The Eagles have suffered yet another loss, this one finally dragging them down in the NFC East standings from first to third place. The game’s final score is deceptive, as it appears they were a touchdown away from taking the contest. In reality, an Eagles touchdown and successful two-point conversion with just 12 seconds of game clock left made this match seem more competitive than it actually was. Below, find the most significant takeaways from the Birds’ week 12 defeat at the hands of the Seahawks.
The Defense does their part
While the Eagles’ defense is nothing to write home about, they have been a step above their respective offense all year long. What’s more, they showed up for this contest; holding an incredibly potent Seahawks’ offense to just 23 points on the night. That’s a solid figure and one that theoretically gave the Birds a chance to win if they could only muster enough offensive production.
The defense was particularly effective in the first quarter, achieving two crucial fourth down stops and allowing zero points. A huge reason they were able to cap the amount of points scored by Russell Wilson and company is due to their ability to win third down in this game. Overall, they hindered the Seahawks’ offense to just a 2-10 conversion rate on third down for the day. This translated to field goals, instead of touchdowns. Sure a field goal is still points, but preventing touchdowns on multiple occasions kept the Eagle’s hopes alive in this game.
Slay is Slayed by Metcalf
While the defense played an adequate game overall, they couldn’t stop all of the Seahawks explosive weapons. Second year wide receiver D.K. Metcalf has been torching defenses all year and this trend continued on Monday Night Football. Metcalf caught 10 of 13 targets for 177 yards, including a 52 yard bomb that was nearly a touchdown.
Much of his aerial production came when covered by Eagles’ cornerback Darius Slay. Frankly, Metcalf embarrassed Slay, repeatedly winning this matchup throughout the night. The two clashed multiple times in the first quarter, leading to unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for Slay. Perhaps this was only fuel for Metcalf as he steadily poured on the yardage all night.
The Wentz bench watch
Yep, the title of this section has been altered to accommodate for the very real possibility that Wentz gets benched at some point this season. Many thought that benching would come as soon as this game, as both Hurts and Wentz took reps with the first team during last week’s practices. However, outside of a few snaps, Pederson chose to forge ahead with his starter, Carson Wentz, at quarterback.
The result was both shaky and a recipe for disaster, as it has been all season long. Wentz completed 25 of 45 passes, for 215 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He was also the Eagle’s leading rusher on the day, amassing 42 yards on five carries. His lone interception couldn’t have come at a worse time as it was tossed in the redzone and resulted in a change of possession instead of points for the Eagles.
A confusing moment of the game was when Pederson did decide to bring Hurts in under center. It occurred during a second quarter series when the Birds were facing a 2nd and long. Hurts completed a pass to make up half the yardage but was subbed out immediately after. Switching quarterbacks on a play by play basis like that leaves the players without a chance to establish rhythm and the front office without a chance to accurately assess the prospects of Jalen Hurts as a starting quarterback.
Hurts was also brought in later in the contest for a gadget play where Wentz lined up as a receiver. Coach Pederson needs to make a firm decision about playing Hurts instead of using him intermittently and leaving his team with no idea of what their future is going to be at the quarterback position.
As alluded to in the past, the Eagles are in the midst of a murderer’s row of opponents. Next week, they travel to Lambeau field to battle Aaron Rodgers and the 8-3 Packers. They will once again be healthy underdogs. Critical eyes will be on the Eagles organization all week as calls for Pederson’s firing have turned from rumbles to overt statements. I’m still of the opinion that however bad Wentz looks, he gives the Eagles their best chance to win. However, if Hurts were to start the NFC East would feature an entire division of backup quarterbacks (Daniel Jones suffered a hamstring injury Sunday). I call that a comedy wrinkle in this season of who’s the most incompetent NFC East team.