Game Thoughts – PHI 37, WAS 27

Posted: December 17th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

Rather than write a review of the game, I decided to write some thoughts and observations after re-watching it and having a chance to put things in context.

CLUTCH

The Eagles played from behind for most of the game. Every time they took a lead, the Skins responded and took it right back. This meant the Eagles were constantly under pressure to make plays. They were 11 for 16 on third down conversions and some of those were absolutely critical situations. The Eagles never panicked. They never looked desperate. They executed well and moved on to the next situation.

The offense was 4 for 5 in the Red Zone and the Eagles needed every one of those TDs. The plays were well-designed and well-executed. The only off-schedule play was Carson Wentz’s amazing pass to Miles Sanders in the back of the end zone.

As flawed as the defense was, they did have some clutch moments. With the Eagles winning 24-21, the Skins returned the kickoff out near midfield. WAS came up with a 22-yard pass play to get into scoring position. The defense then tightened up and held them to the field goal.

Wentz then fumbled on the next series and that set up WAS in scoring position. The defense didn’t give up a first down and the Skins settled for a FG. Those stops kept the game close and the Eagles were able to take the lead with the ensuing TD.

APPRECIATING ERTZ

Zach Ertz is one of the best TEs in the league. He will go down as the best TE in team history. Sometimes I think we forget just how good stars are when we see them on a weekly basis. It can be easy to take a player for granted.

With a group of WRs that wouldn’t scare Alabama or Clemson, defenses are focused on stopping Ertz. Somehow the coaches still dial up plays for him and Ertz delivers. He did have one drop (it was a tough play), but he consistently gets open and makes tough grabs. With the season on the line in the last two weeks, Ertz has 14 catches and 3 TDs.

LUCKY BREAKS

The Eagles had some luck on Sunday. Steven Sims caught a pass on 3rd & 10 late in the game. He evaded one tackler and looked to have room for the first down. Thankfully he decided to go wide and was tackled short of the sticks. Sims had a chance to catch a pass downfield on another play and the ball went through his hands.

The zebras called roughing the passer on Ryan Anderson for a low hit on Wentz. The problem? It wasn’t low. That was a lucky break.

The Eagles fumbled the ball four times, but only lost one. Fumble recoveries are a combination of hustle and luck. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside didn’t do much in the game, but he did recover one fumble.

SANDERS SPEED

Rookie Josh Adams led the Eagles in rushing last year. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry. His long run was 29 yards. Adams caught 7 passes, with the longest play covering just 13 yards. He scored a total of 3 TDs.

Adams was a promising player, but you could see his athletic limitations. The Eagles decided they need more speed and big play ability out of the backfield so they drafted Miles Sanders in the second round.

Sanders has run for 687 yards so far. He is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and has a pair of rushing TDs. Sanders has caught 42 passes, with 3 of them going for TDs. He has two runs this year of 50 or more yards. He has a pass play of 45 yards.

The Eagles do not have speedy receivers, but Sanders speed is real and he’s been just what the doctor ordered for the backfield.

DL

The Eagles did not have a sack on Sunday. It was frustrating to watch Dwayne Haskins get rid of the ball quickly and before the rush got to him. I felt better about the pass rush when re-watching the game. Maybe I just had lowered expectations, but they did get more pressure than I anticipated.

The DL certainly did not have a good game. Forget about sacks, Haskins did not get pressured or hit nearly enough.

Tim Jernigan has been far too quiet this season. DTs don’t have to post big numbers to impact games, but Jernigan isn’t being disruptive with any regularity.

Brandon Graham was red hot at midseason, but his production has slipped. He did not play well in Washington. It is very rare that Graham frustrates me, but that happened on Sunday.

Josh Sweat did have some good moments. He is such a tease. You see such potential from him, but he doesn’t make as many plays as someone with his talent should.

BOSTON TOUGH

I already talked about Sanders and his speed. Boston Scott also has good speed and quickness. He is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and has shown the ability to get outside and up the field. Get him the ball in space and he will make plays. The thing I’m most impressed by on those plays is Scott’s ability to read blocks correctly. There is nothing more frustrating than a speedy guy in space who doesn’t read blocks and gets tackled easier than he should have. Scott gets the most out of his plays.

I love watching Scott on inside runs. He attacks the line of scrimmage. Scott is already short, but he runs low and gets behind his pads. Defenders just don’t have much to hit/tackle. I love seeing the coaches give him the ball on 3rd & short. You don’t always need a big, powerful runner to move the chains.

TACKLING

Jim Schwartz mentioned tackling as a problem on Sunday and boy was he right. And this wasn’t one guy. Malcolm Jenkins, Nate Gerry, Avonte Maddox, Rodney McLeod and Brandon Graham were among the guys who failed to make tackles when they should have.

This cannot happen against Dallas or the Eagles don’t have a chance.

BIG V

Halapoulivaati Vaitai started at RT and had a solid game. Ryan Anderson “beat him” for a strip sack, but V actually blocked that play just fine. Wentz held the ball a long time and then failed to protect it while looking downfield. Big V will be facing DeMarcus Lawrence this week. That’s a huge difference from Ryan Anderson.

CARSON WENTZ

Stud.

Like I said about Ertz, make sure you appreciate how good this guy is. Enjoy watching him. Not every play is going to work perfectly, but he is a special talent. The good far outweighs the bad.

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One Comment on “Game Thoughts – PHI 37, WAS 27”

  1. 1 The Linc - Miles Sanders is ‘perhaps the most exciting rookie on any given touch’ - Philly's Top Five said at 8:00 AM on December 18th, 2019:

    […] Game Thoughts – PHI 37, WAS 27 – Iggles BlitzRookie Josh Adams led the Eagles in rushing last year. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry. His long run was 29 yards. Adams caught 7 passes, with the longest play covering just 13 yards. He scored a total of 3 TDs. Adams was a promising player, but you could see his athletic limitations. The Eagles decided they need more speed and big play ability out of the backfield so they drafted Miles Sanders in the second round. Sanders has run for 687 yards so far. He is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and has a pair of rushing TDs. Sanders has caught 42 passes, with 3 of them going for TDs. He has two runs this year of 50 or more yards. He has a pass play of 45 yards. The Eagles do not have speedy receivers, but Sanders speed is real and he’s been just what the doctor ordered for the backfield. […]