By Dylan MacKinnon
Thousands of Eagles fans flocked to Vegas to support their team, despite the 2-4 start. Now thousands of fans will be boarding a plane back to Philly in absolute misery after watching their team once again fail to show up. The Eagles players and coaches must have forgotten they had a game this week. They lost 33-22, a score in no way representative of how poorly they played. Once again the Eagles padded their numbers late in the game when nothing even mattered anymore. Turns out this team is really good when the other team stops trying. This team deserves every bit of criticism they receive this week. To start, here are the 5 numbers that tell the story of how the Eagles laid an egg in Las Vegas.
What do the Eagles defense and a newborn baby have in common? Both things are toothless. The Eagles’ defense looked great in their first two games of the year. Since then, in the next 5 games, they have allowed opposing offenses to score 3 times in 8 out of 10 halves. That’s 8 halves they have allowed at least 13 points. Out of 10. They allowed 3 scores in both halves today. That’s not even bend don’t break. That’s bend, and break, break some more, and then break again. And let’s drop the bend don’t break thing altogether. Because bending and not breaking doesn’t mean you are strong. Pool noodles bend and don’t break. And this defense has a lot in common with a pool noodle. Jonathan Gannon was supposed to be this great defensive coordinator every team in need wanted to hire. I have yet to see why. His defense is somehow softer than the Eagles ever were under Jim Schwartz.
We aren’t letting the offense off the hook either. In the last 6 games, they have failed to score at least 10 points in 6 out of 12 halves. They managed to score 15 in the 2nd half today, mostly because the Raiders stopped trying. 10 pts is nothing for a half. If you are scoring only 20 in a game, you did not play well most of the time. And they cant even reach that standard. The only thing worse than the Eagles’ defense this season, is the Eagles’ offense. They have had two games where they looked good from start to finish, vs the Chiefs and the Falcons. In every other game, the Eagles offense has looked awful and managed to make it look slightly better with some late scores. Speaking of, those late garbage time scores, it’s the only reason this number isn’t worse. Because there could be at least 3 more halves of under 10 points if it wasn’t for TDs thrown in games that were already over.
This is now 4 games where Jalen Hurts failed to surpass 200 yards. 4 out of 10 full games. He didn’t start the Packers game last year or finish vs Washington, so we won’t count those games. But even if you take them out, he fails to get to the low low benchmark of 200 passing yards in a game. 200 passing yards would be a bad game. And Hurts can’t even reach that in half of his games. He just narrowly managed to avoid doing that for a 5th time today. He was on pace, but a late meaningless drive pushed him to 236 yards. This wasn’t the first game this year where a late drive managed to make his terrible stats look just mediocre. So don’t give me that inflated stat of most total yards through this point in his career. Because half the time, he has looked bad. And by the way. That’s under 200 yards despite being Eagles passing almost every play. Eagles throw it more than almost any team, and he still can’t reach 200. He is 21st in average yards per pass. It is almost time to call it a wrap on any hope Hurts is the franchise guy. He misses too many easy throws. He should get more time, because it’s a lost season anyway, and the Eagles don’t have anyone waiting in the wings. But that high Dolphins pick they are getting might be marked for someone like Malik Willis out of Liberty.
The Eagles have now allowed 6 touchdowns to tight ends. 6. In 7 games. They allowed the 6th today when the Raiders backup TE Foster Moreau walked into the end zone. But linebackers aren’t important. Good teams don’t need linebackers. The sad thing is, I was surprised that number wasn’t higher. The Eagles haven’t drafted a linebacker in the first round in over 40 years now. The Eagles have always undervalued linebackers. These last few years ever since Jordan Hicks left, they have taken to all-time extremes. The linebacker group is an island of misplaced linebackers. A collection of special teams players being forced to be starting linebackers. Are linebackers the most important position on defense? No. But you need players capable of starting at the least. I would take someone who is an average linebacker over what they have.
Howie Roseman has drafted one pro bowler since getting his job back. That one guy is Carson Wentz, who is of course no longer on the team. No players he drafted in that time are making the pro bowl this year. Nick Sirianni has been bad as a coach. Jonathan Gannon gives you nothing as a defensive coordinator. And Jalen Hurts does not look the part of an NFL QB. But those issues pale in comparison to problem number one. They have an incompetent GM. Howie cant draft. And if you believe all the offseason reported from great reports like Jeff McLane, Zach Berman, along with several other Eagles beat writers, the front office Howie runs is also toxic. After this season, Jeff Lurie needs to put aside his friendship, and relieve Howie of his duties. I don’t care if Howie is his friend. You don’t let your friends be high-level employees of your organization. Want to hang out with your friend on Sundays? Take Howie out to brunch before the game. Let someone who knows what they are doing run your team. Enough is enough. He had a lot of time. He has gotten to hire 3 different coaches. With how Sirianni looks, it won’t be long until the third guy is out as well. Howie can not get a chance to pick a 4th. He shouldn’t even get the time time to fire a third.