Knee Jerk Reactions: Eagles Let One Slip Away Vs. Lions

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – That one hurts. It just never felt like the Eagles were going to lose that.

But they did.

It’s one of those games that we’ll look back on in December and say, ‘Dang we should have won that Detroit game.’

• You’re going to hear a lot of “rookie mistake” when people describe Carson Wentz’s game-ending interception; Meh – it’s more like a football mistake. How many times have we seen veteran QB’s like Matthew Stafford, or Eli Manning, or Brett Favre against the Eagles make the kind of mistake?

• 25-33, 238 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT for Wentz on Sunday
• 91 for 135 (67.4%),1,007 yards, 7 TD’s, 1 INT for Wentz on the season
• After four games, there’s not much doubt anymore: The Eagles have a franchise quarterback and that was the most important aspect of 2016-17
Ryan Mathews is the Eagles’ lead back, despite the committee narratives we’ve been hearing. There’s no doubt he’s the Eagles’ best all-around back when healthy.
• There’s certainly no excuse for that fumble – he has to keep the ball in his outside hand – but he’s a veteran. He knows it. He’ll bounce back.

• Mathews finished with 16 touches for 75 total yards and a touchdown.
Doug Pederson has been incredibly creative with his short yardage and red zone play calls. I don’t think to criticize NFL play calling for many reasons, but the 1996 Madden HB toss on 3rd and 2 to ice the game is so blah in that situation.
• Both of those plays – the Eagles’ back-to-back turnovers, their only two giveaways all season long – were made by Lions corner Darius Slay. He’s one of the game’s best.
Nigel “don’t forget you have a gun at the airport” Bradham didn’t play as many snaps as normal in the first half. The Eagles were in a dime a bunch, I don’t think it was discplinary. Doug Pederson said he wasn’t benched, they were just going with a different look.


• In the second half, with Bradham playing his normal full-time role, the Eagles’ defense dominated, allowing just three points. On five second half drives the Lions finished with a fumble, a field goal, and three punts.
• After allowing 199 and 17 first downs in the first half, the Eagles allowed just 45 yards and 4 first downs in the final 30 minutes.
• Bradham finished with five tackles, three for a loss
• More suspect play from Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham – imagine if Wentz had another receiver to throw to besides Jordan Matthews.
• J-Matt was targeted four times, caught all four for 65 yards.
Zach Ertz caught all three of his targets.
Darren Sproles had 68 yards on just nine touches.
• The Eagles ran just 57 plays, the Lions ran 56.
• Penalties killed the Eagles – they had 14 for 111 yards compared to just 2 for 18 yards for Detroit. The refs were atrocious.
Caleb Sturgis is all of the sudden automatic.
Mychal Kendricks struggled. I don’t what happened to the guy, but he’s not playing good football right now.
Rodney McLeod is like a torpedo safety. He’s everywhere. McLeod led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo) on Sunday.
Brandon Graham continues to dominate: 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a QB hit
Fletcher Cox got another sack because of course he did. That’s what he does. That’s three in four games for an interior defensive lineman.

• Overall, I’m encouraged by the loss. The Eagles lost the turnover battle and committed 12 more penalties than the Lions…and still should have won the game.
• The Birds were the better team on Sunday, especially with Bradham playing a full-time role on defense. Wentz continued to progress and solidify himself as a franchise quarterback, and the Eagles are 3-1. Things are still good.
• There’s a lot of fun and important football left in 2016, and that’s more than we expected one month ago.
Sam Bradford is the last undefeated QB remaining in the NFL.

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