Eagles Come Back Down to Earth

by Marc Narducci | Oct 22, 2016
Eagles Come Back Down to Earth A few weeks ago when the Eagles won their first three games, including a resounding 34-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the expectations of the fans suddenly changed.

What was expected to be a rebuilding season, turned into a no-doubt feeling of a postseason for the Eagles.

While that could still occur, the last two weeks have been sobering and maybe realistic.

The Eagles lost 24-23 at Detroit and then followed that with Sunday's 27-20 loss to the host Washington Redskins.

Rookie Carson Wentz, who was lights out in the first three games, still had many impressive moments the last two weeks.

Here are Wentz's stats for the first three games.

66 of 102 passing, for 769 yards, 5 TDs, 0 interceptions, 103.8 passer rating.

Here are the stats from the two losses.

36 of 55 passing, 417 yards, 2 TDs, 1 interception, 92.8 passer rating.

As one can see, the statistics in the losses aren't bad, evident by the 92.8 passer rating.

Yes, Wentz made some mistakes and he rushed some throws, but especially against Washington, he was running for his life.

The Eagles saw how important Lane Johnson was during the Redskins game, which was the first of a 10-game suspension for a second positive test for PEDs.

Johnson's replacement, rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai, looked overmatched in his first NFL game. He allowed 2.5 sacks to Ryan Kerrigan in the first half.

Coach Doug Pederson says he will stick with the rookie, who is known as "Big V."

The offense generated just two field goals, with the other points coming on a Malcom Jenkins 64 yard interception return and an 86-yard kickoff return from Wendell Smallwood, which was the first kick returned for a TD in the NFL this season.

Yet as much as the offense struggled, the defense has shown some alarming holes in the past few weeks.

The one staggering statistic during the Redskins game was that the Eagles recorded zero sacks. The defensive line is supposed to be a strength. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, who didn't even have a particularly strong game, still had plenty of time to throw.

So now the Eagle have to regroup, but it won't be easy. Up next will be the NFL's lone unbeaten team, the Minnesota Vikings (and former Eagles QB Sam Bradford) coming to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

In fact the next eight games will be awfully challenging - Vikings, at Cowboys, at Giants, Falcons, at Seahawks, Packers, at Bengals and Redskins.

If one had to make a guess right now, it's doubtful the Eagles would be a favorite in more than one of these games.

Just as it was an overreaction to call the Eagles a playoff team after their first win, it's equally wrong to dismiss their chances now.

Still, there is a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball. And the Eagles must cut down on penalties (13 for 114 yards against Washington).

The Eagles must regain their confidence and with the upcoming schedule, it will be a challenging task.

Photo Credit: dean bertoncelj / Shutterstock.com

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Author: Marc Narducci

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