Key takeaways from Eagles’ tough home opener defeat

Posted on September 21, 2021

The Eagles’ 17-11 loss to the 49ers has been a tough pill to swallow. We learned a lot about the team in Week 2, from the offensive troubles to some undesirable injuries. Let’s go through the biggest takeaways from the latest game:

The Eagles Offense Will Go Through Growing Pains

Against a stingy 49ers defense, the Eagles could get nothing going. They scored just three points in the first half when they could have been up by at least 17.

After a 91-yard reception by Quez Watkins in the second quarter, Philadelphia had six straight chances to score in the SF rezone, with two plays coming from the 1-yard line. They walked away with nothing.

This turn of events was particularly disappointing when considering the bent-up shape the 49ers’ secondary was in. Devonta Smith and Jalen Reagor combined for just 21 yards. All in all, a horrible day at the office.

This won’t be the last time the offense goes through rough spots. After all, many of the Eagles’ key offensive players are going through their first year of starting. Add in a new head coach, and they’ll need time to continue gelling.

Jalen Hurts Continues To Look Promising

While the offense was pretty putrid, there were bright spots. Jalen Hurts was one of them as he used his legs to rush for 82 yards and a touchdown. With that performance, Hurts now ranks 12th in the league in rushing with 144 yards, more than players like Austin Ekeler and Chris Carson.

While Hurts’ passing wasn’t ideal (he was 12/23 with an 80.0 rating) it’s nice to see that even when he struggles in one area, he can deliver in another way in order to help get the offense somewhat going. Two games in, and Hurts still looks to be the QB of the future- and really, that’s one of the biggest wins the Birds could get this season.

Injury Season is Right Around The Corner

Week 2 saw a firestorm of injuries across the league. Stars like T.J. Watt, Tua Tagovailoa, Jarvis Landry, and Carson Wentz all were forced to exit their perspective games.

For the Eagles, it wasn’t any different.

Brandon Graham was carted off the field, which was the most soul crushing image of the day. After the game, it was reported that Graham had torn his achilles, effectively ending his 2022 season just two games in.

Brandon Brooks also left the game early on due to a pec injury that forced the Eagles to move him to the IR. It’s an incredibly tough break for Brooks, who was returning after missing all of the 2020 season due to a torn achilles.

Philadelphia has been notoriously bad when it comes to injuries in the last half-decade, and despite making it through training camp and preseason without any major losses, their luck doesn’t seem to be turning around.

The Eagles’ Defense Needs To Make Plays

Two games into the season, and the Eagles sit at 0 in turnover differential. That means they have yet to give up or force a turnover. That’s great for the offense, which saw 19 combined interceptions last season.

However, that’s pretty bad defensively speaking. Philadelphia is one of three teams (Green Bay and Jacksonville) to have no intercepted passes or fumble recoveries.

The team could greatly benefit from getting back the ball in favorable territory and seeing their momentum boosted. The defense needs to step up big against Dallas on Monday night.

Drew Rhoades Avatar
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Drew Rhoades

If there’s one thing you need to know about Drew Rhoades, it’s that he knows Philadelphia sports. A graduate from Saint Joseph’s University, Rhoades has previously written about Hawk sports for The Hawk Newspaper and covered baseball at Phillies Nation. In his spare time, he loves to volunteer at his local animal shelter and bike.

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