So Close

Posted: December 18th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 154 Comments »

Carson Wentz got the ball at his own 41-yard line with 1:39 left in the game. He drove the Eagles down the field, getting them to to the 4-yard line. They were down 27-20. Wentz and the Eagles had been in this position before, but always came up short.

Not this time.

Wentz dropped back and then moved to his left and ran for the TD. Finally, the breakthrough moment. The key TD in the key moment. That made it 27-26. Doug Pederson left the offense on the field and went for the 2-point conversion. The ball was tipped at the line and it went behind Jordan Matthews. The Eagles tried an onside kick, but the Ravens got that and the game was over.

This was the closest game so far, but the Eagles still came up short.

I’m shocked that some people are so upset with Pederson for going for 2. The Eagles had no reason to go to overtime. This was a 5-8 team that was all but eliminated from the playoffs. Going to overtime extended the game, but didn’t mean a win. You could lose there. If you go for 2, you control the situation. Get the points and you win the game.

There is also the question of health. The Eagles play on Thursday night this week. You don’t want to expose the players to another 10 to 30 snaps. The risk/reward just doesn’t make sense.

If the Eagles were 8-5, that’s when you go to OT. You don’t want the game to hinge on one play. When you are 5-8 and the focus is on the future, you absolutely go for 2. That was 100 percent the right decision. Some people are upset with the play the team ran. They have run that play to Zach Ertz on a few 4th downs this year and it generally works well. Matthews was open today. The ball just got tipped and that killed it. I have no major issue with the play.

The result was disappointing and frustrating, but there is a lot to like about this game. Isaac Seumalo started at RT against a Top 5 defense and played fairly well. He got beat a few times, but the offense was functional with him in there. The Eagles ran the ball really well (38-169-2) against the #1 run defense in the league. Ryan Mathews played his best game in a long time.

Kenjon Barner played well, but got hurt. That meant rookie Byron Marshall had to play. He started off badly, but once he adjusted to the speed of the game, Marshall showed that he has NFL ability. He ran, caught and blocked well.

Carson Wentz was all over the place. I will write a full post on him. He had some terrible moments in the game, but also played well enough for his team to win. He was going against a top defense and his receivers weren’t making a bunch of plays for him. The Eagles were down 27-17 late in the game and he led them on a pair of scoring drives that put the Eagles in position to win. Wentz is mentally tough. That means a lot in the NFL. You have to work your way through the down times.

The Eagles defense was very erratic. There were times when they looked great and other times when they looked awful. I don’t really know what to say about the defense. They mostly struggled against the run today, but the worst moment in the game was the 30-yard TD pass to Steve Smith late in the half. That was just terrible. You can give up a FG there, but not a TD.

Bad field position hurt the D on some of the TDs in the game, but a good defense should come through in those situations and help the overall team out. This defense seems to struggle in those situations more than they should. Jim Schwartz needs to figure this bunch out in terms of their mentality as well as how best to use them on the field. Something is just off with this D right now.

5 losses in a row. The last 2 feel very different than the previous 3. There is a lot to build off from the last couple of weeks. There are also plenty of issues that need to be addressed/fixed, but after watching Wentz move the team on that final drive I find it hard to be in a down mood right now.

For a bit of perspective, remember that Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens put up 15 on the Ravens in 2004. McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Brian Westbrook and DeSean Jackson were shutout by the Ravens in 2008 (there was a KOR TD by Quintin Demps). Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy put up 24 on the Ravens in 2012.

Wentz, a beat up OL and mediocre skill players just scored 26 on the #4 defense in the league. On the road. In bad weather. They still lost, but don’t lose sight of the big picture.


154 Comments on “So Close”

  1. 1 bdbd20 said at 5:27 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Biggest point: Wentz is still healthy. Lane comes back. Let’s see what this offense can do with the OL back intact.

  2. 2 Dave said at 6:06 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    This team could look quite a bit different if Lane doesn’t get suspended and Doug emphasized Ertz, Burton and JMatt in the passing game and made Ags a role player and not an integral part of the offense.

  3. 3 daveH said at 5:28 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Sofa King Close BUT … we suck

  4. 4 laeagle said at 6:05 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I’m 100% convinced you type with your feet.

  5. 5 daveH said at 9:59 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    That cracks me up soooo much.
    Im a good typist but i HATE HATE HATE these digital keypads. Every thing i type is wrong and the Samsung S5 auto correct blows, the voice to text technology blows beyond belief

  6. 6 laeagle said at 1:19 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Try Swype if it’s available on your phone. Changed my life.

  7. 7 BobSmith77 said at 5:43 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Marshall played well? That is being very generous. He looked like a practice squad RB who wasn’t ready to play and it showed. Notably missed Smallwood/Sproles as a change of pace back or Banner once he went with that hamstring injury.

    Outside of the last drive, Wentz played poorly today. What stands out to me as the biggest issue is his accuracy right now especially on screens/short routes especially to RB. Did make a nice touch pass to Ertz on that 4th down conversation in the 1st half but way too many balls that are difficult catches at best.

    McNabb never really became that proficient on them but I hoping Wentz improves like McNabb did. Going to be a problem in this offensive scheme that is still screen/short pass happy.

  8. 8 D3FB said at 5:53 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Marshall stoned CJ Mosley on the final drive and had two nice chunk runs.

    I think you’re overrating Smallwood and Barner.

    Marshall wasn’t great but all three are fungible.

  9. 9 BobSmith77 said at 5:57 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Barner produced today when he got the ball and Marshall had too many carries early on where he did nothing or lost yards.

    Not a huge difference but in a game like this and as close as this one was it mattered.

  10. 10 D3FB said at 8:59 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Barner had a nice screen catch. He got 6 yards on 3 rush attempts.

  11. 11 CrackSammich said at 6:29 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Dat vocabulary doe

  12. 12 xeynon said at 10:22 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    “Fungible” is one of my favorite words in the English language.

  13. 13 laeagle said at 6:04 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Tommy’s assessment of Marshall was dead on. Terrible at first, but once he settled, he looked pretty good. As D3FB points out, he had a MAJOR blitz pickup on that last drive. I seriously wonder if Smallwood handles that as well.

  14. 14 Mr. Magee said at 6:19 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Get rid of the stupid, no surprise screeen passes and then you won’t have to worry about his accuracy on those throws!

  15. 15 Jernst said at 10:56 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I loved what I saw out of Marshall.

  16. 16 peteike said at 5:51 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Zero problem going for 2, was actually hoping they would

  17. 17 Dave said at 6:03 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Same here. I think it builds an aggressive mindset for the players in the future.

  18. 18 since1961 said at 6:40 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Me too; getting the TD to be in a position to “tie” was big, and hopefully big for the team. Winning outright would have been great and the play had a chance (unlike some of their other goalline plays in recent years). Instead, they improve their draft position.

  19. 19 FairOaks said at 7:18 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Absolutely the right decision given where the Eagles are. No need for OT — punching in that almost tying td was the big improvement moment. If we were in the playoff hunt it’s a completely different matter.

  20. 20 A Roy said at 8:49 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Expected it. For the reasons Tommy stated and a couple more.

  21. 21 BobSmith77 said at 5:53 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Less concerned about the offense than the defense. Yeah they are lacking at CB but this is a really a veteran group on the defensive side of the ball that the Eagles have made huge investments in the past year so with Graham, Cox, Curry, and McLeod among others.

    Still a relatively healthy group too including today. Yeah Brooks is out but citing their performance today or the past several weeks due a backup/slot CB is really a stretch.

    Early on, I thought this defense would have multiple Pro Bowl players this year in Graham, Cox, and Jenkins. Now I doubt any of them make it unless their are a bunch of injury additions with Jenkins being the most likely addition.

    Yeah they need to add at least 2 CBs this offseason including one starter but it is hard to see that magically finishing their performance issues.

    Agree with Tommy that something is off. This group looks ‘it was beat like a rented mule’ who just had very little energy in the 2nd half despite not playing much in the 1st half.

  22. 22 laeagle said at 6:03 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    On the bright side, Curry showed up to play today. Cox was dominant. So, two of the investments looked good.

  23. 23 BobSmith77 said at 6:18 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Cox has played well the last few weeks. I do wonder if he hasn’t played with an undisclosed injury during the middle part of this season.

    Nice to see Curry close out strong because he’ll be here next year regardless of what happens this offseason.

  24. 24 Julescat said at 5:57 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    hop off the gus bus?

  25. 25 CrackSammich said at 6:05 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Dare I say this was probably the best possible outcome? A win doesn’t help us, and a loss certainly doesn’t, but the team learned that they can come back when they need it and didn’t hurt their draft position in the process.

  26. 26 Crus57 said at 6:06 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    and the Vikings got spanked, which is a nice bonus.

  27. 27 Dave said at 6:13 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Right now, I think we would draft 14th in the first round and 8th in each subsequent round. The Vikings finish up at the Packers and home against the Bears. Go Pack Go! Da Bears!

  28. 28 Jernst said at 10:54 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Right now we’d be picking 15th.

    Go Pack, Go Bears, but also we want Arizona, Carolina, Cincinnati, NO, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Baltimore, and Denver to win out too. We could probably get as high as 10 or 11 if everything fell our way or drop to around 20 if everything went against us.

  29. 29 Sb2bowl said at 11:32 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    So you’re saying we will be picking 20th. Plight of an Iggles Fan

  30. 30 Jernst said at 10:49 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Also, if Baltimore lost today they’d have the same record as the Vikings, but due to a weaker strength of schedule would pick before them in the first round. So we not only would have hurt our draft position in all the other rounds, but we would have screwed ourselves by potentially knocking the Vikings 1st rounder down a spot as well.

  31. 31 sonofdman said at 10:50 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Good point.

  32. 32 sonofdman said at 10:49 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I would have like them to win, but I am not very upset for this exact reason.

  33. 33 CrackSammich said at 6:16 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I didn’t get to watch much of the game today, but it looked like there were signs of life from Agholor. On his the third quarter catch and run where he juked a guy, you could see how happy he was to be pulling out of his slump. There’s still a ton of rookie mistakes, like when he didn’t drive back on a later comeback route that you can see all added up to his many mistakes. I like getting him involved in the punt game, but uh, maybe try?

  34. 34 kajomo said at 6:27 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    He also had 1-2 drops and ran like a wuss in on End around that should have been a fairly easy 1st down

  35. 35 Mr. Magee said at 6:32 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Dude, lay off the crack

  36. 36 CrackSammich said at 8:45 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Like I said, I didn’t see much of the game. Was he that bad the rest of the game?

  37. 37 D3FB said at 8:57 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Yes, he fucked up a jet sweep and turned the ball over on downs. He should have cut inside the block but bubbled around it, then he tried to truck Eric Weddle and stepped out of bounds instead of just diving for the first.

  38. 38 A Roy said at 8:59 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Rookie mistakes? He’s second year.

  39. 39 scratcherk said at 9:00 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Dude definitely had a terrible game. I’m willing to accept his bust status at this point.

  40. 40 Mr. Magee said at 6:17 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Agree with Tommy’s post here…

    Overall, I thought Wentz played well. Like to see him work on his mechanics over the offseason, obviously, but a lot to like with him.

    OL played well today.

    The going for 2: I don’t have a problem with it, given their record and overall competitiveness at this time, but if you’ve watching this season you had to know the odds of converting were very low.

    The D: I also, don’t know what to make of it. They’ve been very disappointing this season, IMO, and you have to put that at the feet of Schwartz. Either his scheme sucks, or he doesn’t know how to make the most of the talent he does have… And the biggest concern is that they don’t seem to have any character or heart.

  41. 41 BobSmith77 said at 8:54 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Wentz played well today? No he didn’t especially early on. INT was a terrible throw and decision and he had another INT taken back because of that penalty.

  42. 42 sonofdman said at 10:49 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Why were the odds of converting low? I think that the TV coverage showed that stat that they were 4 out of 5 on 2 point conversions so far this year.

  43. 43 Dave said at 6:28 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Eric Rowe just did what none of our CBs have done all season… he deflected a 35 yard pass away by turning his head around and locating the ball.

  44. 44 Mr. Magee said at 6:31 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    If it turns out he can play, that’s just one more reason to dumb Schwartzy, IMO

  45. 45 Dave said at 6:34 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I think Schwartz is a great D coordinator, he just needs to have his player personnel privelages revoked.

  46. 46 since1961 said at 6:38 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    He’s been in & out of their lineup. Blind squirrel?

  47. 47 Mr. Magee said at 6:52 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Could be. I haven’t followed closely enough.

  48. 48 Dave said at 7:07 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Had to learn the defense and had an injury.

  49. 49 wee2424 said at 11:02 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    BB doesn’t want to give up that 3rd versus the 4th, and lately he has been playing a lot more.

  50. 50 A_T_G said at 7:09 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    He has been a healthy inactive a few times this year. If he turns out okay it means almost getting dumped by a second team was enough to make him get on track.

  51. 51 Dave said at 7:12 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    He had to learn the defense. They played him early in man coverage. In games they were playing a lot of zone, the didn’t dress him. Until he knows all of the assignments, he would be a liability in zone.

  52. 52 A_T_G said at 7:19 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I believe he was a healthy scratch last week.

    Edit: it was 3 weeks ago. Time flies.

  53. 53 since1961 said at 6:37 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Didn’t notice Mills’ PBU today?

  54. 54 Dave said at 7:10 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    No, I was out until 4th quarter. Did he run 1 on 1 with the wr, turn his head, locate the ball in the air, and deflect it? If so, that’s a big improvement. More than Carroll and McKelvin all year.

  55. 55 A_T_G said at 7:25 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    He actually turned on the first move, recovered and ran with the receiver, then did what you said. It was impressive.

  56. 56 Mitchell said at 7:54 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Yeh he did. Looked good doing it too.

  57. 57 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 7:55 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Then Steve Smith ran right by him

  58. 58 Mitchell said at 7:57 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    He recovered on the play I saw.

  59. 59 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 8:09 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I know the play you are talking about. Im talking about the TD he gave up to end the half.

  60. 60 Mitchell said at 7:54 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Good I hope he keeps doing that so the Eagles get a third next year.

  61. 61 Dave said at 9:59 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    2018 3rd round pick is equivalent to a 2017 4th round pick, which is equivalent to a 2016 5th round pick. Getting rid of Rowe is the type of personnel move that will hinder Schwartz’s head coaching opportunities.

  62. 62 sonofdman said at 10:44 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    2016 1st round pick is equivalent to a 2010 seventh round pick. I can’t believe the Eagles drafted a QB who is only as good a 2010 seventh rounder to be their franchise QB. 🙂

  63. 63 Mitchell said at 10:58 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    meh, a third is a third is a third to me.

  64. 64 Dave said at 8:57 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    With that mindset, you’d be OK if Howie traded a third this year for a third in 2020?

  65. 65 Mitchell said at 10:27 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    No, i was trying to say that idc what year it is I will always like a 3rd more than a 4th, a 2nd more than a 3rd etc.

  66. 66 SteveH said at 8:51 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    “Healthy scratch Rowe” made a play? My word.

  67. 67 CrackSammich said at 7:00 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Fun with stats:

    Carson Wentz vs BAL — 22/42, 170 yds, 0 TD, 1 Int, 52.7 rating
    Matt Barkley vs GB — 30/43, 362 yds, 2 TD, 3 int, 81.7 rating

  68. 68 kid said at 7:19 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Green Bay defense trash

  69. 69 CrackSammich said at 7:28 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    More fun with stats:

    Sam Bradford vs IND — 33/42, 291 yds, 0 TD, 1 Int, 84.5 rating

  70. 70 Flyineagle45 said at 7:18 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Is it too early to warm up the Gus bus?

  71. 71 bushisamoron said at 8:09 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    agree with bdbd20- Wentz injury would be huge at this point in December but Isaac played well enough. Very up and down game but I like the effort. Our CB’s are bad (spoiler alert!) and our O-line banged up but we competed with a very good team on the road. No complaints. Just kidding- Ag’s is terrible

  72. 72 A Roy said at 8:44 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I was at the game. Ags stunk. Not only were they content to play him m/m, but the single safety ignored him completely.

  73. 73 daveH said at 9:54 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I watch him and his off ball movement sucks

  74. 74 scratcherk said at 8:28 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Think dallas will have trouble with TB and their front four.

  75. 75 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:31 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Go Tampa

  76. 76 SteveH said at 8:50 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I never realized before tonight how huge Sean Lee’s nose is. It’s seriously half the length of his face. It’s amazing he hasn’t had like 8 broken noses in his career.

  77. 77 Jernst said at 10:40 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I saw that last week and made an audible gasp when they showed a close up of his face, haha

  78. 78 A Roy said at 8:52 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Game plan this week was what it should’ve been all year. If you have the mindset you’re going to run the rock, you can be successful vs good run defense teams.

  79. 79 BobSmith77 said at 9:11 PM on December 18th, 2016:

  80. 80 kajomo said at 9:15 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    We don’t seem to run the ball with the same success when Ryan Matthews isn’t available. He’s been a tone setter, but has been MIA for too many games.

  81. 81 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 9:21 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Mathews made a lot of those runs happen.

  82. 82 A Roy said at 9:24 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Good point. New kid looks to have potential, thiugh.

  83. 83 scratcherk said at 9:04 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Huff sighting

  84. 84 SteveH said at 9:08 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    That was hilarious, I mean it sucks because it helps the Cowboys, but Winston wasn’t even hit, the ball just popped strait up in the air like it was on a bouncy castle.

  85. 85 kajomo said at 9:14 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    What do you guys think of adding Ronald Leary as our LG? He’s not a great Pass blocker, but he is an excellent run blocker.


    That’s a big OL that should be able to generate some serious push in the running game.

  86. 86 scratcherk said at 9:16 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    i think peters will be back

  87. 87 kajomo said at 9:19 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Very possible, but I’d prefer to get younger and use his cap dollars to help with that.

  88. 88 wee2424 said at 11:39 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I think you preferably let Big V develop another year. You don’t choose to make either T spot a weak spot with a 2nd year QB.

    Notice how much Dak is helped by his OL, especially tackles.

    This is all about protecting and developing Wentz.

  89. 89 Dan said at 8:16 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    On top of it, where is our depth? We just took two players that were our depth this year and put them into starting positions, if we didn’t have those two as depth this year we would have really been boned.

  90. 90 kid said at 9:24 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    didn’t witten drop the ball?

  91. 91 SteveH said at 9:25 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    All I heard leading up to this game was how good TB’s defense had been playing… They look fairly shitty to me.

  92. 92 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 9:28 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Dallas just might be good…

  93. 93 SteveH said at 9:34 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Yeah IDK man, the Giants D isn’t supposed to be elite but they beat the shit out of the Cowboys last week.

  94. 94 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 9:39 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Division games often make no sense. Teams in our division have been playing each other tough all year

  95. 95 SteveH said at 9:40 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    God moves in mysterious ways I suppose. The point is the Bucs have looked like anything but an elite defensive unit so far.

  96. 96 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 10:02 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    They arent elite. I think they are a good enough team.

  97. 97 wee2424 said at 10:36 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Lately, up until this game they have been playing at an elite level.

  98. 98 ChoTime said at 11:39 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    It’s funny, before the season I noticed many putting NY as clearly the worst team in the NFCE, and I didn’t get it. They are doing better than I thought, though.

  99. 99 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 9:29 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Cant fix everything this off season but I think CB and WR are fixable this off season

  100. 100 Mitchell said at 11:00 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    And if they do “fix” those areas, they are playoff bound. No doubt in my mind.

  101. 101 Aaron said at 9:29 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    tampas D is like phillys

  102. 102 BobSmith77 said at 9:30 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Jaguars didn’t even wait until the end of the year to fire Bradley.

    Funny how much debate there was about Kelly and Bradley but likely both choices in that ‘Lurie Chooses His Head Coach’ Choose Your Own Adventure book would have ended in failure.

    Bradley has been nothing short of disaster and he has gotten eviscerated by the national media. He might get another defensive coordinator gig but I can’t ever see him sniffing another NFL head coaching gig.

  103. 103 anon said at 1:08 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Defense was never good while he was there.

  104. 104 unhinged said at 1:37 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Kinda like Spags?

  105. 105 Dan said at 8:14 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Bradley’s fate was tied with Blake Bortles, just like Pederson’s will be with Wentz.

  106. 106 ChoTime said at 11:37 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Let me know when someone succeeds over there, then there will be a better way to compare the coaches.

  107. 107 SteveH said at 9:35 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Winston – always known for making good decisions lol.

  108. 108 SteveH said at 9:41 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    You have to love the Bucs spending a 2nd rounder on a kicker this year, and trading up to do it! How that GM didn’t lose his job before the Goodell finished announcing the pick IDK.

  109. 109 wee2424 said at 11:56 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Did they? Somehow didn’t notice that. How has he been doing?

  110. 110 SteveH said at 9:44 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Good protection, and complete. Good protection, and complete. Good protection, and complete. Good protection, all kinds of time, and complete.

  111. 111 SteveH said at 9:47 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    There’s so much time… Look at that pocket… So much attention focused on the running backs…

  112. 112 A_T_G said at 10:12 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Cowboys defense looks shellshocked like, “Wait, I thought the bullshit lucky bounces were only supposed to help us?! Dean! Fix this!”

  113. 113 xeynon said at 10:32 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    The biggest needs heading into the offseason are pretty clearly CB and offensive skill players (particularly WRs but also more talent at RB). Ultimately I think it should be BPA but I’d lean towards addressing WR first among these needs. We can scheme around a bad pass defense to some extent but we have to get Wentz some weapons to work with if we want him to develop properly. I don’t want us to make the same mistake we did with McNabb and waste his first several prime seasons trying to win with trash receivers.

  114. 114 Jernst said at 10:38 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    A great RB would be a luxury at this point given the dregs we’re trotting out there at wide receiver. I’m with you…we need a playmaker at WR, absolutely need. CB we can take our time building and finding the right players, as long as we get someone that’s faster than Mills. But, WR is something that we simply will not be able to compete with most teams without upgrading.

  115. 115 xeynon said at 10:52 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    If an elite RB talent is far and away the best guy on the board at our pick I’d be okay with it – Fournette looks like Zeke 2.0 and McCaffrey could be Pederson’a version of Westbrook. It’s a really deep RB draft though so there should be good players available in the 3rd or 4th round.

  116. 116 Jernst said at 11:01 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    I prefer BPA, especially with a team that has a need for playmakers at every area of the field. If the best player available at our pick is a DT or a RG, I’d still want them to take the best player. Same for RB. I wouldn’t be upset with Fournette or McCaffrey at all! That being said, I don’t care if it’s through FA or the draft, if it’s in round 1 or 2 or 3 or all of the above. They absolutely need to get a player on this team that can make plays in the passing game. That’s the biggest need. Doesn’t mean we have to force the first round pick on a WR. But, that position needs to be addressed somehow someway.

  117. 117 ChoTime said at 11:36 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    I agree. I think one elite playmaker could have made a big difference this year, but I say BPA because this team is just short on talent, period.

  118. 118 bill said at 12:09 PM on December 19th, 2016:

    I think the D has plenty, they just need a slot CB and some depth at edge rusher (which the scheme can help with less than premium talent). Maybe not a generational D, but a very good one. Offense, on the other hand, needs playmakers at pretty much every position (other than QB). RB, WR, even TE (Celek can’t hold out forever), T and C are all places where a true talent could make a big splash.

  119. 119 anon said at 1:08 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    AP can’t even get 5ypc without an OL.

  120. 120 laeagle said at 1:15 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Our 4th string OL helped Mathews and a guy signed off the practice squad run up crazy yards on the league’s best run defense today. So OL is not the problem.

  121. 121 Anders said at 5:33 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Fournette is not even close to Zeke in talent imo.

  122. 122 anon said at 1:07 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    I still like OL, but i’m not as down as you guys are on the Wrs. Chip Kelly was able to scheme these guys open last year. But Chiefs WRs never had production – so i think we’re expecting too much.

  123. 123 ChoTime said at 11:35 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    He could scheme them open, but he couldn’t scheme them into catching anything.

  124. 124 Dan said at 8:13 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    We need a play maker, regardless of position. With the draft I’m hoping Vikings keep tanking so we can get within range to ake a move for Williams or Cook.

  125. 125 Jernst said at 10:34 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    Really liked what I saw out of Byron Marshall tonight. Kid looked like he belongs on the field. He’s the one back we have that has the ability to juke a free defender and create a play, he caught the ball well, and I was very impressed with his blocking. He looked like a poor man’s Brian Westbrook out there a couple of times. I’m totally fine with a combination of him, Smallwood, Sproles and Barner/rookie next year.

    Wentz clearly has what it takes to be a stud, both mentally and physically. But, the dude really needs to work on his mechanics. As the fatigue of the season has grown and the line has given up more and more pressure he’s really regressed in that area and his accuracy is suffering. Will be really exciting to see how much of a jump he can make this offseason being able to train all year and work as the starter throughout the OTAs and training camp.

    Seumalo wasn’t perfect by any means, but let’s give the kid credit. A college center making his 3rd start was moved to RT and asked to block Terrell Suggs all night and I thought he played pretty darn well given the circumstances.

    None of our WRs know how to attack the football. They’re all passive wusses. I’m tired of Nelson Agholar. Jordan Matthews is a slightly better version of Jason Avant, nothing more. And, DGB is one of the softest 6’5” 240 pound WRs I’ve ever seen. This group makes me miss Pinkston and Thrash.

    And, finally…Jalen Mills is too slow to play outside CB.

  126. 126 Anders said at 5:28 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Jordan Matthews hands dream about making catches like Avant.

  127. 127 ChoTime said at 11:34 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Yeah, they’re not similar players.

  128. 128 Flyineagle45 said at 11:20 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    We should have drafted Elliot instead of Wentz kept Bradford and built the O-lins

  129. 129 Sean Stott said at 11:52 PM on December 18th, 2016:

    no we shouldn’t have

  130. 130 sonofdman said at 12:05 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    I can just imagine the outrage if we had traded what we did to move up to the second pick and then drafted a running back.

  131. 131 Sean Stott said at 3:03 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    we’d be hearing herschel walker comparisons for a decade

  132. 132 Patrick said at 12:17 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    We really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really…I’m just gonna go ahead and skip to the end.. shouldn’t have.

  133. 133 Cafone said at 5:04 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Sam Bradford is crap. Enjoy your franchise quarterback for the next 15 years.

  134. 134 Dan said at 8:11 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Not really, its a lot easier to be good as a rookie RB than rookie QB. This is no slight to Elliot, he is a beast, but if Wentz turns out to be anything above average than it was absolutely the right move. Even more so since the draft this year is loaded with RB.

  135. 135 LeatherWallet said at 12:07 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    I couldn’t watch the whole game, did Seumalo play well enough to justify starting him at LG when LJ comes back? It would make sense since he’s part of the future while Barbre and Wis are old vets.

  136. 136 SteveH said at 12:10 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    It’s hard to evaluate Seumalo’s guard play today as he was at tackle.

  137. 137 Jernst said at 12:29 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    I thought he held up very well for playing RT against Suggs as rookie who played Center and guard in college. Seumalo will be a starter somewhere on the line next year.

  138. 138 Fufina said at 3:44 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    He did play LT/RT 5 times in college, so he does have some experience playing position but regardless it was really impressive against Suggs as a rookie having to move positions in a week from guard to Tackle.

    Seumalo has really impressed me so far, has had a few rookie issues but looks strong, agile (for a guard) and it looks like he can mentally process the NFL game. Think he has a great chance to be a starting Guard in the NFL and i think they will be planning for him to start at LG. Which means Barbre can be the swing OL on game day (which is his ideal role) and if we keep Peters/Johnson have Big V as a nice developing Tackle. Get a Center in the mid rounds to push Kelce / develop as a replacement and we should have a pretty deep and decent OL situation.

  139. 139 D3FB said at 8:50 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Yes, he also played well enough last week that he should start over Wiz

  140. 140 Gary Barnes said at 12:29 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Appreciate the positive perspective, but the reality is the team is 5-9 and has a ton of issues to resolve. Close is not good enough, we’ve been close at times for 50+ years. I and many other fans are sick of excuses. I give Roseman & Co. 2, maybe 3 at the most, more years to produce a sustainable winner capable of going deep in the playoffs. Put up or shut up time. Family atmosphere and “loving guys up” sounds good, but results matter and winning should be the sole focus. Lurie should sell the team if he cannot get the job done. This is obviously a rant out of frustration, but I have lost patience.

  141. 141 Mitchell said at 12:57 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    GET ‘EM GARY!!!!!

  142. 142 unhinged said at 1:33 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    I felt a lot more frustrated when we had a franchise QB and usually finished first in what was usually a lame division, and then got our asses handed to us in round 1 (usually). Two things from that era stand out in my mind: Our QB was high pedigree, HS star, college phenom, and our defense was full of talent, built by Ray Rhodes, and coached by a veritable scheme guru.
    By contrast, presently we have a rookie QB who shows some signs of having all of the tools, but he is nowhere close to his ceiling as No. 5 was. And our defense has been “erratic” most of the season. Attempts have been made, but our D is still recovering from a string of drafts that yielded many second-rate, short-term solutions and more than a few busts. Once Jim Johnson left us, that downward spiral became a regrettable part of AR’s legacy. Fortunately, in my opinion, our DL ain’t too shabby, but our LB’s and secondary need a handful of upgrades. This is well within grasp in one or two seasons, I think. The OL, of which much has been written of late, is going through a protracted transition apparently. JP may have one season left, Jason Kelce may be on the outs soon, but last year’s draft may have actually landed two future starters, and that would mark a shift in our off-season fortunes. So I find it a lot easier to be patient right now than I did back when. The rookie needs some time to grow and some better players for support. Having the QB (hopefully) is the thing that makes steady improvement a reasonable expectation.

  143. 143 sonofdman said at 7:50 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    We only went one and done in the playoffs one time with McNabb and that was in 2009, which was McNabb’s last year here.

  144. 144 unhinged said at 10:18 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    If you mean appeared in one game and lost, you are correct. I was not accounting for WC games. We lost 4 out of 5 conference championship games, and that is how I should have made my point. Thank you for paying attention.

  145. 145 Cafone said at 5:03 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    You are saying two different things: “Put up or shut up time” and “I give Roseman & Co. 2, maybe 3 at the most, more years”

    I agree that we should see progress in year 2 and that by year 3 we better be pretty confident that the team is heading towards championship contention.

    I am not too worried about the win/loss record at this point. I think Howie is going to put together a championship team. And if he doesn’t he’ll get fired. But I think giving him 3 years is reasonable

  146. 146 A_T_G said at 6:03 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    I’m curious, you give them two, maybe three years at the most… and then what?

  147. 147 Iskar36 said at 2:11 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    For me, the going for two at the end of the game matched what you would expect from Doug Pederson, and for that reason, I liked it a lot. Personally, I would have rather gone for overtime (although I appreciate the logic Tommy suggested above). With that said, Doug Pederson clearly believes in playing aggressively. I don’t always agree with the plays he uses, but his aggressiveness with 4th down has generally been the right decision, regardless of outcome, and is one thing he seems to do better than a lot of coaches. Going for two at the end may have been overly risky for me, but I love the fact that Doug sticks to his strategy and so far hasn’t seemed to let emotions change whether or not he is going to be aggressive. It seems he must have worked out the different scenarios carefully and has come to a decision on when to be aggressive with those kinds of plays and has stuck with it for the most part.

  148. 148 Fufina said at 3:36 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    As a bit of context when discussion Wentz i am going to compare his rookie year to McNabb’s:

    McNabb rookie year:
    2-4 record,
    49.1% completion percentage
    3.2% Interception percentage
    4.4 yards per attempt.
    79.0 yards per game.

    Wentz rookie year so far:
    5-9 record
    63.7% completion percentage (McNabb did better than this once).
    2.4% Interception percentage
    6.5 yards per attempt (Mcnabb beat this 5 times in his career)
    257.3 yards per game. (Mcnabb beat this 4 times in his career)

    All this in a situation where he is on pace to throw 569 passes this year (ties most ever attempted by McNabb), OL chaos and a poor WR group with having missed off season reps (both in game and with starting WR’s/TE’s due to being no.3 all offseason).

  149. 149 Cafone said at 5:17 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    I think Wentz is going to be much better than McNabb, but it’s not really fair to compare stats from different eras, and even though it wasn’t that long ago, it was a different era for QB stats.

    in 1999 there were 5 teams with a 60% or better completion percentage (and two of those teams were at 60.0%). In 2016 there are currently 24 teams with a completion rate over 60%.

  150. 150 sew737 said at 6:11 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Thats because u have to treat the receiver S like it’s flag football

  151. 151 myartz04 said at 6:31 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    So you’re saying our receivers couldn’t get open in flag football?

  152. 152 Dan said at 8:09 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    Another thing you failed to mention was that the field conditions were terrible with the wind. If the Eagles lost the coin toss, Ravens would have picked playing with the wind to their back, and with the best kicker in football they would have picked up at least 3 points and won the game. Better to lose the game on your play call than on a coin toss.

  153. 153 scratcherk said at 8:28 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    I think it’s the best of both worlds to be close in games but get a tally in the loss column. Getting valuable experience and playing time for the rookies. We were not going to make a dent in the playoffs. This also serves as motivation to really scrutinize the roster in the offseason, rather than if we had backed into the playoffs and come away thinking we’re closer than we really are to a championship team.

    The most surprising part is that I think we’re better off on the OL than I thought we would be going into the offseason. Seumalo looks like he can play and Big V was definitely serviceable. Not saying we shouldnt try to upgrade and build competition but this OL next year would be decent:


    Going from needing multiple starters to one starter at center and depth.

  154. 154 BlindChow said at 9:41 AM on December 19th, 2016:

    The best thing about the game yesterday was that the Eagles actually stayed with the run, even when they fell behind. Once we were down 7 points, I figured, “Welp, that’s the last we’ve seen of the run game…” But even when 10 points down, Doug was still calling runs. And it worked! They were actually picking up large chunks of yards on the ground, when they’d usually be going 3 and out through the air (and this against the league’s best run defense!).

    Unfortunately, I have a hard time believing Doug learned anything from it. I think he knew they weren’t playing for anything other than experience, so he kept to his plan to lighten the load on Wentz. We can hope, though, I guess…