Overall Team Grades
My Player of the Game
A fan who only watched the first half of yesterday's game would have walked away feeling stellar about the Eagles. Through two-quarters of play, Wentz was firing lasers, Philly's receiving corps was picking up bombs down the field, and the defense was holding their own on both sides of the field. However, all this momentum completely derailed as the Eagles offense spiraled out of control. Wentz's aggressive playing style forced him to make horrible reads, fail to recognize defenders in passing lanes, and suffer drive-killing sacks. To Wentz's defense, his offensive line suffered numerous injuries that enabled a daunting Washington defensive line to harass him all day long.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles were adequate. Even though the unit surrendered 27 points to a makeshift offense, they were thrust into horrible situations due to the offense's turnovers. Still, Darius Slay and the rest of the secondary played well in coverage and did a decent job containing WR Terry McLaurin. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, their defense didn't have many game-changing plays, aside from a strip-sack by Josh Sweat. Moreover, this team's defensive line will need to create more pressure on both sides of the field to assist the offense. However, they will also need to stay healthy first.
Advanced Team Grades
Passing Offense (Overall)
Game Notes on Offense
This offense had one of it's most chaotic performances in recent years. On the ground, Boston Scott and Corey Clement struggled to find rushing lanes and pick up significant yardage behind Philly's dilapidated offensive line. Speaking of the OL, that unit failed to protect Carson Wentz from Washington's aggressive defensive line. Although injuries and Wentz's inability to get rid of the ball quick enough also exacerbated the line's issues.
While there are indeed areas of concern (i.e., Wentz's inexcusable decision making for starters), there are also some bright spots on the Eagles offense. For starters, the overall offense looked terrific when Wentz had time to throw. After two seasons filled with conservative west-coast plays, Doug Pederson gave Wentz multiple opportunities to sling it deep last Sunday. As a result, Dallas Goedert, Jalen Reagor, and Greg Ward, and DeSean Jackson all came through to help move the chains and create big plays down the field.
Nevertheless, this offense has much improvement to make to fix their woes. First and foremost, Wentz has to do a better job of reading defenses, making the right decision, and putting the ball where only his receiver can make a play. Second, Miles Sanders needs to come back into the lineup to equip the Eagles with a RB that has stellar vision and versatility. Lastly, Pederson needs to do a better job making second-half adjustments, especially given the Eagles' injuries.
Controlling the Line of Scrimmage
Game Notes on Defense
If you were only to look at the box score, you might think the Eagles defense got demolished after surrendering 27 points. However, the group had a decent game, considering that over 33% of their drives started in their territory. Plus, the defensive line suffered a multitude of injuries at the DE position and in the secondary.
Fortunately, players like Josh Sweat and Avonte Maddox were able to flash high-end plays that will impress defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Moreover, their secondary, which is headlined by Darius Slay, was able to contain Terry McLaurin and the rest of Washington's offense.
Heading into this season, Philadelphia's defensive line was projected to be one of the deepest units in all of football. However, after yesterday's game, the team was down to just two DE's to rush Dwayne Haskins from the edge. Moreover, Fletcher Cox was unable to generate much pressure from the interior, totaling no sacks and just one tackle for loss.
Since Eagles general manager, Howie Roseman, has historically built this team based on it's DL and OL, yesterday's performance was incredibly troubling. It's still early, but if the injuries keep piling up, Roseman will need to make a trade to sure up the defensive or offensive lines. However, Philly fans should still be relieved about their new secondary. Good coverage from the LB and DB groups is a welcoming sign for Philly fans, who have grown accustomed to seeing their defense get shredded in the passing game.
Special Teams Comments
Jake Elliot needs more leg on his kicks.
Play of the Game
Wentz's 55-yard bomb to Jalen Reagor on third and 22.
Comments on Coaching
Despite the Eagles' loss, Doug Pederson coached a pretty well game on Sunday. From the very beginning, Pederson sought to take advantage of Philadelphia's speed by targeting Jackson and Reagor down the field with big plays. Since the Eagles have suffered numerous injuries, Pederson's first-half play calling illustrated lots of creativity. Also, given his QB's arm strength and relentless playing style, Pederson should stay aggressive with his play-calling on passes.
However, he needs to do a better job balancing the run and pass plays, especially when it is evident that his QB is getting rattled by pressure. Additionally, he needs to do a better job making second-half adjustments, especially along the offensive line, to prevent comebacks in the future. Nevertheless, Pederson's plan coming into the game was solid; the execution was the issue.