By Dylan MacKinnon
Two points. After everything that happened in this game, being down 17-0, scoring only 6 points in the first three quarters, it ended up being a 30-28 pt loss. Carson Wentz put up 22 pts in the 4th quarter, and had them a 2pt conversion away from tying it. The 2pt conversion failed thanks to a bizarre play call by Doug Pederson, but Wentz did everything he could, they just came up a little short. Let’s look at the 5 numbers that tell the story of how the Eagles lost this game and now find themselves 1-4-1.
When the 2pt conversion failed at the end, the initial reaction was to complain about the odd play call that led to a blown up play. And that is fair. But also to blame for this loss is a missed field goal at the end of the first half. Is 52 yards an automatic field goal? Maybe not. But it is something Jake Elliott had to make there. He is now 1 for 3 on field goals over 50 yards. A NFL kicker should be able to make field goals like this at a higher rate. With kickoffs being moved up and now being almost automatic touchbacks, your one job is to make the kicks. He didn’t, and they lost because of it.
By the end of the game, the Eagles were down to only two starters on offense. Jason Kelce and Carson Wentz. Four starting o linemen, the top three WRs, the top RB, the top two TEs, were all out. On top of that, there were 4 backup o linemen out. They were down to Brett Toth at Right Tackle, and Jamon Brown at Right Guard. Wentz was sacked 6 times behind this makeshift o line. And despite this Wentz may have looked better than he has all year at the end. I hate making injuries an excuse, but when you are close to pulling fans out of the stands to fill out a O line, it is fair to bring it up.
Eagles gave up only 2.6 yards per carry vs Running backs, Despite that they still gave up 182 rushing yards. And that is not because they ran it 60 times. Lamar Jackson had 108 rushing yards on 9 attempts. All year they have been torn up on the ground by non running backs. Whether it is QBs taking off, WR end arounds, or in one case a TE running it, they can not stop the non running back runs. On the year, non running backs have 194 yards, on 31 carries and 3 TDs against them. That’s 6.3 yards per carry, vs 3.2 yards per carry to running backs. Eagles have to figure out how to handle the non conventional run plays.
With 284 yards, Travis Fulgham leads the Eagles in receiving yards, despite playing in only half the games. That is both a testament to his play, but also a statement on how bad the Eagles WR group had been. Between injuries and poor play, Wentz has had a hard time finding weapons. But he seems to have a connection with Fulgham, and Fulgham has the willingness and the talent to fill the role of Wentz’s go to guy. He is one of a few bright spots this season.
22 points in the 4th quarter, so close to a comeback. Thanks in large part to the play of Carson Wentz. There have been games this year where Wentz was to blame. Overall he has had a bad year. But today he played his ass off. With what he had to work with, he deserves credit for his play today.