The losing streak at the Linc continues.
Now 0-4 at home, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost yet again. Their Week 9 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers places The Birds at 3-6 in the NFC East. More importantly, it leaves Philadelphia confused about their future for the remainder of the season.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts lands in both categories, but let’s start here first. Earlier in the season, Hurts was scrutinized for barely utilizing the middle of the field; however, he’s been playing under center lately, and it’s going better than expected.
The 22-year-olds ability to keep the ball alive is something he continues to excel in. His legs are an asset, as he rushed for 62 yards. Hurts also picked up two vital first downs in the second half, leading to a game-tying touchdown. Ultimately, when it matters most, Hurts gets the job done.
Coach Sirianni on @JalenHurts' performance during #LACvsPHI pic.twitter.com/aHTRjgkY68
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 8, 2021
The Run Game
After last week, fans weren’t sure what kind of play calling they would get out of Nick Sirianni. But he continued to run the ball. The Eagles finished with 39 carries for 176 yards and two rushing touchdowns by Jordan Howard and Kenny Gainwell.
The use of the run game isn’t only benefiting the running backs, but really all those involved. It’s taking pressure off of Hurts, opening up the pass game for the offense, and the offensive line is displaying their strengths and abilities to slow the defense — a win-win for everyone.
WHAT’S NOT WORKING
A double-edged sword. Hurts does many things right, but his inability to land specific targets is an ongoing issue. Hurts missed two big plays in the first half of Sunday’s game. The first was a pass intended for Dallas Goedert. The second was for DeVonta Smith in the end zone, which would have placed the Eagles 7 points ahead, rather than 3.
Hurts cannot miss this throw to DeVonta Smith#Eagles #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/sAICRfFoin
— Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) November 7, 2021
Following the game, Hurts knew where his shortcomings were. He stated, “I’m not satisfied with losing. Never will be. As long as I’m here on Earth.”
The defense has been an ongoing problem all season, flip-flopping between being a solid force the Eagles need and the mediocre bunch opposing offenses are chewing through.
Philadelphia lost cornerback Avonte Maddox in the first half of the game, and though his return was questionable, he never made it back. Darius Slay was then taken out in the second half.
Linebacker TJ Edwards stated, “We didn’t make enough plays to win the game. I thought we were in position at times, and it comes down to the details of things. I thought all of the guys gave so much effort and put so much into it. To fall short, it hurts for sure.”
Edwards was right, the linebackers pulled out some pretty stellar plays, but the remainder of the defense isn’t cutting it. The defense allowed Justin Herbert to complete 32 of 38 passes for 356 yards, two passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown. His completion percentage — 84.2.
Philadelphia has now allowed five of the last seven opposing quarterbacks to have an 80% or higher completion percentage. This is the worst in the NFL.
Justin Herbert is the 5th QB to complete 80-plus percent of his passes against the Eagles this season.
Between 1950-2020, Eagles allowed just 6 QBs to complete 80-plus percent of their throws (min. 25 attempts), per ESPN Stats & Info.
— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) November 8, 2021
Mistakes happen, but some of these need to stop.
Derek Barnett contributed to a pre-snap penalty on third-and-six, giving the Chargers five easy yards. Placing them at third-and-one, Los Angeles converted to a first down. Two plays later, Herbert ran the ball into the end zone, giving the Chargers the lead.
Once Philadelphia got the ball back, Jalen Reagor ran the ball backward for six yards. Coming off an ankle injury last week, fans didn’t see much of him during Sunday’s game, and maybe it should have stayed that way.
Granted, the drive still ended up in a touchdown for the Eagles, but time could have very well been saved and used to our advantage in the end.
The good news — Sirianni and the Eagles aren’t taking the loss lightly. The head coach stated, “There are no moral victories in this league. A loss is a loss is a loss is a loss.” Philadelphia heads West next Sunday to play the Denver Broncos.