By Dylan MacKinnon
Many Eagles fans probably felt okay at halftime of the Eagles- Rams game. Eagles fell way behind to start the game, but a couple TDs and a turnover had them behind only 21-16 at the half, and it looked like they were on their way to a comeback. In the second half they stopped the Rams, got the ball back, and started driving, it really felt like they were gonna make the comeback. Then Carson Wentz threw an Interception. Threw it into double coverage in the end zone, and turned it over.
It never felt like the Eagles had a chance from there on. Rams went down the field, scored a field goal. The Eagles responded with a field goal of their own, but that was followed by a Rams Touchdown. In the end, Eagles ended up getting blown out 37-19.
So what went so wrong? Let’s look at 5 numbers, and what they mean for the Eagles loss.
The Eagles had two defensive stops all game. That is all. Two forced punts, and every other time the Rams came onto the field they scored, excluding the drives at the end of each half where they ran out the clock. No turnovers, a single 3 and out, and that’s it. In all but one drive they got past the 50 yard line.
On the season so far, in just two games, the Eagles are -5 in turnovers. Four interceptions, two fumbles, one by Wentz and one by Miles Sanders. The Eagles defense has forced 0 turnovers, with the Eagles only takeaway coming on special teams in the first half of this game. It’s a cliché, but it is true, the team that wins the turnover battle usually wins. Eagles are losing that battle, and losing it badly.
Wentz was never sacked this week. Last week when he struggled people made the argument it was because he was sacked so many times. The O Line held today though, and he still struggled. 5.6 yards per completion, two interceptions, no passing tds, and a 60% completion percentage on mostly short passes. He did learn to throw it away today, but his overall play was still lacking.
Four different Rams players had a rushing attempt for over 10 yards. A 40 yard run by Darrell Henderson, 19 yard run by Malcom Brown, a 15 yard end around by Cooper Kupp, and a 10 yard run by Jared Goff. There was also a 9 yard end around by Robert Woods, that would have been longer, but there was only 9 yards to go for the TD. Big chunk running plays killed the Eagles all game. Chunk plays in general killed them, but the runs were glaring. All types of misdirections, draws, and other trick runs had the Eagles off guard. With all the speed the Eagles added at WR, maybe something Doug P would want to try out on the offensive end.
While not a stat, 2015 is the last time the Eagles started 0-2. If that year sounds familiar, its the season that the wheels came off the Chip Kelly Wagon and he ended up being fired. The team started 0-2, losing to Falcons and Cowboys, and would go on to finish 7-9. For what it is worth, the last time they started 0-3, was 1999.