All good things must come to an end, right?
On Monday night, the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles lost their first game of the 2022-2023 season to NFC East rival, the Washington Commanders. Realistically, it was bound to happen. But if you’ve been listening to the rest of the league this week, you might think it’s all down hill from here.
Luckily the Eagles feel differently, and now they’re playing to prove that they can remain strong contenders.
EAGLES LOSE TO COMMANDERS
The Eagles had a strong start to Monday night’s game. Pulling ahead 7-0 early in the first quarter, their weaknesses became apparent soon after. The Commanders not only took the lead, but possessed the ball for almost 24 minutes in the first half. They totaled 51 offensive plays in that time.
Trailing by six points, the Eagles entered the second half of the game behind Washington for the first time all season. Sadly, there was no comeback.
Despite losing 32-21, the defeat actually turned out to be a good thing — something that the Eagles (and the rest of the NFL) can now learn from.
WHY PHILLY’S FIRST LOSS WAS A POSITIVE THING
No more consistent pressure
Prior to the Eagles losing last week, their 8-0 undefeated record was the first in franchise history. They are now on track to play the best season the team has ever played. The only thing standing in the way of that is Philadelphia’s 1949 season.
But, with their winning streak came immense pressure. Pressure to go 17-0, setting league milestones, all while making it to the Super Bowl and taking home the franchise’s second win. It sounds crazy because it is. The Eagles were bound to lose, and now that the time has come and gone, the team, as well as the fans can focus on the bigger picture.
Following the Eagles’ loss, wide receiver A.J. Brown stated, “Now all this 17-0 sh*t is over with”. Brown is now relieved that the team and fans can come back down to Earth.
Cornerback Darius Slay agreed. “I’m glad it happened right now instead of the one we really need”.
The opportunity to fix mistakes
Monday’s game play was just bad. Quarterback Jalen Hurts wasn’t accurate, the offense couldn’t keep the ball in their hands, and the defense failed to stop the run. The coaching wasn’t great either, missing multiple instances where only ten players were on the field (rather than 11).
Head coach Nick Sirianni was the first one to admit the team’s wrongdoings.
“You create your own luck and we played like crap. we didn’t do a good enough job. It feels like things go against you. Those plays, those scenarios that happen when you play like the get magnified, whether it was the right call or the wrong call. So, we made our own luck today and it was bad”.
Despite the limited time the Eagles have to fix their mistakes by Sunday, in the grand scheme of things, the team has eight more weeks to get it together. As a playoff-bound team, Philadelphia cannot go into the post-season playing similar to last Monday.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts stated, “When you win, they say it’s hard to keep the hinger, and I think this team is in a position to dictate on how we want to respond to this adversity, this obstacle in our way. What is done is done, so there is a what now mentality. And I know my mentality moving forward. I know my attention to detail in terms of my preparation and how that will look moving forward. I know my eagerness to play to the standard moving forward. I know what this is. I know how this team will respond, and I have confidence in the football team”.
A chance to fill the team’s holes
Philadelphia’s biggest hole was the lose of rookie Jordan Davis. After suffering an ankle injury (vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers), he was placed on injured reserve, and his lack of presence was definitely felt.
To beef up the defense in the meantime, the Eagles added defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh. Both players are Pro Bowlers and Super Bowl champions, looking for another massive win to add to their resume.
Though they join the team as the two oldest players, both will likely see snaps on Sunday against the Colts, taking playing time away from veteran Fletcher Cox.
Calling attention to faulty league rules
Eagles’ fans might be mad over Philadelphia’s first loss, but they are definitely hell-bent over the missed face mask penalty.
In the fourth quarter, the Commanders’ defense blatantly grabbed Dallas Goedert’s face mask, pulling him to the ground where he inevitably fumbled. Due to NFL regulations, a replay was not allowed and the play could not be challenged. What should have been a 15-yard penalty, ended up a play in favor of Washington.
No penalty for facemask called on this play. Eagles fumble, Washington now with the ball pic.twitter.com/Xncexxh7V9
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 15, 2022
Even worse, Goedert suffered a shoulder injury due to the play. This week the tight end was placed on injured reserve, and will miss at least four weeks, leaving Jack Stoll to take his place.
As the Eagles fight to keep their losses to a count of one, they travel for Week 11. They will take on the Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1) on Sunday, November 20 at 1 PM.