EAGLES OFFENSE FALLS SHORT AGAIN IN LOSS TO SEAHAWKS
For the third consecutive week, the Eagles defense played well enough for the Birds to win.
For the third consecutive week, the Eagles offense self-destructed leaving the free-falling Birds with their third consecutive defeat.
The Eagles lost another battle to the Seattle Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field, this time 23-
17 in pleasant weather and good field conditions after an afternoon and early evening of lightning and downpours.
Last week in Cleveland, the offense literally scored nine points for the Browns in a 22-17 loss. Embattled quarterback Carson Wentz threw two interceptions, including a pick-six and was sacked five times.
On Monday Night Football, the Eagles offense was so stale, the Birds did not register a first down until there was 4:45 left in the first half. By that time the Birds (3-7-1) trailed 14-0.
Wentz was 25 of 45 for 214 yards and two touchdown passes for the game. One of his touchdowns was a 33-yard Hail Mary to Richard Rogers with 12 seconds left.
Wentz threw one interception and was sacked six times for 41 yards in losses.
The quarterback, who for weeks has statistically been at or near the bottom of the entire league all season, said he was at a loss of words to describe why the offense has been so bad this year.
“It’s a tough thing to answer,” Wentz said. “It’s something that I think every one of us is accountable for and wants to correct. You can say a lot of different things to answer that question, but at the end of the day we have to be better. We have to be better and those mistakes can’t happen and I have to be better making sure everyone is on the same page on everything going forward. I’m excited to turn that thing around - turn this around - and, like I said earlier, go surprise some people.”
After the home team's first two drives, the Eagles had one yard rushing and Wentz was 0-for-4. The Birds had 16 yards in penalties.
The Eagles defense stopped the Seahawks twice on fourth downs (Derek Barnett made both plays) in the first quarter, but the offense did not respond until the end of the end of the first half when Wentz led the Birds on a 15-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Goedert. Jake Elliott missed his first extra point of the season.
The Eagles closed the gap to 14-9 in the third quarter on a 42-yard Elliott field goal.
Then Seattle (8-3) answered with a 44-yard field goal by Jason Myers to make the score 17-9.
Myers made it 20-9 early in the fourth quarter with a 33-yard field goal, then hit a 39-yarder with 1:16 left to make the score 23-9 before Wentz and company no doubt sent thousands to Gamblers Anonymous meetings with his last-second touchdown, allowing the Eagles to cover the spread.
The Eagles were actually in a position to get back in the game with just under nine minutes left in the fourth.
The Eagles drive stalled four yards short at the Seattle 15-yard line.
Instead of kicking an easy field goal to make it an eight-point game, head coach Doug Pederson went for it.
Wentz threw a pass intended for Goedert in the end zone. The problem was the tight end zigged when the quarterback expected Goedert to zag.
The ball went right into the arms of free safety Quandre Diggs who made what will be the easiest interception of his NFL career.
“Dallas and I weren’t on the same page and that’s on me,” said Wentz, who leads the league with 15 interceptions. “I have to make sure we’re squared away on the same page. Goedert had a big game. He had a big game and we just missed a couple. In that situation - that matchup - I thought everything was good. He’s our guy and him and I have to make sure we’re on the same page for that.”
Second-year wide receiver DK Metcalf torched Eagles high-priced cornerback Darius Slay for 177 receiving yards on ten catches.
Slay also took the blame.
“It was a great battle,” Slay said after the game. “I won’t say it was difficult. I lost every 50/50 ball today. I am usually on the other side of that. Today, I am on the other side of it. I let the team down. I told the defense, that game was on me. I have to play better, but props to DK for giving me the good work. We are competing every play, but I lost every 50/50 ball and I have to be better.”
Russell Wilson led Seattle's offense going 22 of 31 for 230 yards, one touchdown pass and no interceptions. He was sacked twice.
The Eagles bottled up Seattle's running game holding the Seahawks to just 76 yards on 30 carries.
“We didn't run the ball as well as we would like to tonight,” head coach Pete Carroll said after the game. “We have had a lot of trouble running the ball against these guys over the years, and it wasn't a whole lot different tonight. We're going to keep working for the balance and continuing to have both aspects of our offense going.”
The Eagles continued to bring in second round pick Jalen Hurts to play quarterback in mid-drive for one play at a time. These plays only seemed to stall the offense.
The Eagles were just 2 of 10 on third down conversions. Converting on third down used to be a trademark for Wentz. Now that asset has disappeared.
Pederson was asked about a time where the Eagles were able to overcome things like that. Third and long seemed to be like Carson Wentz's wheelhouse. It's not really that way anymore. Can he win with such a small margin for error?
“Not right now we can't,” Pederson said. “We can't be making these mistakes week in and week out and expect to win."
The coach then praised the defense.
“I will say, and you guys aren't even talking about how well the defense played last night with the two huge couple of red zone stops and all of that, and really how well they played to keep us in this football game," Pederson said Monday morning. "Still had an opportunity whether it be an onside kick, or you make the fourth and four, whatever it is, you still have an opportunity to still pull out that football game.
“I know everybody is enamored with offense, as probably they should be, but this is a team sport," Pederson continued. "We have got to be cohesive in all three phases and play complementary football. That's something all season we have not done.”
Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii