The Blame Game

Posted: October 22nd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

As soon as the Eagles game was over on Sunday, a whole new game began. The blame game.

The defense blew the game.

The offense blew the game.

Jim Schwartz blew the game.

Doug Pederson blew the game.

Carson Wentz blew the game.

The real answer is that everyone blew the game. You can’t pick and choose angles. You have to look at the game in totality. Think about the offense. They put up 342 yards. They had 7 pass plays of 20 or more yards. But they still only scored 17 points. In a season when other teams are lighting up the scoreboard, the Eagles have struggled to score all year long.

The offense needed to score more than 17 points.

The defense was handed a 17-point lead. They were well-rested after the offense’s 9-minute drive. They were at home. They were facing a mediocre passing attack that didn’t have explosive WRs. The defense couldn’t come up with one stop in the 4th quarter. Not one single stop. Ronald Darby had a chance for an INT, but it would have required a sensational catch. Fletcher Cox had a chance for a sack, but couldn’t get his hands firmly on a QB that is brutally tough to take down. The defense had a chance on 4th and 10, but Jalen Mills slipped and that’s all Carolina needed to get a big play.

The defense needed to make a 17-point lead hold up.

Schwartz mixed things up a bit. There was a zone blitz on at least one play. He had DBs press and play off. He blitzed at times. He mixed up his rush groups. Nothing worked.

Pederson gave up on the run. Carolina was going to load the box and dare the Eagles to pass so I get his thinking, but to only run once in the entire 4th quarter seems curious. Maybe there were several RPOs called and Wentz went with the pass. I still think you need to mix in some runs, to help out the OL and to keep the defense somewhat off-balance.

Carson Wentz is a great QB. The Eagles are lucky to have him and the future is incredibly bright. But he fell apart when the team needed him the most. After the pass interference penalty, the Eagles were at the 22-yard line. There was 1:11 left, an eternity. The Eagles had a pair of timeouts. The entire playbook was open to Wentz and Pederson.

Wentz played desperate. Or maybe he was trying to be the hero. The ball slipped out of his hand on the first play and should have been picked off. Wentz smartly audibled on 2nd down and Smallwood ran for 8 yards to set up 3rd and short. Wentz forced a ball to Alshon Jeffery, who was double-covered. That should have been picked off. Smallwood was open in the left flat. Wentz looked at him and decided to force the ball to AJ.

The final play was awkward. The receivers seemed to be going more for the end zone than the first down. Jeffery did come wide open over the middle, but a well-executed stunt by the Panthers DL didn’t give Wentz time to get the ball to him. Why are you not calling a quick-hitter to Ertz there? Or move Wentz out of the pocket and let him have the chance to run if needed?

There is no single player or side of the ball that is totally to blame. A meltdown like that requires failure across the board.

*****

From an internal perspective, the only finger-pointing ought to be from players to the guy they see in the mirror. If the players show the right kind of accountability, maybe something good can come of this.

Accountability matters.

The Eagles have high character guys so I’d be surprised if they are blaming anyone but themselves.

*****

This is the kind of thing that Pederson will be stewing over as he studies the game. Why go away from what was working?

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One Comment on “The Blame Game”

  1. 1 Eagles News: Fletcher Cox calls Panthers game “the worst loss I’ve ever had” - Football News Latest said at 10:53 AM on October 22nd, 2018:

    […] The Blame Game – Iggles BlitzThe real answer is that everyone blew the game. You can’t pick and choose angles. You have to look at the game in totality. Think about the offense. They put up 342 yards. They had 7 pass plays of 20 or more yards. But they still only scored 17 points. In a season when other teams are lighting up the scoreboard, the Eagles have struggled to score all year long. The offense needed to score more than 17 points. The defense was handed a 17-point lead. They were well-rested after the offense’s 9-minute drive. They were at home. They were facing a mediocre passing attack that didn’t have explosive WRs. The defense couldn’t come up with one stop in the 4th quarter. Not one single stop. Ronald Darby had a chance for an INT, but it would have required a sensational catch. Fletcher Cox had a chance for a sack, but couldn’t get his hands firmly on a QB that is brutally tough to take down. The defense had a chance on 4th and 10, but Jalen Mills slipped and that’s all Carolina needed to get a big play. […]