By Dylan MacKinnon
“Must win game.” The words of Dan Orlovsky on the Fanatic Morning show on Thursday. They did not win the game. The Giants beat them 27-17. Another slow start, another lackluster game by QB Carson Wentz, another questionable game plan by the coach, and Eagles fall in a game they probably needed to have. They fall to 3-5-1, and while they are technically still in first place, the path forward does not look great for them. With the tough schedule, and their very bad play so far, their hold on the division is very loose, and in their easiest games, against their own division, they are only 2-2. Let’s look at 5 numbers that tell the story of this game, and why this loss could spell doom for them.
Over their next 5 games, the Eagles opponents are a combined 30-12 (71.4%). They play the Browns, Seahawks, Packers, Saints, and Cardinals. With how the Eagles have been playing, they could very well be looking at a 3-10-1 record heading into those final two division games. Even if they manage to pull off one win, they would be 4-9-1, and still possibly be in must wins against the Cowboys and Washington. Giants may end up having the division tiebreaker with them currently 3-2 in the division, and still getting to play the Cowboys. The Eagles only saving grace is the Giants remaining opponents have a combined 27-22 record, and they only have one division game left. Week 12’s Giants-Bengals game could be very important for Eagles. Eagles need the Giants to lose their out of division games.
On average, the Eagles drives started at the 16.4 yard line. The best they started all game, was their own 25 yard line on touchbacks. Dumb penalties on returns and a complete lack of a punt return had the Eagles starting backed up all game, including 3 times behind the 10 yard line. Field position is one of those things people don’t think of immediately, but its a key part of success, and Eagles failed to give their already struggling offense good field position all game. The special teams, outside of the Punter, have been at best mediocre this season. We talk about the poor coaching from Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz, but Dave Fipp may deserve some of that criticism as well.
The Eagles failed to convert a single 3rd down conversion. The only one they did, doesn’t get attributed to the offense because it was a penalty that gave it to them. Beyond that, they failed on all 9 3rd down attempts. The Giants for reference were 5-14. You will not win in this league when your 3rd down conversion rate is 0%. Someone who knows nothing about Football could tell you that. And their 3rd down failures are emblematic of their failures to have success on the first two downs. This offense is flat out bad, almost across the board. O Line was bad, WRS were bad, QB was bad. RBs are the only group that showed up this week.
Over the last four games, Ravens, Giants, Cowboys, then Giants again, they averaged 5 pts in the first half per game. Coming into the game they were 30th in the league over that timespan in first half scoring, and after putting up only 3 points in the first half this game, they may end the week dead last. As we said after the Cowboys game, they could not keep putting themselves into holes because eventually they won’t dig out of it. Today was that day. They once again dug a whole, but this time it was too deep to get out of. On the season they now average under 10 pts in the first half.
Doug Pederson is now 1-4 coming out of the bye week. What exactly is this coaching staff doing over the bye? They are somehow less prepared for teams when they have 2 weeks to prep than they are even for Thursday night games with only 4 days. This feels emblematic of a much larger issue with this coaching staff. We continue to see them make the same mistakes game after game, season after season. The lack of growth is disturbing, it’s not just Doug Pederson either. Jim Schwartz, the position coaches, Dave Fipp. Is anyone on this staff properly prepping their players?