth on defense, it’s hard to exactly pin blame. But we have seen this team start well, such as their opening drive touchdown in Seattle.
The Eagles chose to go with four wide receivers, and scratched Turner in favor of Bryce Treggs. Treggs had no catches, but did have a reverse for four yards that gained a fist down on 3rd and 3. But other than that, Treggs was invisible. Perhaps Turner could have made one more play, and that could have made a difference.
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