The Eagles entered Sunday having scored 21 first-quarter factors on the season — a league low. Fixing that inefficiency was a major focus this week, and a should to maintain up with the high-powered New Orleans Saints.
The hassle produced zero outcomes. The Eagles had been blanked within the opening quarter for the eighth time in 10 video games and located minimal success the remainder of the way in which, permitting Drew Brees and the Saints to hurry forward en path to a simple 48-7 win, dropping the defending champs to 4-6 within the course of.
Philly’s playoff hopes are nonetheless alive because of the state of the NFC East. The Washington Redskins are in first place at 6-Four and simply misplaced quarterback Alex Smith for the yr with a damaged tibia and fibula. With two video games nonetheless remaining in opposition to Washington and one in opposition to the 5-5 Cowboys, there’s loads of alternative forward.
But it surely’s turning into more and more questionable as as to if the Eagles have what it takes to do something with that chance. They’ve issues aplenty. Accidents to the secondary left security Malcolm Jenkins surrounded by a bare-bones forged that included Chandon Sullivan, De’Vante Bausby, Rasul Douglas, Cre’von LeBlanc and Corey Graham. The entrance 4 was unable to generate a move rush. New Orleans outgained the Eagles 547-196.
The plummet in offensive manufacturing stays probably the most startling concern, and raises questions on what — and extra pointedly, who — is lacking.
There have been accidents, sure, however there have been accidents final yr. Carson Wentz had been having season earlier than Sunday’s down efficiency. Zach Ertz is on tempo for an historic season, Alshon Jeffery has been stable they usually even added Golden Tate on the commerce deadline. But the Eagles got here in averaging 22 factors per sport, a full landing off their 2017 common. New Orleans was ranked 31st in move protection coming in, but Wentz threw for simply 156 yards and tossed three interceptions.
Whereas offenses across the league have benefited from the way in which the sport is being officiated, the Eagles have gone in the wrong way.
The offense is coach Doug Pederson’s child. He mentioned that he is liable for scripting the primary 15 performs, the outcomes of which have been disastrous so far. He earned the repute as an innovator final yr throughout the workforce’s run to the Tremendous Bowl, and maintained a sizzling hand as a playcaller even after Wentz went down with damage and Nick Foles stepped in.However his group has been ice chilly this season. The foremost distinction between this yr and final yr, apart from the truth that opposing defenses have had time to actually examine up on the system, is that Pederson is with out offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. The groups they left for — the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings — entered the week ranked seventh and 15th in scoring, forward of the 21st-ranked Eagles, who had been third in that division final season.
Does Pederson miss having Reich as his sounding board? Does he lacking having DeFilippo assist design red-zone offense, which slipped from second within the NFL (64 % TD fee) to 17th (56 %)?
Their replacements, Groh and QB coach Press Taylor, are well-thought of and have vibrant futures in their very own respect. However one thing may be very improper in the meanwhile. The offense is damaged. It is onerous to go away Sunday’s shellacking on the Superdome feeling every other means.