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By Connor Thomas

 

We almost got to an all positive takeaways game last week against the New Orleans Saints, but this week the Eagles put up an almost all negative performance in New Jersey against the Giants. Top to bottom, that game sucked. Even though the defense held the Giants to 13 points, the effort in general from the birds was abysmal, especially considering the level of competition. Jalen Hurts was bad, the game plan was bad, the ball security was bad; it was just a terrible day for a team that finally had a whiff of a playoff chance and immediately collapsed under the new pressure. I hate to have to relive that afternoon, but hey, that’s part of the job. Here are 5 annoyingly bad takeaways from yesterday’s bad loss to New York:

  • 1.) Jalen Hurts had his worst game as a pro

    It was a terrible game for the Eagles, and normally that starts with the QB. Well, yesterday that was absolutely the case. Hurts was straight up awful yesterday, throwing for only 129 yards, 0 TDs, and 3 interceptions. He still rushed the ball well, as he probably always will be able to do as long as he’s in the NFL, but ultimately his decision making on throws hurt the Eagles severely. He took a scoring chance off the board on the last play of the 1st half with an unbelievably poor decision that led to a red zone interception which led to the Eagles being shut out through 2 quarters against a 3-7 football team. There was really no redeeming takeaway from Hurts’ performance yesterday, even considering the final drive that could’ve resulted in the game winning score if a certain receiver could catch. Following a week where it seemed sure that Hurts was going to be a solid option at QB for next season in Philadelphia, we are now firmly back into the territory of him being more of a problem than a solution.

  • 2.) Jalen Reagor STINKS

    I don’t mean this to be a personal attack on Reagor as a man. I am going to preface the following statement by saying that his, or any other professional athlete’s, value as a person is not defined by their play on the field. That being said, Reagor’s value as a PLAYER right now is basically zero. He had two huge drops on the Eagles’ final drive that both had chances to result in the game winning score. He doesn’t look remotely explosive on the occasions where he does actually catch the football. He hasn’t been a dynamic punt returner since his touchdown return against the Packers last season. He brings virtually nothing to the Eagles right now, and yet he got 7 targets yesterday to lead all Philly pass catchers. For a first round pick who was – little known fact here – drafted the pick ahead of All-World WR Justin Jefferson, the Reagor tenure in Philadelphia has been a complete failure. It’s on Howie Roseman for drafting him, the coaches for failing to find a way to use him effectively, and mostly on Reagor for not performing at the expected level. Yesterday could certainly have been the last straw for his chances in this city.

  • 3.) Nick Sirianni hugely regressed as a play caller

    We thought Nick Sirianni had turned a corner as an NFL play caller, but unfortunately this week showed a clear regression in that aspect of coaching. When you have a young QB having as rough of a day as Jalen Hurts was, you have to run the ball more to bail him out. Instead, Sirianni opted to have Hurts throw 31 times and only had 33 run plays on the afternoon, a far too balanced approach in a game where the QB clearly didn’t have his best stuff. Maybe even more egregious was the target discrepancy in the passing game, which saw Jalen Reagor receive 7 targets, the most of any receiving option for the Eagles. Meanwhile, Dallas Goedert was only targeted 3 times in the entire game, and DeVonta Smith didn’t see a throw his way on either of the final 2 drives. It was a preposterous distribution of catch opportunities, and while some of that does fall on Jalen Hurts, most of the onus of that sits on the shoulders of Nick Sirianni as a play caller. The ball needs to be in your playmakers hands in the NFL, and this week, Sirianni’s play calling effectively took it out of 2 of the best the Eagles have. It was a major error against a team in the Giants that were ripe to take advantage of, and it cost the birds a win.

  • 4.) DeVonta Smith is getting frustrated

    Following the final offensive play of the game for the Eagles – the drop by Jalen Reagor – there were reports that DeVonta Smith threw his helmet leaving the field and was visibly angry at the coaching staff. It was a rightful reaction by Smith, who was basically removed from the game plan with the game on the line, a straight up negligent bit of play calling. It was clear where Smith’s frustration stemmed from this week: Reagor was targeted multiple times in the clutch and #6 was hung out to dry, but are their other origins of this anger? It could be possible that Smith is growing frustrated with inconsistent QB play from Hurts, or even the failures of other offensive weapons around him that are causing him to have a harder time week to week. It would be troubling if this became a theme for Smith, and began affecting the Eagles’ locker room, but this instance in a vacuum was absolutely justified. He is the best offensive playmaker on the team, and he got left out of the clutch time plan. That would piss anybody off.

  • 5.) The defense had a solid afternoon

    Yes, the Eagles easily lost the turnover battle, which is always an indicator of the team more likely to win football games, but overall they had a strong day. They held the Giants to 13 points, gave a terrible offensive afternoon a chance to be successful at the end of the game, and really bottled up the New York offense. Now, this isn’t exactly the Kansas City Chiefs; the Giants offense completely stinks and should have been shut down, but on an afternoon where no one on offense did their job exceptionally well, it was good to see at least one facet of the team perform up to expectations. It wasn’t enough to get the win, but at least it gave hope that the Eagles defense will be effective as they continue to play bad NFC East opponents. And hey, I needed at least one positive takeaway, right? Hopefully next week it won’t just be one.