By Dylan MacKinnon
The Eagles lost again. The Browns beat them 22-17, and they fall to 3-6-1. Another game where turnovers, an inability to put up points, and just flat out bad play calling cost them. To make matters worse, Washington won today, and their schedule is much easier the rest of the way than the Eagles is.
Two weeks ago people in Philly were convinced that even though the Eagles were bad, this was their division to win. Now? The smart money might be on either Washington or the Giants. All 3 teams have 3 wins, though Eagles have the tie giving them less losses. But in the next 4 weeks Eagles only play teams with winning records, whereas the Giants get the now Burrow-less Bengals, and Washington gets the Cowboys. Their hold on the division might be gone after week 12. So what went wrong in this game and this season in general? Here are 5 numbers that tell that story.
Everyone knows about the Eagles injury issues this season. But looking into the number, it’s even worse than I thought. The Eagles projected starting line before the season, so Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce, Issac Seumalu, and Andre Dillard, have played only 18.5% of the team’s snaps. The only starter to play every snap coming into the game was Jason Kelce, who hurt his elbow in the game and missed 6 snaps. Dillard and Brooks have missed every game, Seumalu has missed 7 games, and Johnson has missed 3 games, but also left 4 other games with injuries and missed 30% of the snaps in those games, including today with a shoulder injury. Even if you replace Dillard with Jason Peters, he himself missed 4 games, and his presence brings it up to 22.8 of the snaps for the starting o linemen. They have used 10 different O line combinations on the season.
The Eagles have a turnover differential of -9, one of the worst in the league. Today they did have one takeaway, but that was vs 3 turnovers, including two more Wentz interceptions. Further analysis makes it even worse. They have only had less than two turnovers in 4 of the 10 games. They have also only had at least 2 takeaways in 3 of the 10 games. A team that turns it over at that rate, and struggles to force turnovers on defense, is not going to be successful.
There has been 4 games where the Eagles scored less than 20 points. They now average just 22 points a game. That’s down from 24.1 pts in 2019, it was 22.9 in 2018, and 28.6 in 2017. They have an offensive minded head coach, but have been in the bottom half in pts per game in all but one of his seasons as head coach. But he loves calling plays so no reason to take that responsibility away from him.
Another week where this team is completely ineffectual on 3rd down, converting only two out of 12 chances. The failure to be successful on first and second down play into that. They were 0-9 vs the Giants last week. So over the last two games, they covert only 9.5% of their third downs. This offense just can’t move the ball. The o line can’t block, the QB cant make simple passes, and the WRs can’t get open. Nothing on this offense works except for Miles Sanders, and he only got 16 carries. Speaking of that…
Miles Sanders got 16 carries all game, that is despite getting 6 on the opening drive. Sure, he fumbled there, but as many expected Doug then stopped going to him as much. Only 10 carries over the next 10 drives is inexcusable. He had 36 yards on one drive, and got only 30 the rest of the game. I don’t care that he fumbled, he is one of the only productive players on the field, give him the ball. That he has never had a 20 carry game is an indictment on Doug Pederson and Duce Staley. This is just one example of how the Eagles continually fail to properly utilize the little talent they have.