In Need of a Fix

Posted: November 19th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Eagles played in a big game on Sunday, losing 17-10. One drive accounted for 90 yards of offense and seven points. The rest of the game? The offense could only muster 165 yards and three points. To put that in football terms…not good.

It is easy to come away from Sunday wanting to fire the coaches, bench half the skill players and cut the other half. Heads must roll, right?

Maybe.

But we also have to remember the Eagles were up 10-0 and had 103 yards of offense when the starting O-line was on the field. Losing Lane Johnson just crippled the offense. If you can’t win down the field, you must win at the line of scrimmage. We knew going in that Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews and the young receivers were going to struggle against the best secondary in the league. Losing Johnson was a crushing blow.

Suddenly the run game was erratic. The right side of the Eagles line wasn’t able to get regular movement. Pass protection was sloppy. An offense without Jordan Howard and Alshon Jeffery couldn’t afford to lose Johnson when taking on the best defense in the league.

This isn’t to say the Eagles can write off that performance to just the injuries. Doug Pederson did not have his best game as a play-caller. He talked on Monday about how he kept trying to come up with an explosive play. With a banged up OL and weak set of receivers going up against the best defense, I don’t understand the thinking behind going for big plays. I get that it is brutally hard to sustain drives against a defense that good, but why not focus on short plays to get a drive going and then think about chunk plays.

Five of the 10 drives after the TD were three plays or less. Again, not good.

Carson Wentz did not help matters. He was trying to be too good, looking for the best option too often. There are times when you are better off getting the ball out quickly and seeing if your skill players can make something happen. Holding the ball and expecting someone to make a contested catch 10 to 15 yards downfield isn’t a good idea with this group. Holding the ball led to multiple sacks and those were drive killers.

The question now becomes what will happen in the future. There are six games left in the season. The Eagles won’t face the Pats and their top-ranked defense in those games. Seattle is ranked 25th in yards allowed. If you put Howard, Jeffery and Johnson back on the field against that team, you better score more than 10 points. If you don’t, then we have a different situation, one that escalates things in a major way.

Pederson and the offensive coaches must be better.

Wentz must be better.

Guys like Jason Kelce, Jason Peters and Dallas Goedert must be better.

I don’t know what to say about Nelson Agholor. He had two chances for TDs on Sunday and couldn’t convert either time. He doesn’t seem aware of where he is and where the ball is. He hasn’t had more than 42 yards in a game since September.

Do you bench him?

The coaches still seem to trust him. Wentz still seems to trust him. Still, at a certain point you have to wonder if it is time to make a change. What would you lose? You could play Jeffery and Arcega-Whiteside on the outside, with Matthews in the slot. You would lose your fastest receiver, but if he can’t catch the ball downfield, is that a huge deal?

Pederson has done a good job managing his players over the years, knowing when to support them and when to be tough. This is a huge challenge. There is a saying “Don’t confuse activity with achievement.” That sure feels like a good description of Agholor. He plays a lot of snaps, but there just isn’t anything to show for it.

Sitting Agholor back in 2016 did him a lot of good. You wonder if that would make a difference now or if that ship has already sailed.

Pederson and his staff must be smart and creative with whatever they decide to do down the stretch run. The Eagles defense played really well on Sunday, making that three straight strong performances from them. The defense is healthy and playing well. If Pederson can fix the offense, the Eagles could get hot over the past six weeks.

The offense will improve as it gets healthy, but that’s not enough. The passing game has struggled since the opening game.  Pederson must figure this out.

The Eagles are 5-5, but the season, unlike Eagles receivers,  is still wide open.

Fix the offense and this team can finish strong.

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One Comment on “In Need of a Fix”

  1. 1 The Linc - Eagles will host the NJ high school football game suspended due to shooting - Philly's Top Five said at 6:15 AM on November 19th, 2019:

    […] In Need of a Fix – Iggles BlitzI don’t know what to say about Nelson Agholor. He had two chances for TDs on Sunday and couldn’t convert either time. He doesn’t seem aware of where he is and where the ball is. He hasn’t had more than 42 yards in a game since September. Do you bench him? The coaches still seem to trust him. Wentz still seems to trust him. Still, at a certain point you have to wonder if it is time to make a change. What would you lose? You could play Jeffery and Arcega-Whiteside on the outside, with Matthews in the slot. You would lose your fastest receiver, but if he can’t catch the ball downfield, is that a huge deal? […]