The Philadelphia Eagles somehow found themselves on Monday Night Football last night, presumably more out of morbid fascination than genuine entertainment value.
The memories of the glorious 2017 season, or even All Or Nothing’s slightly optimistic 2019 season, were long gone during yet another depressing offensive performance in the 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Eagles have been a mess all season, but the spotlight of primetime really illuminated that mess last night.
The empty stadium shielded the team from the famously understanding Philadelphia fans’ inevitable boos, although such a response might force some changes from a team content to exhibit the same issues every week.
It is incredible it has taken this long for Doug Pederson to apparently be on the hot-seat.Embed from Getty Images
Jordan Mailata finally replaced Jason Peters at left-tackle but the offensive line was still a mess. Lane Johnson was missing at right-tackle, but more errors from the ever-present Jason Kelce at centre suggested the starters do not have many answers either.
As a result, or perhaps coincidentally, Carson Wentz was again dreadful. He was sacked six more times, although whose fault they were is hard to tell, currently.
On the rare occasions a receiver got some separation Wentz would underthrow or not even see them. Past feel-good stories Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham barely featured, while DK Metcalf once again proved the difference for Seattle.
The Eagles clearly learned nothing from Metcalf catching nine passes for 160 yards in the same stadium in January, a playoff record for a rookie. Last night he topped that effort with 10 catches for 177 yards. That J.J. Arcega-Whiteside pick stings more with every passing week.
And Jim Schwartz ensured Metcalf would be motivated, just in case…
Currently, anything positive for the Eagles is immediately negated, sapping hope from all involved. Derek Barnett made fourth-down stops on both of the Seahawks’ first two drives, but the Eagles went three and out on their first five.
When the Eagles finally clawed a touchdown drive together to end the half, they were already 14-0 down, and then Jake Elliott missed the extra-point anyway.
At times, different parts of the team seem to be competing as to how much they can mess things up.
In field-goal range, eight points down, late on, Pederson unnecessarily went for it on fourth-down, so Wentz decided to throw an interception directly to Quandre Diggs without a receiver in sight.
Seeing his quarterback struggling in the passing game Pederson called a grand total of nine rushes for running-backs, and the much-anticipated Jalen Hurts game-plan turned out to be a single pass and single handoff.Embed from Getty Images
Somehow it seems like almost everything is wrong with the Eagles this season, and in a year where doing literally anything reasonably well in the woeful NFC East would lead to hosting a playoff game, that is all the more glaring.
Something has to change in Philadelphia, but right now it seems harder to identify what does not.
Seattle played relatively poorly, and still never looked like losing.
Incredibly, as if to highlight the incredible farce the Eagles have become, Richard Rodgers actually caught a Hail-Mary touchdown from Wentz. Unfortunately, there were 20 seconds left and they still needed another one, so he might as well not have bothered.